You are graduating – what is next?
You are about to conclude your Master Thesis and Graduation is just around the corner – what’s next? First of all, congratulate yourself on completing your studies in one of Germany's leading universities. The opportunities ahead of you are vast!
Once you've taken some time to celebrate your accomplishment, you can start thinking about your next step, be it in academics or professional. The following steps are meant to provide some guidance.
De-registration from the University
Upon completion of your studies, you have to withdraw your enrollment from the university. Here you can find all the information you need to need about the Ex-matriculation procedure at the University of Stuttgart
Working in Germany
Germany is a great place for starting a career. The country's significant industrial power and highly urbanized cities welcome international professionals who offer unique skillsets and offers them numerous opportunities, especially in the field of environmental and process engineering. Whether you pursue a career in academia or in the industry, you will find a lot of room for personal and professional development.
Job Seeker Visa
You have concluded your master studies, which means that you are now hunting for job opportunities.
With the job seeker visa, you have up to 18 months to find a job in your area of studies in Germany.
The requirements for a job seeker visa are the following:
- Proof of German language competence: a B1 language certification is the minimum requirement, and this has to be in accordance with CEFR
- Proof of sufficient financial funds
- Proof of health insurance
- Proof of academic qualification: this would be your degree and transcripts
IMPORTANT: application for a job seeker visa MUST be done before the expiry of your student visa!
The so-called "Blue Card" is a working residence permit that you can apply for after starting a job in Germany. The requirements are as follows:
- Job position with an annual salary of at least 43,056 EUR (as of 2020 for engineers)
- The position must be appropriate for someone with your qualifications (i.e. higher education degrees)
- A German degree or a recognized foreign higher education degree
The residence permit will be linked to the company at which you work. Upon changing your employer, you have to apply for a new one. After working in Germany for 33 months, you can apply for a permanent residence permit. The length of this duration varies per case, so make sure to contact the relevant authorities.
For more information, we recommend that you visit the Make it in Germany portal.
Once you de-register from the university you'll no longer be able to hold your student health insurance, this means you'll have to switch to a different tariff. The tariff will depend on your monthly income. The following link shows the different tariffs of public health providers (Gesetzliche Krankenversicherung):
Health Insurance Comparison
Applying for a Job
The cover letter is an essential part of your job application. It is where you can truly demonstrate to your employer that you are the right person for the job, not just with your technical skills, but also your personality.
Here are some useful links to help you construct a cover letter:
When it comes to organization, Germany takes the lead. This is also true for your CV!
The correct structure and layout of your CV are as important as the information in it. We recommend the following page to aid you in structuring a suitable CV to apply for a job in Germany:
A Doctoral degree
Pursuing a Doctorate
Upon completing a master's program, the possibility to join our faculty in exploring the frontiers of knowledge is an appealing option to consider. Ph.D. candidates spend several years conducting in-depth research on a topic of their choosing alongside our experts. Alternatively, you can conduct the work in the industry, i.e. in collaboration with local companies. A Ph.D. qualifies you for advanced positions in academia and gives you an edge when applying for positions in the private sector.
The University of Stuttgart has graduate schools, Ph.D. research groups, and doctoral degree programs in an interdisciplinary research environment for doctoral researchers from Germany and abroad. Learn more in the following link.
Financing your PhD
Financing your Ph.D. is something that requires great effort, therefore it is wise to get a head start in looking at all the financing options available. In Germany, Doctoral students can finance their Ph.D. either by working (part-time) as academic assistants or research associates (paid Ph.D. positions) or through a scholarship.
In the following links, you can scope the different institutes that offer working opportunities to WASTE alumni:
Faculty 2 - Civil and Environmental Engineering
Faculty 4 - Energy, Process, and Bio-Engineering
Many funding organizations are supporting international Ph.D. students. The following organizations are the most prominent in supporting international doctoral students:
The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)
In 2016 they supported approx. 5,000 international doctoral students in Germany with research grants.
The Heinrich-Böll Stiftung
A german proficiency level of B2 or DSH 2 (with certificate) or higher is required to apply.
You can also take a look at the compendium of scholarships made by the University of Stuttgart.