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Continuing vocational training – What's the benefit?

Continuing vocational training can give you numerous personal and professional advantages. By developing and expanding your knowledge, you can sustainably increase your professional success. It also gives you the opportunity to continue learning and to continuously expand your skills throughout your working life. Another important argument in favour of continuing vocational training is the long-term increases in salary you can receive. Despite often high costs, the long-term benefits of continuing vocational training outweigh the additional burdens it may place on your everyday work.


Arguments for continuing vocational training

One very clear argument in favour of continuing vocational training is that it's possible to pursue your training while continuing to work. Added to this is the additional education gained, which in turn has a positive effect on the individual's everyday working life, CV and career opportunities. Statistically salaries increase by 5% for each year an individual has invested more in education and vocational training – something from which both women and men in Germany benefit equally. More precise figures on differences in pay after continuing vocational training can be found at In addition to furthering your training to become a specialist in your particular field, you can also study to obtain a Master Of Business Administration degree. The differences in pay between being a trainee/apprentice and a specialist in a particular discipline can range on average by up to as much as €7,000 per year. And when it comes to academic degrees, the additional qualification of having an MBA can vary by up to €12,000 depending on your previous academic degree. For a Bachelor's degree plus MBA, this range can extend from €12,000 up to as much as €19,000 a year. However, it must be remembered that such an increase in pay takes place over an extended period of time and not all at once.


When is further training a good idea?

Further training can be useful at a number of different points in your career and not just when changing professions. Even while pursuing your current job you should strive to improve, develop and deepen your skills. This can help you to achieve your dream job or personal goals in the long run. Particularly when it comes to digitisation, you should be familiar with the latest trends, processes and tools so that you know you possess the skills today that you will need tomorrow.


Who pays for my training?

When it comes to the costs of continuing vocational training, a distinction must first be made between publicly funded and private or company funded training. Publicly funded continuing vocational training is offered by the state in certain areas. Private continuing vocational training courses can range from adult education courses to a Master of Business Administration in various formats. However, the costs are often borne by the employee. In certain cases, however, funding may also be provided by the state. For example, in the form of what's known as an Aufstiegs-BAföGs. (German Advanced Further Training Assistance Act). In-company continuing vocational training generally applies directly to the individual's occupation and can not only be offered, but also financed by the employer. For many companies, it pays to provide further training for their employees. But investing your own money in getting further qualifications can also be worthwhile for advancing your professional future.


How do I ask my employer about grants and subsidies, extra holiday or leaves of absence?

It is always worthwhile asking your employer about grants and subsidies or a special leave of absence for training. But first you should think about things a bit. When speaking to your supervisor, it helps to have a concrete plan in mind for the period of time in question and good information on the training you'd like to pursue. This includes not only approximate details of the leave you'll require so that any workload issues can be addressed, but also the extent of the costs for your proposed training. Depending on the form of further training you're seeking, you will be dependent on your employer's support – especially if the training means you'll have to restrict your working hours over a longer period of time. Clearly explain why you are interested in the subject matter, what it covers and what added value your additional qualification will bring to the company.


What training would best suit me?

In order to find the right training course for you, you should first think about what topics might be relevant for you. Get an overview of the offerings in your area or those provided by your employer. Think about the direction you would like to take in your career and which channels can support you in your endeavours. For example, the various offers available from adult education centres, professional associations and distance learning universities can help you with your search. Professional associations in particular often offer consultations. A course does not necessarily have to be expensive to achieve its purpose. Also, make sure that any of the continuing education providers you're interested in are trustworthy. Things such as certificates from the German Chamber of Industry and Commerce as well as positive evaluations and doing your own research on the institution's background will help. You can also find information on the Internet at the Arbeitsagentur (German Employment Agency) and IHK (German Chamber of Industry and Commerce) or at distance learning universities and adult education centres.


Where should I include my training in my CV?

It is always advisable to include further training in your CV. This should be listed with its own title as a separate item. It is best to list all your continuing vocational training courses in reverse chronological order, starting with the most up-to-date training you've done. If you have completed a large number of courses, only those relevant to your current application should be included.



When is continuing training useful in the long term?

Any continuing training you do will be useful in the long term if the knowledge you have acquired expands your own professional competencies. This presupposes, of course, that the additional knowledge gained is appropriate for your own professional endeavours and can be used accordingly in your everyday working life. Further qualifications can also be advantageous when changing careers. Additional further training can, for instance, give you a distinct advantage when applying for a job. In addition, your salary increases over the long term if you have completed further training.

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