This post is also available in: German

“Increasing Academization having Ramifications on the Labor Market” – this was a headline from a German news magazine which recently caught my eye. Getting a university degree seems to be a very popular trend these days. At the same time, you hear very critical remarks from many young people about “easy” apprenticeships.

As a 22-year-old who took a shortened 3-year technical apprenticeship immediately after graduating from high school, I can understand these remarks but do not agree with them at all. During the application phase, I also had my eye on dual study programs and had good prospects in a number of majors. In the end, however, I chose an apprenticeship as a technical product designer at Continental Automotive in Wetzlar (Germany). A decision I have not regretted for a moment. The three years I spent in an international company together with employees from many different cultures helped a great deal towards my own advancement, both personal and professional. Even though an apprentice is relatively low down the food chain, I was never made to feel like a grunt. I had many assignments that not only interested me, but were extremely challenging as well. Hence why I had to seek out information independently, process it, and put it into practice throughout my entire apprenticeship. My premonitions of having a “easy ride” of an apprenticeship turned out to be a load of nonsense.

Of course, a completed apprenticeship does not have to be the end of the line. In my case, after my final exam, Conti took me on and offered me a transfer to another department. This is how I wound up in the Marketing/Communications department, where I can use the technical skills I have gained to develop and build new exhibit for events. I love this job already, especially as it also involves providing support for events both at home and abroad. I have been presented with a wide array of further training opportunities over the next few years, and I also aspire to complete a degree in communications. All with the support of Continental, of course.

Joel Schubert

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