Career as an economist

Dr. As a literary scholar, Thomas Tillmann is a real newcomer in consulting. In the meantime he has been in the learning and education sector for ten years with the management consultancy abc tillmann successful independently.

Please introduce yourself in a few words. In which industry are you active, what is your job, since when do you work in your company?

I’ve been working in business consulting for about 15 years, and for almost ten years since starting my own business, I’ve been focusing almost exclusively on learning and education issues. The individual projects are very different. Often, it’s about helping companies strategize their education and development efforts, make them more effective, and make sense of the opportunities to digitize learning. In addition, I also work for universities and learning providers of other kinds, who in the end often deal with similar questions of strategic development.

Describe briefly what exactly includes your job in day-to-day business.

Even though I am moving in a comparatively small niche, every project is very different. Sometimes projects are more conceptual in nature and the aim is to develop well-founded and coordinated strategies, sometimes they are of an operational nature and the actual implementation, piloting and disseminating changed approaches. My everyday life is always characterized by the close cooperation with the teams on the client side, eg. In the form of workshops.

How did you come to your profession??

Certainly not by my studies. I am a literary scholar and did my doctorate on theological influences on young Goethe. But I was always curious about many different areas. That’s how I finally came to McKinsey for a few years through an internship. During that time, my current profile has been slowly evolving and I saw the opportunity, with some experience as a consultant, to dedicate myself entirely to these topics around learning and education. Ultimately, therefore, a career that is strongly influenced by the opportunities that have mostly unknowingly resulted en route.

What professional and personal qualifications do you bring to practice your current job??

First and foremost, this is a methodological tool that I have gained over the past 15 years in business consulting, combined with content-related expertise in the areas of learning and education, and finally a network of diverse contacts within the relevant community.

How do you assess the future demand for WiWis in your industry? Which developments could be subject to the occupational field in this context?

In many ways – technically, economically, socially – more complex, the world has an ever-increasing need for very specialized expertise. Despite market uncertainty, it can be assumed that this trend will continue and that there will be further demand for well-founded consulting services of various kinds. Unlike in the past, m. E. especially highly specialized experts have great opportunities, while the market has long been characterized rather by generalist advice. But this also means that in the beginning there must be a specialist expertise that is not built up in this form through a course of study but rather through scientific and practical experience. Perhaps the step into the management consultancy is thus in the future rather the second career decision after some years of professional work in a special profession.

What do you advise budding WiWis who are seeking a career in their field of activity, more generally?

To stay curious, to look into different branches and fields of work and to have the courage to find their own way.

Dr. Tillmann, we thank you for the exciting interview!

Specialization vs. Allrounder

The activities of WiWis are manifold. Thus, the question of whether more all-rounders or specialists are in demand can not be answered unequivocally. There is basically a need for both. Wherever technical and economic fields of work overlap, the specialized applicants often have the advantage. Of course, the bigger the company, the higher the need for subject matter experts. At the same time with a specialization the potential labor market decreases. Conversely, the market for all-rounder is largely overrun. After all, the economics were in winter semester 2015/16, the degree program, which was chosen the fifth most:

Number of enrolled students by subject area

‘> Source: DESTATIS via Statista
course of studies Number of enrolled students
Business Administration 234715
Engineering (-wesen) 120103
jurisprudence 112271
computer science 102546
Economics 90658
Medicine (general medicine) 89998
German Studies / German 75688
psychology 71279
pedagogy 69817
Electrical engineering / electronics 69258
Industrial engineering with engineering knowledge. main emphasis 65492
mathematics 59381
Civil Engineering / Civil Engineering 54789
business computer science 54519
biology 51637
physics 48475
Intern. Business / Management 45912
English Studies / English 45851
chemistry 45539
Social work 43207

An early specialization is usually the alpha and omega, to quickly get a foot in the door at work. Here, however, the problem lies with many a student: at the beginning of the study, there are many hiccups in career planning, and the strategic orientation of the profession remains. Part of the specialization is quite close: people who do not like to travel are out of place in the consulting, communicative types go into marketing or sales, while analytically oriented people are outstanding in finance and accounting or controlling.

It is not unusual for applicants to spend a single internship with a minor company during their studies. At WiWis, there are several factors that decide on the top or the flop when looking for a job: In addition to the specialization, the practical experience, the university, the final grade, and international experience are all part of the program. Anyone who knows early on where he wants to go, specializes in a prestigious university early and practical experience u. a. accumulates abroad, significantly increases its chances of a quick entry into the dream industry.

The study of economics

In a survey of graduate-oriented WiWi students with a focus on marketing and communication, attractive work tasks and personal development were particularly relevant aspects for job hunting. The good career prospects were also considered particularly important by the students – a sign that WiWis did not want to give up mediocre positions. No matter what your motivation for the field of economics is – the study initially makes some demands on the students.

study requirements

On the one hand there are the personal prerequisites: Analytical thinking, an interest in economics and a basic understanding of mathematics are unconditional prerequisites. English is also a must and is an integral part of your studies. Otherwise, you do not need any special talents, perhaps even basic knowledge in business theories, history and philosophy are helpful. This helps to better understand developments and processes.

In addition to the personal prerequisites, a general university entrance qualification is required for studies at the university; for universities, a university degree is sufficient.

Studying without a university entrance qualification

Under certain conditions this is Studied economics without a high school diploma possible. Between 3 and 10% of places are open to this group of applicants. Which admission requirements apply to this, each university determines for itself. Legally regulated is that z. B. Masters with the completion of their exam are automatically equated to the Fachhochschulreife. The same applies to other IHK advancement courses. Applicants are also eligible to study after completing at least two years of training and a subsequent three-year professional experience, whereby the access authorization here is limited to the subject area of ​​the training.

Some colleges additionally take an exam for prospective students without a university entrance qualification:

  • Admission examination in the form of a written and oral test to determine study suitability.
  • Apprenticeship: This qualifies applicants who are at least 25 years old and have at least five years’ professional experience. After passing the exam, a nationwide university entrance is possible.
  • Trial studies: The university can arrange a two-to-four-month study course for admission-free degree programs, in which the applicant must achieve a minimum number of credit points. If he succeeds, he may continue his studies, the points will be credited.
  • For those interested in medicine, admission is via To avoid the multi-year waiting period, interested parties can take a voluntary entrance examination.

Access restrictions and selection procedures

If there is a large number of places to study, the final grade of the university entrance qualification decides on access. Beside this Numerus clausus (NC) places are also awarded over the waiting semester. If I do not fulfill the final grade of 1.6, it is possible to get a place with an average of 2.3 and 4 waiting semesters. How high the average grades and the number of waiting semesters is, reveals a semester published list of each university.

Some – especially private – colleges also carry out assessment centers to screen applicants out. Here, the universities focus on logic, mathematics, argumentation in discussions and presentation as well as the stress resistance of the aspirants.

study opportunities

The degree program in economics is great – no wonder the degree program is one of the most popular nationwide. Sites like provide reviews and make it easier to find a suitable university. The study is by no means only possible in a classical form at the university. In addition to attendance studies, dual study and distance learning have established themselves as real alternatives in recent years.


With the acquisition of the general university entrance qualification one has access to the universities. The study is mostly designed very theoretically here. Only in recent years, compulsory internships in the context of study take place again and again. The events are divided into seminars, lectures and exercises where attendance is part of the performance assessment.


Higher education is open to anyone with at least a college entrance qualification or, alternatively, a master’s degree. The study is similar in structure here as in the university, but more practice-oriented. Anyone who does not aspire to a career as a scientist in professional life, but aims at the free economy, is well served by the university.

Private College

While universities offer the degree program WiWi, private colleges and colleges often focus on specialized courses such as business information systems or business administration. A WiWi study also exists under other names, such as:

  • Economics and Business Administration (Bachelor)
  • Management and Economics (Bachelor)
  • Economics (Bachelor)
  • Political Science (Bachelor)
  • Business and Organizational Sciences (Bachelor)
  • Economics, Fundamentals (Fundamental Economics and Management) (Bachelor)
  • Business and Management (Bachelor)

The universities often have different access regulations than the universities (eg Assessment Center), and students sometimes pay high semester fees. Tuition fees of 3 to 4-digit sums monthly are not uncommon. Small group sizes and more intensive learning support are more likely than in the often overcrowded universities.

Distance Learning

Almost every distance learning university has an economics degree program. Particularly popular: A bachelor’s degree in business administration with a subsequent master’s degree in business psychology. It is possible to study in a full-time and a part-time version, which then takes longer to complete. The majority of distance universities are chargeable. An exception is the Fernuni Hagen as a state university, in which only a small semester contribution and possibly material costs incurred – similar to a local college.

The opposite of a correspondence course is the attendance study, in which students attend seminars and lectures and in addition to exams and seminar work, the personal presence belongs to the services to be provided.

dual study

An alternative to classical studies at the university is always the dual study. Here, study content is combined with practical experience in the company. This brings extensive practical experience with the advantage that already exist in the study contacts with a company, which can then facilitate the career entry. In addition, even during the training a regular salary beckons (between 600 and 1,800 euros, anything is possible), in addition, the operation often takes over the tuition.

The admission requirement is the subject-specific university entrance qualification or the Abitur. There are different variants of the dual study:

  • Training-integrated dual study programs: These combine a full-fledged study with a complete education. At the end of the three-year apprenticeship / study time there are two degrees: Bachelor and journeyman’s certificate. The training takes place in the university, the vocational school and the company.
  • Practice-integrated dual study programs: They supplement university studies with longer practical phases. At the end there is only the Bachelor degree.
  • Part-time dual study coursesThese are designed for full-time employees who already have training and want to study while studying.
  • Vocational integration courses: They combine part-time jobs (training certificate available) with a degree.
  • Training accompanying studies
  • Practical courses

There are lists on the Internet for participating universities and companies, whereby always a self-initiative search is possible. The application is addressed either to the university or the training company – depending on who is at the center of the training. Again, there are numerous applicants, so the application may like to stand out from the crowd. Particularly important in the double burden study – job: the willingness to perform. To mention these is certainly not a mistake. The selection of candidates is often done in two-stage competitions (recruitment test and job interview) or an assessment center.

As attractive as the dual study may sound: there are also disadvantages. Not to be underestimated is the high workload due to the double load. In order to complete the study material in the given time, the studies are tightly organized and offer only a few open spaces. Those who find themselves in the midst of being unable to cope with the pressure and dropping out of their studies are sometimes threatened with repayment claims by the company. The decision for such a study will therefore probably be considered.

An interview with Prof. dr. Franz-Xaver Boos from the Hochschule Hof

About Prof. Dr. Franz-Xaver Boos

Prof. Dr. Franz-Xaver Boos has been a professor of business administration at Hof University for 22 years. About 15 years ago, the university tackled the subject of dual studies and since then has established numerous different dual study options. Hof University of Applied Sciences occupies a leading position in dual study in Bavaria.

For several years he has also been dean of the faculty, but continues to devote himself to the subject of dual studies. On the one hand, it is important to generate and establish new opportunities for dual study, and on the other to evaluate and improve the existing programs. These include frequent discussions with companies and young people before they start studying.

What are the completion options offered by a dual degree program at the Hof University of Applied Sciences?

All Bachelor’s degree programs, ie the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), the Bachelor of Engineering (B.Eng.) And the Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) are also offered as a dual study program. In addition, we also offer our Master’s programs, which conclude either with a Master of Arts (M.A.) or a Master of Science (M.Sc.), dual.

For whom is a dual study recommended and what conditions should be met?

Of course, a prerequisite for a dual degree course is finding a partner company. At personal conditions you should bring a structured way of working, diligence and also some ambition. In particular, in the case of combined studies, where you make two degrees, the workload is greater than in comparison to a normal study. However, the failure rates are considerably lower and the study results above the average of the other students.

What is a collaborative study or a SmvP?

A joint study can also be described as an integrated dual study course. Specifically, this means that an apprenticeship, such as an industrial clerk or industrial mechanic, is combined with a degree. As a rule, a combined study lasts four and a half years, namely one year of pure education and three and a half years of study and partial education.

A SmvP is a study with in-depth practice, whereby in Bavaria the rule is that the usual practice time of 20 weeks should be exceeded by at least 50%.

How do practice and theory be distributed at the Hochschule Hof??

Depending on the course of study, the combined study program can take between 40 and 50% of practical training. When studying with a more in-depth practice, this proportion should generally be lower.

What experiences do you have with the students of the dual study program??

From the experience of the past ten years I can say that our experiences with the dual students at the University of Applied Sciences Hof are exceptionally good. As mentioned above, they have minimal failure rates and in our leaderboards the dual students are represented far more than representatively.

What is the quota of the students who are taken over after successful completion of studies in the respective company??

The take-up rate at Hof University is likely to be between 70 and 80%. On the one hand, the fact that no further employment contract is concluded may be due to the company; on the other hand, it may also be due to the fact that the future plans of the dual students have changed. Due to the good qualifications, there are also increasingly dual students who are enrolled in a Master’s degree program, many of whom also study the Master’s degree.

How much can students earn during their dual studies??

The range of merit is relatively large. In the extreme case, the companies pay the training salary during the entire study program. The lower limit is that only times of attendance are paid. This is basically also to be welcomed, as it makes more sense that students work in the future profession instead of earning money as a waiter somewhere in a pub.

Where do companies see the benefits of a dual degree program??

early selection and promotion of good employees,
Competition for good (specialist) high school graduates from the region

Binding these mostly from the regional environment
future executives

Takeover after study without major training

network college dual

effective use of students in the company

Contacts to the university

Saving expenses for personnel marketing

What are the benefits for students from the dual study program??

2 degrees and in-depth operational practice with the same
study period

close connection companies and students

strong integration of the learning place “enterprise” into the

Implementation of theoretical knowledge in practice

possibly payment during the study

How does a prospective student apply for a dual degree program? First the company and then the university? Is it possible to start a degree course if the training has already started in the company??

Access to a dual degree course always goes through the company. This is especially true for the collaborative study, where the study is combined with an education. The college poses about the organization college dual Bavaria Although the addresses of the partners in the dual study course are available to potential students, the search for a company is primarily the task of future students.

Are there any particularly popular companies for dual study?

It depends very much on the personal taste of the students. For some, only small, medium-sized and often owner-managed companies come into question, while other students are more likely to feel at home in large-scale international companies.

Is a dual degree without a high school diploma available at your university? What are the requirements for this??

As part of the Institute for Continuing Education, the Hof University of Applied Sciences offers degree programs without a high school diploma. However, you need a completed vocational training and several years of professional experience. These continuing education courses are often held in the evenings and at weekends. In the broadest sense, these programs are also dual courses, as students pursue full-time employment.

Prof. Boos, we thank you for the exciting interview!

International studies

Those who want to move abroad and who would like to take on international job prospects at the same time are well served by studying abroad. That can be “only” for one semester or the same over the entire period. The study abroad can take place in different forms. Either way, it makes sense to spend some time abroad and expand your job prospects with it.

  • Studying at a university abroad independently of cooperation with the local university. There may be no funding or recognition of benefits here.
  • Studied at a partner university of the local university. Here, services and a partial financing through the local university are made possible.
  • University co-operations abroad based on partnership agreements with entire states. As a result, tuition fees that are otherwise levied abroad may be eliminated.
  • Erasmus programs, which eliminate tuition fees in any case, and credit the overseas benefits for studying at home. The duration is one or two semesters, during which you can take a leave of absence at the local university.

Course contents

The study of WiWi combines the two subjects of business administration and economics. Accordingly, the field addresses economic issues both at the level of society as a whole and at the level of individual companies. At the end of your studies, you have a broad knowledge of economic issues that provide access to many occupational fields. The study contents include the following areas:

  • economic theory
  • mathematics
  • statistics
  • Business English
  • Business law
  • economic policy
  • Absatzwirtschaft
  • finance
  • accountancy
  • human Resources
  • Controlling
  • Taxation
  • Financing and investment
  • Micro- and macroeconomics
  • accounting
  • cost accounting
  • marketing
  • Management
  • computer science
  • possibly also ethics, welfare orientation, sustainability

What seems at first absurd is a not inconsiderable part of economics: As a subsection of the social sciences, there are many similarities with subjects such as political science, sociology or law and philosophy. And ultimately, the ratio of people to one another is one of the WiWi’s analysis criteria. However, many universities focus on planning and analysis, and the human factor is often left out.

study procedure

Since the Bologna reform, the study has been divided into a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree. In addition, there are more or less compulsory internships, possibly a semester abroad and at the end of the university career may be the doctorate.


The undergraduate Bachelor’s degree usually takes six semesters. The basics of business and economics are conveyed here before the content is deepened. The basic subjects include z. b. Law, accounting, business mathematics and computer science as well as statistics.

In addition, some of the higher education institutions focus on interdisciplinary key competences and methodological competences in order to improve the qualifications of graduates, also outside their specialist knowledge, and to facilitate the entry into the profession.

An individual specialization in one or more special fields is then part of the last semester. Here, for example, directions such as computer science, economics or accounting are possible.

The degree concludes with the preparation of a bachelor thesis. If this is successful, the graduate will receive the title of Bachelor of Science. Rarer is the Bachelor of Arts. The Bachelor’s degree, in turn, entitles students to take up a Master’s degree program.

Master’s degree

Although a lot can already be achieved professionally with the Bachelor, the Master opens additional doors. But you should not decide prematurely for a master, but first think about where you really want to go. Especially in controlling and sales, the Bachelor is usually sufficient as a career entry. Especially the professional experience counts in the medium term, only for the management level the master degree is decisive.

For the Master, it is not wrong to enroll for specialized courses and thus gain expert knowledge that will be helpful in applying for the degree.

Incidentally, the Master is also partially open to third-party Bachelor graduates who have graduated in a humanities or natural science subject.


Job prospects after graduation increase with practical experience. Accordingly, it is important to have as much as possible in the company during the study and to gain initial experience. It is advisable to take a look at different areas at different companies and possibly even go abroad for a while. Even a part-time job is suitable for gaining first work experience – and to earn money at the same time. This can be as a secondary activity during the studies, as part of a working student job, as a full-time internship during the semester break or as an internship during the semester.

Write a thesis in the company

Above all, the economy is always looking for graduates who want to write their theses on specific topics in a company. This brings with it some advantages and disadvantages:

Some corporations spell out the topics to be posted directly on their web pages or describe the process and give details on the remuneration. Others probably only wait for your request – an active inquiry is worthwhile, many jobs are filled internally. In addition, the universities and colleges’ job centers are also a contact point to find out about potential companies. Again and again the companies write topics here.


A PhD in the field of WiWi is not too common. It is worthwhile only if a career in research and teaching at the university is sought, or if the company offers an interesting topic that is also interesting for the economy. For example, this overview page offers positions for PhD students.

Only in a few areas is the doctoral title welcome and increases the own salary as well as the career opportunities. These include corporate and tax consultants, auditors, lobbyists, economics departments, research and investment of banks and market research institutes. WiWis end up with a Ph.D. rer. pole. or dr. rer. oec.

How can I get a scholarship??

In addition to BaföG and their own part-time job, in some cases there is the possibility of additional financial support through a scholarship. There are a total of 2,000 institutions, including 13 gifted education organizations and a Germany scholarship, which distribute scholarships to students. Some are tailored to special groups such as women or people with disabilities, others have seemingly unbridgeable obstacles in the application process. Not all value top marks, sometimes social engagement or other activities decides. In the jungle of the funding institutes, different institutions can help in the search for a suitable scholarship:

  • Study Counseling, Study Office or Financial Aid Office of your university
  • student Services
  • church facilities
  • your former school
  • Municipality or city administration
  • circle of friends
  • Internet research
  • Search at and scholarships in the portrait

The application deadlines are very different for the scholarships. While some can apply for a relatively short term, others have lead times of several months and only one or two application deadlines per year. Usually a letter of motivation, a curriculum vitae (in the form of a table or in essay format) and a report from the university are expected.

After graduation: The career entry

In addition to direct entry into professional life, there are also other entry-level opportunities such as trainee programs, internships, internships or assistance centers. About every fifth company offers the opportunity to start as a trainee (for corporations more, for micro enterprises less), especially undergraduate students are in demand here.

The career entry as a trainee

What is a trainee??

Trainees are something like apprentices. With the difference that they often already have a degree behind them and are active in the management area. For the first time in the 1960s, Unilever came up with the idea of ​​sending the youngsters through all departments of the company before they got a job at the executive level. In Germany, Deutsche Bank, Daimler and Volkswagen took over the concept only a few years later, and have since enjoyed great popularity with both students and companies.

Trainee Programs

Trainee programs have no fixed terms or learning content. Accordingly, the areas of activity and responsibilities in companies vary. While large companies often consider trainees to be junior executives and support them accordingly, trainee positions in small companies often serve lateral entrants as a qualification measure to gain a foothold in the profession.

Accordingly, the duration of the programs is very different: In smaller companies, the program is often completed after 3-6 months, the classic corporate program usually extends over 18-24 months.

At best, during the traineeship, candidates go through various departments of the company to understand the processes and expand their knowledge to meet the day-to-day challenges of day-to-day business.

The chances for a takeover are extremely good after a successful trainee period: around 80% then receive a permanent job in a management position.

On the internet, some job boards specialize in trainees.

How does the trainee program work??

The actual goal of the trainee program is to give beginners knowledge about the company and to prepare them for future management tasks. Accordingly, a change of department takes place every few weeks or months, so that the newbies can gain as many different insights as possible. This is done either according to a standardized, semi-standardized or individual scheme. The change between the departments trains the interdepartmental thinking and the understanding about the interaction of different divisions.

Possible are various trainee programs. In addition to the trainee, who is passed through all divisions and thus trained as a generalist, there is the possibility of focusing on a single department. The third option is the trainee degree program, which begins during the course of studies, and the trainee receives regular financial support from the company. For this the trainee commits himself to a regular cooperation in the company – in the form of secondary employment, internships or the writing of the final thesis. After graduation, further commitment to the company may be mandatory. Usual are two to five years.

It may also be possible for international corporations to spend part of their time at a branch office abroad, thereby learning cultural skills and languages ​​at the same time. Accompanying seminars and trainings z. Soft skills and network events additionally support the provision of specialist knowledge. As a rule, every trainee has his or her own mentor, who will support you during the trainee time.

Not infrequently, several trainees are hired at the same time – this strengthens the team skills from the beginning.

The salary as a trainee

The starting salary as a trainee varies greatly. Banks, the consumer goods industry and retailers see trainees as potential leaders who enjoy high priority. Accordingly, the remuneration in these areas is good. Media, publishers, radio and television as well as tourism, on the other hand, usually treat trainees as apprentices, who are accordingly provided with a training salary.

According to the information provided by ABSOLVENTA, the range of salaries ranges between € 23,000 and € 52,608 gross averaging € 39,600 a year. Banking, chemicals / pharmaceuticals, steel industry, automotive, mechanical engineering and insurance pay off particularly well; at the bottom of the list are logistics, media, public services, tourism, market research / advertising. The same applies to the salaries for direct entry: The larger the company, the higher the salary – the range between corporations and micro enterprises is often up to 20,000 €.

Tips for prospective trainees

Since the term of the trainee is not protected, it is worth taking a look at the corporate website or the job posting. Most companies present here what the future trainees will be. If there is no information on duration, structure and content, it is most likely a lesson-based training-on-the-job. Skepticism is appropriate if the program is scheduled for less than a year. The learning effect may be low here and the program only serves to save a higher starting salary for the direct occupation of the position.

Alternative entry options into the professional life

It can not hurt to find out about alternatives to the trainee or to use contacts that have arisen during the course through internships and student work jobs. So sometimes the direct entry or a wizard position is possible.

The advantage of direct entry

The starting salary is directly higher, the responsibility too. Within the probationary period a short right of termination applies accordingly. However, direct entry is not suitable for everyone: Short training periods often present new challenges to newcomers, and the specific task prevents them from seeing the entire company. The same applies to entry via the training-on-the-job. This career entry is especially widespread, especially in sales. .

Assignment tasks include the preparation and coordination of appointments, the supervision of projects and correspondence. The advantage: You get an insight into the decision-making structures of the company, the pay is good and the career opportunities are attractive.

Anyone who is more risk-averse may also think about self-employment, which can also be a recommendation for senior management positions. Example complacent? During his studies, former Telekom CEO Rene Obermann founded a company called ABC Rufsysteme, today better known as The Phonehouse Telecom GmbH.

Training opportunities

It would be particularly forward-looking to think about which area offers the best job prospects already during the studies – and to specialize accordingly. This not only involves expertise, but also the acquisition of soft skills and valuable additional qualifications that can make a significant difference to the competition. The acquisition of additional qualifications is also ideally suited to bridge idle times, in which it does not immediately work with the dream job.

Soft skills

In the flood of applicants, to which many companies are opposed, the soft skills of the applicants play an increasingly important role. These include

  • expertise
  • methodological skills
  • social competence
  • personal competence
  • judgment
  • learning skills

These together form the professional competence to act. Soft skills should already be reflected in the application due to their relevance. Particularly noteworthy here are stays abroad, language courses and volunteer work alongside the classics of motivation, flexibility, enthusiasm for work, self-reliance, resilience and determination. Of course, the abovementioned skills must fit the job advertised, an indiscriminate listing of personal strengths is rather counterproductive.

If you are concerned about the need to improve your own soft skills, you can specifically promote them during your studies by:

  • Workshops at the college’s Career Center, which offers courses on negotiation, communication skills and safe conduct
  • Team team sports
  • Stays abroad (language skills as well as openness and self-employment)
  • Volunteering
  • Part time jobs and internships (motivation)
  • Language courses are available at the Volkshochschule. Alternatively, it is advisable to look for a tandem partner.

In-house training

Even during employment, there are numerous opportunities for further education. Large companies often offer in-house training for their own employees. Possible here are:

  • professional training
  • personality training
  • language Courses
  • Individual coaching
  • DV training
  • foreign assignment
  • product training
  • support groups

The measures are often carried out by means of on-the-job training, job rotation or self-directed forms of learning.

By the way: If you do not receive further training internally, u. U. entitled to educational leave. For this, the employer must indemnify the employee.

Do’s and don’ts when applying

There are now many well-qualified applicants for one job. Accordingly, in addition to the hard skills, the soft skills increasingly decide whether an applicant has prospects for the job. Focusing on applying for the industries where you have already gained work experience through internships or similar is always helpful. It is more difficult for those who have no work experience yet. After all, the bar is high for companies. These demand different competences from beginners. According to a survey of the Staufenbiel Institute these are mainly:

  1. Internships
  2. English skills
  3. non-university experiences
  4. work experience
  5. Business management skills
  6. BWL-understanding
  7. stays abroad
  8. vocational training
  9. Postgraduate studies
  10. Spanish skills
  11. French skills

Hardly a newbie will even be rudimentary to the list. Accordingly, it is important not to concentrate on positions with expressly desired professional experience in the job search and to select those that correspond to the own competence profile.

The job search

Sure, the usual job sites on the Internet like or are basically good places to start looking for the dream job. The problem here: Here are numerous job offers that require work experience. But how do students get one of the coveted jobs for newcomers??

University fairs are a great opportunity to get to know companies in a casual atmosphere. The companies present their fields of activity and provide information on requirements profiles, entry and development opportunities, internships and the opportunity to write exam papers in the company. Students can get a good overview of the job market and get to know companies in individual interviews. If you want to leave a good impression, you can make an appointment in advance and prepare yourself for the interview.

Away from the university fairs find again and again Trade Shows instead of. These are less designed to connect with employers, but jobseekers can also find out about the companies here and get information about entry and development opportunities. Again, if you want to get to know a company, it is a good idea to inform yourself in advance about the company and to arrange a personal meeting.

In addition, there should also be openness and spontaneity to address other companies. A confident appearance and the appropriate outfit support the good impression among the potential new employers, the application folder brought along, which is presented personally, also increases the chances of a postal application.

Recruitment events Seven people interested in a company before they come into direct contact with the company. Decisive here are academic achievement, foreign and first professional experience. The workshops often consist of the handling of case studies, one-to-one interviews and the company as well as candidate presentation. The rigorous preselection leads to the chance to go home with an employment contract in the bag.

The letter of application

Applying for a trainee program does not differ from an application to a direct position. It must always be remembered that companies acquire potential future executives. Spelling and grammar are accordingly obligatory error-free, also foreign stays, language skills and the personal commitment should be mentioned. Finally, it can be assumed that about 50 applications will come to a trainee position, with large corporations figures in the five-digit (!) Range are not uncommon. It is all the more important to stand out from the competition with special skills.

The perfect resume

The CV is the most important document of the application. He gives the HR manager an overview of the most important key data and competencies of the applicant. Accordingly, the most important information in the CV include:

  • full-time jobs with relevant experience acquired for the job
  • Studies with a degree and theoretical knowledge
  • Internships and job-related part-time jobs, as well as sideline jobs that require special soft skills
  • the school career with graduation and final grade
  • Language skills, software and computer skills
  • additional skills and hobbies that provide insight into soft and hard skills relevant to the job

The structure of the curriculum vitae is oriented more and more to the English construction. According to the personal data follow professional experience, further education, training / study, internships, possibly secondary jobs – each with information on the company, position, location, activity and the start and end date of the activity; Scores for high school diploma or university degree in reverse order, d. H. the current events first. Then follow the knowledge, other and the signature with the date.

The length should not exceed two pages in any case, the structure should be structured so that a human resources manager can quickly understand the key facts.

While it is absolutely unusual in English-speaking countries to attach an application photo, in this country the chances of getting a job deteriorate if this is missing.

The cover letter

When applying, individuality and credibility apply. Since WiWis usually do not apply for auxiliary activities, the external fine tuning is important. In no case write a sample application, but stand out.

This begins with the first sentence: “I hereby apply …” or “I became aware of your ad on the internet …” probably lead to the fact that you will not even read the application further. The introduction must be a bit more original. Finally, you want to attract attention and curiosity to encourage the staff to read on.

You then use the bulk of the application to convince the boss that you are a suitable candidate for the company. Be aware of requirements that emerge from the job ad without repeating too many details.

This is followed by a mention of the relevant soft skills. Particularly suitable and positively valued by HR managers are communication skills, teamwork, perseverance, resilience and empathy. Tell us where you could acquire and consolidate them.

The optional part has room for additional information such as salary expectations or the possible time of the adjustment. If information is requested in the vacancy notice, you should comply with this.

In the final part, the obligatory request for a personal interview takes place before you finish the letter with the best regards.

The third page: What motivates you?

Maybe you want to play along with cover letter and resume another trump? The third page, the so-called letter of motivation, makes sense especially if the competition for the advertised position is large, the requirements of the job do not fit exactly to their own curriculum vitae or are missing as a beginner qualifications. Thus, the letter of motivation can offer great added value for one‘s own application, especially since it offers not only an otherness compared to the competitors, but can also explain gaps in the CV. After a headline that arouses curiosity, it’s about:

  • Skills and competences in addition to the cover letter (no repetitions)
  • the personal motivation
  • Explanation of gaps in the CV
  • Passion for the activity / the company
  • personal engagement
  • professional goals

However, the letter also has a large potential for error, which quickly turns the good intention into the opposite. This is especially the case when the writing is longer than one page, repeating in content, abilities are given without reference or the writing leaves an unnatural impression.

Purposefully used and carefully implemented, the letter of motivation is therefore an effective instrument for enhancing your own application.

The personal get-together

The company expresses interest in you and gives you the opportunity to introduce yourself – an extraordinary stress situation, it suddenly comes to everything. Nervousness quickly outweighs, so many a device in the dialogue in the stumble.

To reduce the stress factor, a targeted preparation for the interview helps. With any preparation, however, you always want to be natural, only open and friendly applicants have a real chance. Memorize the flowchart and prepare yourself for common questions.

Typical questions in the interview

Some questions occur in every job interview. So one can think of these in advance, a suitable answer, so as not to stall in case of cases.

“Tell me something about yourself.”

This is not about retelling your own biography since birth. Key points that are important for the job are sufficient. Be prepared for questions, how it came to certain situations.

“Why are we the right employer for you?”

Inform yourself in advance about the company. What do you like most? How can the corporate philosophy be linked to your personal strengths and interests?

“Why do you want to change employer?”

The question meets newcomers less. When changing jobs, however, it is recommended to forego any problems and conflicts. Career reorientation and the associated broadening of the horizon makes it better.

“Where do you see yourself in ten years?”

What is your personal plan? When thinking about this answer, keep in mind that the company also plans and goals should not conflict. When in doubt, it makes sense to always be open to new ideas.

“Why are you the right cast for the job?”

Name here individual qualifications and personal strengths without exaggeration. A reference to the job advertisement and the company philosophy is also helpful.

“Name some personal strengths and weaknesses.”

Here, a mixture of restraint and self-confidence is needed. A short example of how the strengths express themselves does not hurt either. Weaknesses can be relativized well (“sometimes”, “occasionally”) and weakened by learning potential. Therefore, best name weaknesses that can be reduced by training etc..

“What bothers you about other people?”

Avoid political issues as well as embarrassing characteristics (sweaty people, bad breath, overweight). Instead, unsophisticated points such as “intolerance,” “lack of initiative,” or “impatience” are more appropriate. At the same time, solutions for your handling of this are in demand.

“What salary do you imagine?”

Here a framework is required, not an absolute fixed sum, because this prevents any room for negotiation. Show yourself ready to negotiate and propose alternative services such as a company car, performance bonuses or the like in the event of a waiver of the desired salary.

The HR managers are less interested in what you actually do, but what the hobby says about your personality. So stay clear. A team sport is always suitable (team player), traveling (intercultural experiences) too.

Stress test job interview

The conversation usually follows a fixed procedure:

  • Questions about how to get there and find your way
  • Presentation of your contact persons
  • Questions about qualification and career
  • Questions about your person
  • Please, create a work sample / case study
  • Opportunity for your questions to the company
  • Leadership by the company
  • adoption

If the HR manager asks questions that are supposed to reach your limit, take a deep breath and try to answer them as confidently as possible. But always stay with the truth. These questions include:

  • “Why did you study so long?”
  • “Why have you completed several internships and never been taken on?”
  • “Why do you want to change your previous job again?”
  • “Actually, you are over- / under-qualified for the job. Why did you apply anyway? “
  • “How do you rate your performance here so far?”

Some questions are also popular, but simply inadmissible. Here you do not need to answer honestly, but either deny it or counter with quick-witted counter questions. Typical questions include disability, common illness, religiosity, pre-punishment, family status or financial circumstances. Caution: These questions sometimes disguise themselves in questions that are not in themselves inadmissible, but have the same goal.

show interest

Always keep in mind that the job interview is not just a check to get to know you, but the other way around: It’s your chance to get a grip on the business. Find out about the company in advance and ask questions – to the job, to the potential team and to the company in general. It always has a negative effect if you are asked what you still want to know about the company and have no questions ready. So think about five questions in advance, for example: B .:

  • What role does the body play in the company’s goals??
  • Who are my superiors??
  • What challenge does the position bring in the beginning??
  • How does the training work??
  • What career opportunities does the job offer??
  • How big is the team I’m going to work in??
  • Where are current problems in the work?
  • What challenges must your company currently face??
  • What does your company do for its social responsibility?
  • What training opportunities are there?
  • Are there regular employee appraisals??

Dress code in the interview

You are on time, friendly and interested in the company – all of this does not help if you find yourself in an inappropriate outfit. It is not for nothing, clothes make people. Especially in the interview, the first impression counts, undoubtedly just the clothes counts. But what is appropriate for the conversation?

Basically, the industries in which WiWis work are more conservative; H. Suit and costume are the rule rather than the casual leisure look.

Dress code for men

In men, these include:

The color of the tie should be chosen in the color of the suit or the contrast color of the shirt, suit and shirt have the same color, we recommend a discreet tie. For striped ties, medium to wide stripes that match the color of the shirt are appropriate. The length reaches exactly to the waistband. In the conservative environment light blue or white shirts are basically not wrong, caution is necessary with black suits. These are actually reserved for the executive floor. The beard should be well cared for, but in shifts with a lively customer contact the shaved shave usually arrives better.

The application outfit of women

Women wear a trouser suit or costume with a simple blouse in muted colors or pastel colors. It depends on length and width – the outfit should not be too revealing even in midsummer. The heels of the shoes are not higher than two fingers wide, noble, simple and completely closed. The choice of matching tights is also a science in itself: too dark or too shiny tights are a no-go, black tights are only allowed in winter – and only if the sleeves cover the entire arms. For half sleeves, the flesh-colored tights is the better choice. For the hairstyle, experts recommend, at least for the job interview, to tie up the hair or put it up. This seems more self-confident and less playful.


Accessories are also part of the outfit. The rule is: less is more. Especially with women too much jewelry is dubious. Men make sure that belt, watch and cufflinks harmonize with each other. The perfume ranges from one to two splashes – everything else has a penetrating effect on the environment.

All in all, however, one should always feel well in his outfit. After all, you should not look disguised, but radiate authenticity.

Preparation for selection process

The higher the number of applicants and the better the career prospects, the more intensively companies will put the applicants through their paces. For example, intensive competitions are waiting for the aspirants, especially at renowned companies such as Roland Berger. An early preparation is absolutely recommended. Some companies provide reading tips for the preparation of the invitation directly to the interview. Who does not deal with it intensively, does not even need to start talking.

Case Studies

Particularly popular selection procedures are case studies, which are prepared and presented. It is not so much about a right or wrong solution, but about providing a traceable, structured solution in a given time. In addition, the personal conversation is mandatory. Points of contact to prepare for the competitions are:

  • Literature on case studies
  • Examples on the company website
  • Online forums in which applicants report their own experiences
  • possibly personal contacts to other consultants

Assessment Center

Trainee programs are often preceded by assessment centers. Every second major company resorts to the process, which is feared like no other. Here, companies sometimes put candidates to the test in individual and group assignments for several days to find out how they manage in stressful situations and how they feel about teamwork and leadership. The professional qualifications often determine the HR departments through further tests, personal conversations provide information about one’s own motivation. If you can convince here, you are already one step ahead of your competitors.

Anyone who has real interest in the job to be awarded can not avoid a thorough preparation for the procedure. Not for nothing there are now numerous guides on the subject. The A and O at the AC:

  • In the first place, there is a thorough research on the company – applicants should have the key facts on history, leaders and strategic goals as well as the growth areas, foreign markets, mission statement and the main competitors know.
  • For the day of the test the same rules apply as for normal interviews.
  • Self-proponents are just as unpopular with personalities as attached personalities. Authenticity is usually much better.

Course of the Assessment Center

As a rule, there are eight to twelve applicants for an AC, who can be considered for several vacancies. On the other hand, people from the HR department and the management level sit in department posts. In rarer cases an external coach moderates the discussion additionally.

In order to determine to what extent the applicants are suitable for the position, there are tasks which correspond to the work situation in the later work routine. In addition, the expertise is determined – and of course the behavior observed to see whether the applicant also fits the company, how conflicting he is and how stress-resistant. The group tasks show who is a good team player, who is willing to take responsibility or who can make a balancing act.

Applicants are often tested for their service or communication skills, and their sales strategies, depending on the industry. What is really judged depends on the focus of the job and the tasks involved.

example tasks

Classics, for example, are tasks in which various tasks of a private and professional nature are to be ranked and prioritized by the candidates.

Even short presentations about your own person are popular. Anyone who focuses on job-relevant experiences, addresses their own strengths and reveals some superficialities from their own biography, is on the safe side. Of particular importance in this context is the structuring of content, facial expressions, gestures and rhetoric.

Role playing is about mastering tricky situations that will be on the agenda in your later professional life. These do not necessarily have to be directly related to the job, but challenge the applicants just by the surprise effect. There is usually little time to prepare for the individual roles.

In group discussions, HR managers learn a great deal about the behavior of the applicants: who argues logically? Who listens? Who acts moderating and mediating? What does body language say? Who acts openly, who is more hostile. Here, it is beneficial to involve shy and rather reserved applicants in the discussions, without neglecting one’s own point of view.

Important: There is no good or bad role. Therefore, it does not help to pretend and to represent a type that does not correspond to your own nature at all. Anyone who has made it to the AC is interesting for the company. Sometimes just the little bit of luck decides over hop or top. And should it not work on the first AC: It is definitely a good experience to go much more relaxed in the second.

Initiative application

There are absolutely no grounds for soliciting an initiative from a company – after all, a large number of jobs are not advertised to the public, but are filled internally, or at times remain vacant. However, so that the unsolicited application does not end up in the flood of application folders, it should stand out clearly from the competition. Here it is very important to leave a lasting impression and to apply for a job that is currently not at all vacant. Only if you manage to stay in your memory will you remember your letter in due course.

Online applications

Everyone knows it: Quickly and carelessly the e-mail is written and sent without reading this correction. Business partners deviate from common DIN standards and use emoticons and acronyms in electronic correspondence. If this is sometimes tolerated in everyday life, it is an absolute no-go for the online application. It can not be created with less care than a traditional paper application. This includes

  • a legitimate e-mail address and the sender name displayed
  • no shipping as html
  • Use of a signature
  • Naming the attachments and limiting the size of the same

In addition to sending by e-mail, there are other possibilities of online application: the application form. More and more companies are making a notifiable area available to applicants in which the application process is documented. At the same time, the loyalty to the company is increased by repeatedly visiting the website.

A guaranteed eye-catching form of online application is the use of new media. For example, you can create your own applicant homepage, which you just briefly draw attention to in your cover letter. This is of course associated with a greater effort, but well done, the site is a real eye-catcher. Decisive here is the motivation of the staff to visit your site. The reference to the page must therefore arouse the curiosity – be creative.

The certificate of employment

Upon termination of employment, internship or training, each employee is entitled to a certificate. A good testimony definitely promotes a career – conversely, a negative testimonial can become a hurdle.

In case of a change at the management level, before the start of parental leave or in case of entrepreneurial restructuring, it may be useful to have an intermediate certificate issued. However, caution is required if the certificate is requested without such a background – this quickly arouses the distrust of the top management, whether you may want to apply elsewhere.

Simple vs. qualified certificate

Theoretically, it is sufficient if an employer issues a simple list of activities (proof of activity) – if the employee does not claim a qualified certificate. However, it is more usual to have a qualified certificate with an assessment of behavior and achievements. The primacy of completeness applies here: elementary points such as the ability to work in a team or social behavior should not be missing. It may make sense to consider where to go for work and to ask the boss to emphasize some relevant activities more than others.

What is allowed – and what is not

You have a right to correct false personal data, misrepresentation of activities and spelling mistakes.

It is not permitted to use wording that implies a religious, party or ethnic affiliation. Also, activities for the works council are generally not allowed against the will of the employee – unless the activities have determined most of the working time. Other illegal content is:

  • Out-of-court behavior, incidents from private life
  • Works council activity (exception: release for more than one year)
  • Pregnancy, maternity protection
  • union membership
  • party membership
  • Earnings / salary
  • Event of Default
  • warnings
  • secondary activity
  • Low performance due to personal extreme situations
  • absenteeism
  • Diseases
  • SHE property
  • State of health (exception: if an acute danger to third parties is seriously to be feared, eg epilepsy)
  • Number of days of sick leave (exception: if absenteeism is significant in relation to the total duration of the employment relationship, eg over 50%)
  • Offenses if they do not directly affect the employment relationship
  • Suspected criminal offenses
  • Strike and lockout
  • competition clauses

Due to the obligation to formulate positive words, the dilemma arises that many statements are formulated in a complicated way and allow appropriate room for interpretation.

The employee is entitled to the certificate soon after leaving the company. If the company refuses to do so, it can be legally opposed. There are three full years for this, then the right to the claim expires. You can also complain about a certificate that you are not satisfied with. If the score is worse than “3”, the company is in the burden of proof – vice versa, you should be able to explain why you earned a “1” or “2”.

The outer shape

Important is beside the content also the form. It must not be constructed like a letter, but like a certificate with over- and signature. It bears the full address of the employer, but only the name of the employee. It is written on company paper, has a date and is dated if possible to a beginning of the month, as cursory data could indicate a termination without notice. The scope is 1-2 pages and highlighting, bold, underlining, italics, quotation marks or special colors is waived for labor law reasons.

Content of a certificate of employment

  • Heading “Certificate” or “Certificate of Employment”
  • Name, title, date of birth
  • Period of employment
  • Job description and area of ​​responsibility, further education
  • Performance evaluation:
  • motivation
  • operation
  • successes
  • expertise
  • possible leadership skills
  • summary performance assessment
  • Behavioral assessment:
    • to superiors
    • towards teammates
    • towards customers and other employees
    • Place, date and personal signature
    • Name and function of the signer, a disciplinary superior
    • free from spelling or grammatical errors
    • Description of your behavior towards customers, supervisors or employees
    • Reason for leaving is mentioned – and if possible regrets.
    • Thanks are expressed.
    • Wishes for your future career accompany you.
    • Meaning of the wording in the work certificate

      Already the order of naming hierarchical structures is crucial: supervisors – colleagues – customers. If, for example, colleagues are mentioned to their superiors, this indicates problems. Further negative formulations are z. B .:

      • “At the beginning” (ie only in the probationary period)
      • Within their means” (the skills are completely inadequate)
      • “She / he tried …” (complete overburdening)
      • “Showed understanding for his tasks …” (close to refusal to work)
      • “On the whole / in total” (not so)
      • “She / he had not insignificant achievements …” (the desired success remained off)
      • “Without blame …” (not worthy of praise)
      • “Conscientious employee” (He was there when needed, but not always usable)
      • “For the concerns of the workforce, he demonstrated a comprehensive empathy.” (The employee is homosexual.)
      • “He did all the work with great diligence and interest” (eager, but not efficient)
      • “Through his sociability, he contributed to the improvement of the working environment.” (Excessive consumption of alcohol)
      • “He was efficient and good at selling.” (He is an unpleasant employee.)

      The testimony concludes with wishes for the future. If you leave the company at your own request, this should also be noted.

      • “He leaves us at his own request.” (He leaves no gap.)
      • “He leaves us by mutual agreement.” (He was terminated.)
      • “He leaves us at his own request. We very much regret his departure and wish him all the best for the future. “(The company is reluctant to lose the employee.)

      Further formulations essentially correspond to the grades 1-6:

      Very well

      • … has always done the tasks assigned to us to our complete satisfaction.
      • … were extremely satisfied with the performance in every respect.
      • … met expectations in every way and in the best way possible.
      • … achieved outstanding work results
      • … showed extraordinary commitment
      • … was highly reliable
      • … was always valued by colleagues, supervisors and customers as a friendly and hard-working employee.
      • … has always done the tasks assigned to us to our complete satisfaction.
      • did the tasks with the utmost care and accuracy.
      • … met expectations in every way and best way.
      • … always showed above-average quality of work
      • … always showed initiative, diligence and ambition
      • … was always friendly and outgoing
      • … relationship with superiors, employees and customers was impeccable


      • … did the tasks assigned to him to our full satisfaction.
      • … were always satisfied with the services.
      • … met expectations in every way.
      • … quality of work was above average
      • … the behavior towards employees and supervisors was exemplary.
      • … showed commitment and initiative


      • … did the tasks assigned to him to our satisfaction.
      • … were satisfied with the performance.
      • … has done all the work with care and accuracy.
      • … met our expectations.
      • … the behavior towards employees was exemplary.
      • … the behavior to superiors was impeccable.
      • … the work results met the requirements.


      • … has done most of the tasks assigned to him to our satisfaction.
      • … has done all tasks with care and accuracy.
      • … has met our expectations as far as possible.
      • … has made every effort possible.
      • … generally met the requirements
      • … the personal behavior was perfect overall.


      • … has endeavored to complete the tasks assigned to us to our satisfaction.
      • … met our expectations.
      • … has tried to live up to our expectations.
      • … tried to work reliably.
      • … always tried to cope with the usual workload.

      Career as an economist

      The industries with the best career opportunities

      We are looking for almost all industries. The fields of activity are correspondingly broad – and also earning potential.

      • pharmaceutical industry
      • Aerospace Industry
      • Financial services (banking, insurance, reinsurance, investment, fintech)
      • Automotive Industry
      • Information and telecommunications industry
      • Chemical industry
      • consumer Goods industry
      • Media (direct marketing, market research, development of new business models)
      • Food industry (eg development and environmental economics, controlling, market research)
      • Public service (education, research, health, environment, housing, family and youth, labor market policy, communications)
      • logistics
      • energy
      • Trading (Category Management, Controlling, Consulting, Real Estate Management, Sales etc.)
      • Textile and fashion industry
      • Personnel and management consulting
      • tourism
      • Tax advice and auditing

      A detailed description of the industries can be found in Riedel, Hergen / Pohl, Elke (2016). Career entry for economists. 2nd Edition. Wiesbaden: Gabler Springer.

      The most popular companies for economists

      Although small businesses account for most of the job market, large corporations are popular drop-in centers for graduates. Below we have compiled some overviews of the most popular employers in Germany, Europe and the world.

      Top 15 employers in Germany

      The WiWis are particularly popular after studying the car manufacturers. But also consultancies are strongly represented. In 2015/16, the most popular employers for economists were:

      The most popular companies among economists

      ‘> Source: trendence Graduate Barometer 2016 – German Business Edition
      Companies Share of mentions, in%
      BMW 13.6
      AUDI 11
      Daimler / Mercedes 8.6
      Porsche 8.4
      Google 7.3
      Bosch Group / Lufthansa 6.5
      adidas 6.4
      PwC 5.3
      Apple 5.1
      Volkswagen 4.8
      serious & Young 4.5
      McKinsey 4.3
      Foreign Office / Siemens 3.7
      KPMG 3.6
      BASF 3.2

      The most attractive industries for WiWis

      Source: trendence Institute via statista
      business Attractiveness as a potential employer, in%
      consumer goods manufacturers 43.9
      automobile 19.2
      Media / Advertising 12.4
      IT services / consulting 5.8
      trade 4.9
      Transport / logistics / tourism 4.6
      Electrical engineering / electronics 3.7
      Consulting / Consulting 3.5
      Banks / Financial Services 1.8
      Chemistry / Pharmaceuticals 1.5

      The dear money

      The starting salary often plays a role in the choice of the company. Not every candidate is willing to forego hundreds of euros due to the company’s prestigious name. However, the salaries in the individual companies sometimes differ enormously. A rule of thumb:

      • The bigger the company, the higher the salary.
      • The higher the degree, the higher the salary.
      • The banking, consumer goods, logistics and management consulting / auditing sectors pay more than trade, tourism or the media.
      • The functions are research and development before purchasing, sales, finance and controlling.

      Looking at all companies together, the WiWi are in the top 10 compared to other university degrees after all:

      Average entry fee from WiWis by field of study

      ‘> Source: statista
      study average entry fee (median), in euros
      Law (PhD) 59000
      Computer Science (PhD) 54000
      engineering 52000
      industrial engineering 52000
      medicine 50000
      law Sciences 49500
      computer science 49500
      Economics 46000
      Pharmacy, food chemistry 42000
      Linguistics and Cultural Studies 41000

      Salary level WiWis at work

      ‘> Source: Staufenbiel JobTrends Germany 2016
      Earn graduates. . in percent of the surveyed companies
      less than 30,000 euros 5
      30,000 – 34,999 € 8th
      35,000 – 39,999 € 24
      40,000 – 44,999 € 32
      45,000 – 49,999 € 18
      50,000 – 54,999 € 7
      55,000 – 59,999 € 2
      more than 60,000 € 4

      Above all, the level of starting salary is an indicator of how much companies are looking for suitable applicants – the more willing they are to pay, the more desperate they are to find suitable employees.

      Starting salaries after graduation

      Most worthwhile Master’s degrees for accountants and analysts:

      ‘> Source: WiWi graduates: What beginners deserve – manager magazin

      field Bachelor master
      Controlling 37250 +1400
      auditing 35712 +8968
      accounting 41268 +1286
      Control 42581 +4182
      analysis 44738 +7241

      Starting salaries according to function

      ‘> Source: via Staufenbiel
      function Lower quartile in € Median in € Upper quartile in €
      Assistant GF 36876 +5379 +10967
      Controlling 40245 +4555 +13642
      purchase 35242 +7137 +14099
      Finance and accounting 35523 +5533 +12910
      HR / Personnel (Speaker) 38771 +3361 +9293
      marketing 32079 +5196 +12032
      Sales Support 32750 +4134 +11497
      (Key) Account Management 38380 +6621 +14857
      PR / Communications 33734 +6693 +11550
      revision 43222 +2543 +15233
      Management consultancy 44799 +5601 +12410
      Materials Management / Logistics 36715 +8415 +14527
      External sales 36112 +6688 +11857
      organization 30076 +6305 +11686

      Salary analysis by state among executives

      state Salary in €
      Hesse 105122
      Bavaria 98247
      Baden-Wurttemberg 98204
      North Rhine-Westphalia 96584
      Rheinland-Pfalz 95899
      Saarland 88849
      Lower Saxony 88207
      Schleswig-Holstein 86149
      Thuringia 80650
      Mecklenburg-Vorpommern 80288
      Saxony 79117
      Saxony-Anhalt 77419
      Brandenburg 77054

      Starting salary after work experience

      Interesting: Who studies taxes, first has a low starting salary, but later earns the most.

      ‘> Source: Staufenbiel

      scope of duties Up to 2 years work experience 3-5 years of professional experience 6-10 years of professional experience
      Investment advice, investment advice 49500 +14375 +17500
      Controlling 47825 +5689 +14413
      analysis 50885 +8969 +13944
      Control 36837 +17092 +28922
      accounting 31462 +15956 +20735
      Wirtschaftsinformatiker 43120 +5313 +23840
      BWL 37992 +8492 +32195


      The industry is currently undergoing a significant change due to digitization. Big data is also increasingly being used in companies and will become the work of controllers in the future & Co. determine. Along with the upheavals, there is also the need for specialists and executives on the market who are dedicated to planning and implementing changes in companies.

      However, at the same time as this demand continues, so does the number of graduates. Especially generalists will therefore find it increasingly difficult to get hold of a job immediately after graduation. In this context, the importance of the Master may also increase in other areas than previously.

      However, if you opt for a WiWi study, all in all, you have a good chance of a career in the field. If there is no job right after graduation, WiWi will still be self-employed – after all, it should not fail on the calculatory part. However, some researchers suggest that you first gain some years of hands-on experience before taking the step into self-employment. This not only extends the basic knowledge, but also the knowledge in the selection of personnel, the negotiation and knows what costs can be expected in a company. There are many ways to become self-employed. It only needs an extraordinary idea, a concept and sufficient starting capital, you can start. If the idea is less exceptional, there are still areas of activity as an independent auditor or sales consultant.

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