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I'm looking to apply for a YMA and hopefully work in my field in Germany. I have a Canadian Bachelor's in Software Engineering and I'm trying to find out what the specifics are for that field in Germany.

The Foreign Office mentions vaguely that the job market is more open to IT professionals (among others) but no specifics. Do I have to get an equivalence? Is the field regulated? Can I work in my field?

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I don't think the field is regulated. The page from the German Foreign Office is about requirements to obtain a regular work visa, and not about the general restrictions that apply to Germans and EU citizens alike.

Access to the German job market is easier for people working in IT to the extent that they can qualify for an EU blue card with a lower salary. I believe there are also some other differences in the procedure to get a visa/residence permit but none of this is relevant to you as you plan to obtain a completely unrelated visa.

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If you are interested in preparing an equivalence of your degree, you should get in touch with the Zentralstelle für ausländisches Bildungswesen (ZAB) which is the administration responsible for evaluating degrees earned in foreign countries:

Die Zentralstelle für ausländisches Bildungswesen (ZAB) ist die zentrale Stelle für die Bewertung ausländischer Qualifikationen in Deutschland. Hierzu gehören schulische und berufliche sowie Hochschulqualifikationen. Die ZAB erbringt Dienstleistungen für Bildungseinrichtungen, Behörden und Privatpersonen. Sie beantwortet jedes Jahr etwa 27.000 Anfragen.

For the vast majority of positions you probably do not need to get an equivalence or evaluation from the ZAB. Nevertheless, an equivalence is mandatory if you intend to apply in some administrations and probably if you apply to some positions in regulating organisms, like TÜV.

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I don't think it's too difficult to get a an IT job in Germany, or elsewhere in Europe, as long as you have experience in a platform or technology that's in high demand. I'm an American who's lived in Germany for 12 years. The first 9 years I worked for American IT companies (EDS, then HP), but when my company's contract ran out, I just moved to a German firm (Accenture GmbH) because I had a bunch of experience in technology that's in demand.

I'd say that if you have experience in any or all of the following: Oracle Java .NET SAP

you shouldn't have any trouble finding work.

The process works like this:

  1. you meet a would-be employer who likes your experience.
  2. they offer you a contract (usually 3 years min)
  3. your company will apply to the government for what's called an Arbeitserlaubnis (work permit) and they'll need your CV and college degree for the paperwork.
  4. you must apply for a Resident's Permit (Aufenthaltstitel). When you fill out the resident's permit, you must show that you have a passport, money in the bank, some kind of health insurance and an address in Germany. You can get a PDF version of the form on line to see what's required.

A month or so later, you can start work.

Problem for you, I'd say, is that you'd need to be here in Germany, living somewhere, before you could seriously apply for work at a German company. They'll want to meet you. They won't pay to relocate you from Canada, unless you're the world's greatest SAP developer.

German language ... it's certainly helpful to speak German. The more, the better, but it's not critical in the IT world since English is the de facto language of business and every German programmer I've met spoke good English.

As far as your degree is concerned, your experience and skills will count more than your degree.

  • In your experience does the employer offer the health insurance or do you buy it yourself ? Do you qualify for the German public healthcare as a foreigner ? – user2194 Jan 23 '15 at 5:27
  • I have what we Call a Associate Degree in Brazil, may I apply for the blue-card? Thanks! – user6682 Jul 17 '15 at 15:57
  • However, the document here daad.de/medien/deutschland/stipendien/formulare/…, page 5 states that for "IT specialists" and "language teachers", there's no need for any degree at all: For jobs requiring qualified professional training, approval may be issued for qualified workers with a recognised degree or a foreign university degree equivalent to a German university degree (Section 27 No. 1 Employment Regulation), to IT specialists (Section 27 No. 2 Employment Regulation) or language teachers (Section 26 Employment Regulation). – xji Oct 5 '15 at 16:13
  • Also this guy here says he doesn't have a degree even though he works as an "IT specialist" in Germany currently: expatriates.stackexchange.com/questions/7074/… So it seems a bit confusing to me. – xji Oct 5 '15 at 16:13

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