What is the training after high school

After graduating from high school, what to do?

The uncertainty of high school graduates after graduation is often huge because so many paths are open to them. With our article we want to give you an overview and thus more clarity.

What do you do after graduating from high school?

The question “What are you doing after high school graduation? ”Is certainly the question that a prospective high school graduate has to listen to most often by far. Many years ago the question was answered quickly. It was not uncommon for it to be clear that, for example, the son would go to the army and then take up the father's job. However, times have changed. Never before have there been so many high school graduates and students. The time of individualism is opposed to the increasingly tough world of work. So it's no wonder that many graduates are overwhelmed. Here we offer you a list of possibilities that are available after graduating from high school. We present the following ways that are possible after the Abitur:

  1. Voluntary service: FSJ, FÖJ, BFD & IJFD
  2. Bundeswehr: voluntary military service
  3. Internship - gain your first experience
  4. Work after graduation
  5. Traveling after graduation: Work & Travel
  6. Learning a language: language courses & language trips
  7. Going abroad as an au pair
  8. Academic orientation: the orientation year
  9. Study abroad
  10. Chill out & have free time - reward after graduation first?
  11. Take up a degree
  12. Start vocational training
  13. Child benefit: what happens after high school graduation?
  14. Important tips for after graduation

A voluntary service after graduating from high school?

As already mentioned in our blog post, FSJ, FÖJ, FWD, BFD & Co - more than just gibberish, these three models offer the best opportunity for people who want to get involved either socially, ecologically, voluntarily, politically, sports club, with the state sports association, at a municipality or in the state administration. The best known is the voluntary social year (FSJ).

Voluntary social year or FSJ after graduation

What is an FSJ? A FSJ is a period of a few months during which the participants get involved in the social field after graduation to help other people. It is a minimum of six to a maximum of 18 months and is suitable for young adults up to the age of 27. As a rule, a working week includes around 39 hours. The areas of application vary greatly. Provider or employer for FSJ students for the Voluntary Social Year are the large charitable institutions such as Caritas, Johanniter, the German Red Cross, municipalities, cities, etc. Just like employers, the areas of activity vary within a voluntary social year. Here you should think carefully about the decision and be careful whether you feel comfortable in the job for a few months or whether it is just wasted time afterwards! The same applies to the FÖJ.

Voluntary ecological year or FÖJ

The Voluntary ecological year (FÖJ) however, relates to the areas of nature and environmental protection. The framework conditions here are similar to the FSJ. It also addresses young adults up to the age of 27 who want to get involved six to 18 months after graduating from high school. The areas of work and employers occasionally overlap with those at the FSJ. Occasionally you can also decide together with the employer whether to define it as FSJ or FÖJ. For example, a commitment in the city cemetery should be understood as a voluntary social or ecological year.

BFD or Federal Volunteer Service

The Federal Voluntary Service (BFD) is also active in civil and disaster protection, among other things. Participants may be over the age of 27. The BFD was brought into being by the Federal Republic of Germany in response to the suspension of compulsory military service and community service. It should be understood as a supplement to the FSJ or FÖJ already mentioned and increase the commitment of the population. For all the areas described so far, it is true that an assignment in these areas can definitely be sold in the résumé, because volunteer work or social engagement is almost mandatory today.

Another possibility to get involved in the social or ecological area is volunteering abroad. The boundaries to the above-mentioned services such as FSJ, FÖJ or Federal Volunteer Service are not clearly defined. Large and small organizations from Germany also offer social services abroad. This is also called volunteering abroad.

Voluntary academic year or FWJ

In addition to the FSJ, FÖJ and the classic BFD, there is another form of the voluntary year, namely the voluntary scientific year (FWJ). This offer has not been around for long, which is why it is not yet offered in all federal states. It is offered as part of a BFD. In a FWJ you can work at a university in the field of research and administration for 12 months. It is usually the case that graduates help in a research project and support and participate in the above-mentioned areas.

This offer is intended primarily to address school leavers who are interested in the field of research and who are aiming for a degree or training in this direction. But the FWJ is also open and accessible to other interested people.

In any case, an FWJ offers a good opportunity to get a taste of (natural) scientific work in order to be able to determine whether this field of work could be something for you in the future. You also attend seminars on professional and personal development and are instructed by a specialist. In addition, at the end of the FWJ you will receive a qualified job reference.

International Youth Voluntary Service (IJFD) after graduation

The International Youth Voluntary Service (IJFD) is a voluntary service of the Federal Ministry for Family, Seniors, Women and Youth (BMFSFJ), which enables young people to do a voluntary service abroad and thereby gain intercultural, socio-political and personal experience in a different culture .

The IJFD can be provided through a German institution in public welfare-oriented institutions abroad, in particular

  • in the social field, d. H. especially when working with old, sick and handicapped people, with children and young people in culture
  • in sport and in the preservation of monuments in the ecological area, especially in nature conservation
  • in environmental education institutions or in sustainable development in education
  • in peace and reconciliation work and in promoting democracy (but no parties may be promoted here).

Detailed information on offers and contacts at https://www.ijfd-info.de/ijfd.html

Volunteering abroad

Of course, there is also the possibility after graduating from high school Volunteering abroad to be completed. Many positive aspects come together here. On the one hand you show great commitment and help people or nature or the animal world in needy regions, on the other hand you get to know new countries and cultures that you would not get an insight into during a vacation. An additional positive effect of working abroad is improving language skills or learning a completely new language.

There are several options for organizing volunteer work abroad.

On the one hand, you can research on the Internet and organize your own trip and look for an employer, or you can fall back on one of the large number of private organizations available and rely on their planning and contacts and enjoy the advantage of having a contact person on site, a Accommodation is provided and the entire trip is more or less organized. The disadvantage here is that you have to accept considerable costs for an organization.

Voluntary academic year or FWJ

In addition to the FSJ, FÖJ and the classic BFD, there is another form of the voluntary year, namely the voluntary scientific year (FWJ). This offer has not been around for long, which is why it is not yet offered in all federal states. It is offered as part of a BFD. In a FWJ you can work at a university in the field of research and administration for 12 months. It is usually the case that graduates help in a research project and support and participate in the above-mentioned areas.

This offer is intended primarily to address school leavers who are interested in the field of research and who are aiming for a degree or training in this direction. But the FWJ is also open and accessible to other interested people.

In any case, an FWJ offers a good opportunity to get a taste of (natural) scientific work in order to be able to determine whether this field of work could be something for you in the future. You also attend seminars on professional and personal development and are instructed by a specialist. In addition, at the end of the FWJ you will receive a qualified job reference.

Bundeswehr (FWD or voluntary military service)

As was the case a few years ago, there is still the possibility of doing military service. Nowadays on a voluntary basis, as conscription is suspended. The voluntary military service (FWD) can be extended from a minimum of seven to a maximum of 23 months and includes a salary. Even if opinions about military service differ greatly in this country, the Bundeswehr has options for every interest. armed forces has long since ceased to mean just learning to use weapons. The Bundeswehr not only offers the possibility of the FWD; it is also one of the largest employers in Germany with the broadest range of subjects; hardly any area is not covered. We present an example of this here: Aeronautical Engineering in Munich.


With the term internship must be clearly distinguished! Not all internships are the same. The first experience a student gains in this direction is usually the student internship. It should be noted, however, that this usually only runs for two weeks and only offers a small glimpse into the real work of the profession. You can delve much deeper into the subject with internships that last at least 6 months. An example of this are the practical semesters, which are occasionally prescribed as part of a degree at universities. These are mostly courses at universities of applied sciences that provide for a compulsory internship.

In general, too Internships abroad to be completed. Such an experience is not only beneficial to the school leavers for personal development, it is also a very positive point on the résumé. Another distinction must be made at Pre-study internships, for example to prepare for a degree. This is a Compulsory internshipthat must be provided in order to meet the admission requirement for certain courses.

Finding an internship after graduating from high school is not entirely unproblematic for school leavers or high school graduates. Few companies are open to high school graduates as interns, because they have no relevant experience or interesting know-how, which will help the company further. They are more interested in students on a relevant course. As a rule, only good contacts or relationships and a little luck will help in getting such an internship. These internships are definitely helpful, because they are particularly useful for the study or professional orientation of the students.

Work after graduation

The time after graduation offers ideal conditions for the first job experience. However, caution should be exercised. Only activities that go beyond delivering newspapers and tutoring or working as a gas station attendant make an impression on your résumé. Another point to keep in mind is that money can be very tempting. The simple job should not be a substitute for the planned career or later professional life. If, as a high school graduate, you finally earn money by working, you shouldn't lose sight of your goal of completing vocational training or studies.

Traveling after graduation - work and travel

Finally out, away from home. A great adventure that combines many of the topics already mentioned above! Travel, work and experience, the perfect model for a high school graduate. But this endeavor should be carefully considered and even better planned. We have put together a large work and travel guide for you that will inform you about the subject of “work and travel”.

The decision for work and travel is not easy for many. As tempting as it sounds, it is just as challenging for one or the other. It starts with the organization of the undertaking and goes from the idea of ​​being alone in a foreign country to having to look for jobs on a regular basis. All of these points represent a real challenge for many. Quite a few school leavers therefore set out in small groups and try to tackle at least one problem or another together. Nevertheless, looking for a job in a foreign country is an exciting undertaking, because you have to apply and present yourself regularly and you regularly compete with other backpackers who urgently need a job and money. For all those who have problems approaching other people and are not “open minded”, they should learn this as quickly as possible or it will not be easy for them.

One should also think about the duration of such an undertaking. The temptation to lie on the beach or surf for 12 months after picking the kiwi is great, but after six months it may also lose its appeal. In addition, experience shows that very few people go green when it comes to choosing a course of study or career. The distraction is too big for that.

Learning a language after graduating from high school - language courses and language trips

The time after graduating from high school is a very good time to learn another language or an existing one linguistic proficiency to improve. Courses are often offered at universities, regardless of the course, and are in some cases already included in the semester fee. The respective university should be asked about this. But also Language trips are good for deepening what you have already learned. A certain amount of time should be allowed for in order to record noticeable progress, but this requires appropriate financial resources.

When organizing a language trip or one Language course you can fall back on the many large and small language tour operators or become active yourself. You might save some money here, but you run the risk of being unlucky with the planned journey

After graduation abroad as an au pair

Another possibility to get to know the country, the people, the culture and the language is that of the au pair. As AU Pair one understands young adults who take care of the house and children with a host family. In return, they receive shelter, food, pocket money and the opportunity to get to know the country and everything that goes with it. Contrary to the cliché, there are also male au pairs. So if you are good with children, are not afraid of domestic work and want to have a great experience, you should find out more about this topic.

Orientation year

An extension of a trial course offers a Orientation year. Universities offer the opportunity to gain insights into various courses within a certain period of time. Jacobs University, for example, is a German university known as a Foundationyear offers. The main language of this university is English. International and national prospective students can apply for this offer in order to try out a wide variety of courses. In this way, interested parties can use their own experience to find out which direction is theirs. In addition, this year, after graduating from high school, the participants' English skills will improve as they get to know many people from different countries thanks to the international orientation. Another university that offers a similar offer is the Salem College.

Study abroad

If you are sure which direction you want to take and are ready for a stay abroad, then a Study abroad the optimal chances to be able to start your professional life successfully later. There are a large number of university rankings that can provide an orientation for the most prestigious universities. In addition, support programs such as Erasmus provide support for studying abroad. The duration is of course up to you; whether the entire course or individual semesters. In addition, a large number of German universities offer their students contacts to cooperating foreign universities in order to enable them to study abroad.

After graduation, take a break or chill out

Quite a few high school graduates prefer to "relax". You need one Time out after all the stress, can often be heard. A well-founded objection, but it should be said that the world of work or a degree with part-time jobs and your own household demand more than your school days. Accordingly, the personal break, the time between high school and the following winter semester, should not exceed. The longer the doing nothing lasts, the bigger questions arise during job interviews, for example.


As a further alternative there is of course still the direct entry into Education after high school graduation. For this it is important to be clear “What should I study?” And not to miss the registration deadline on July 15th of the respective year. Of course, this only applies to courses that require registration. For all others there are no direct deadlines. Of course, this deadline only applies to courses starting in the winter semester. The winter semester, which usually starts in October, has the largest range of courses. Only around 15 - 20% of the courses start alternatively in the summer semester in April.

Considerations for choosing a degree

  1. Do I prefer to study at a university or college?
  2. Am I more practice-oriented or do I love theory?
  3. Can I afford a private university or do I concentrate on the state offers?
  4. Do I choose a college or university based on your place in the university ranking, or is it more the location of the university that matters to me?
  5. Do I choose the place to study because it is close to my home town, because my boyfriend / girlfriend lives there or because it is a great university town with a real campus?
  6. How do I finance my studies, do my parents help or do I need a student loan or do I have to work during my studies?
  7. Do I prefer to study a general Bachelor and then specialize in the Master?
  8. Does a dual degree suit me, can I cope with the high workload? Do I want to commit to an employer directly? Free dual study places
  9. Is my motivation enough to study or do I prefer to do vocational training?

Study choice

What should i study? or which course suits me? is the big question for most high school graduates. Because many do not know the answer to this, plan a GAP year in the hope of finding an answer. The Study choice poses a major challenge because of the selection Bachelor courses with currently around 9,000 pieces is huge and the flood of information seems enormous. The Bachelor and Masters courses are divided into ten Subject groups on:

Subject groups of the courses

  1. Agricultural and forest sciences
  2. Society and social sciences
  3. Engineering
  4. Art, music, design
  5. Teaching position
  6. Math, science
  7. Medicine, health sciences
  8. Public administration
  9. Linguistics and cultural studies
  10. Economics, law

In addition to full-time studies at colleges and universities, there is also the option of dual studies.

dual study

The dual studies In the past it was only available at the so-called vocational academies in Baden-Württemberg and Saxony, today state and private universities also offer dual courses of study in cooperation with companies. A distinction is made between different forms of dual study.

1. Practice-integrated dual study program

In this form of dual study, some practical phases, usually several months at various companies, are integrated into the theoretical study. As a rule, the student does not earn any money here during the practical phases.

2. Dual study program integrated into training

In this form of dual study, the student concludes an apprenticeship contract with a so-called practice partner, a company that cooperates with the university, and receives an apprenticeship fee during the studies and, after three years, concludes with a bachelor's degree and at the same time has completed professional training.

We also offer free dual study places in our job market.

Vocational training

One of the ways that is unfortunately becoming more and more out of fashion for high school graduates is the classic dual Vocational training More and more high school graduates are looking for a way to study without seriously thinking about this alternative path. Vocational training doesn't have to be a dead end. After completing vocational training, the path to a degree is still open. For high school graduates, it is even possible to shorten the duration of some training courses. There are currently around 350 different apprenticeships divided into 16 professional fields. You can also find vacant apprenticeships with us!

Occupational fields

  1. Agriculture, nature, the environment
  2. Production
  3. Construction, architecture, surveying
  4. Metal, mechanical engineering
  5. Electric
  6. IT, computers
  7. Natural sciences
  8. Technology, technology fields
  9. Economic Administration
  10. Transport, logistics
  11. service
  12. health
  13. Social, pedagogy
  14. Social sciences, humanities
  15. Art, culture, design
  16. media

Career choice

The answer to the question “What should I become, which profession suits me?” Is just as difficult as choosing a course of study. An overview of all available apprenticeships can be found on the Appointed page of the Employment Agency.

There are three different types of training in Germany. On the one hand there is the so-called in-company training, then there is school-based or inter-company training and, finally, we still know the training path in the public service, which is very similar to in-company training.

Forms of vocational training

  1. The in-company training One half takes place in the training company and the other half in the vocational school. In-company training is the most common form of training. This type of training lasts between 24 and 36 months.
  2. The school-based training or inter-company training 90% of the time takes place in school and is rounded off and supplemented by various practical practical phases. The duration is between 12 and 38 months, depending on the training provider.
  3. As already indicated, the Public service training very similar to in-company training, except that the employer is the public service and here too, half of the training takes place at the employer and the other half at corresponding public schools.

With all the possibilities, the choice is really not easy for high school graduates! Below is a survey that provides information on what the majority of school leavers choose.

Child benefit after high school?

Regardless of which of the many options you choose, the topic of financing is certainly a very important aspect for you and your parents! One component of the financing that many rely on is child benefit.

Just how does that work with that Child benefit after graduation? The right contact for all questions about child benefit is the Family fund. www.familienkasse.de. In principle, there is still an entitlement to child benefit after graduation. Child benefit is paid for all children up to the age of 18, and only under certain additional conditions for children up to the age of 24.

For children who have a voluntary social year or a voluntary ecological year in the meaning of Youth Volunteer Service Act afford, there is still a claim. Such a year can also be completed abroad. In addition, there are a number of special regulations that we have summarized for you at www.profiling-institut.de/kindergeld-nach-dem-abitur/. However, it is usually important to make appropriate written reports to the family benefits office as soon as such a service or a time abroad begins later than four months after the end of school.

Tips for after graduating from high school

  1. Plan the time after high school in good time! Don't think that a FSJ or a work & travel can be organized like that! Most of the post high school opportunities listed above require a longer lead time!
  2. Use the time after you graduate from school makes sense and effectively! Chilling out and just doing nothing sounds tempting, but after a few weeks it loses its appeal and you will notice that most of your former classmates are doing something useful and that you quickly “chill” on your own!
  3. Try if possibledifferent things into a possible GAP year accommodate! An FSJ is a great thing and will also be rated positively by future employers, but 12 months of ambulance transport does not mean a real learning curve, as a maximum of six months is sufficient. For the remaining 6 months of your GAP year you could do an internship abroad or try to explore several professional fields or perfect your English abroad ...!
  4. Enjoy the time and try to experience it consciouslyn, because it is a special phase in your life that is probably no longer waiting for you in this way!
  5. Think of this year as one pieceCareer planning"! No matter what kind of career you will do afterwards, this time should enrich you personally and serve your orientation as well as contain valuable elements for your future, your "career"!
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In addition, we are happy to help you with your study and career orientation: Just contact us.