Lisa-Marie Hetges, studierte Arbeits-
und Organisationspsychologie und kehrt
nun zurück in die Erwerbstätigkeit
With a higher education entrance qualification and academic achievements to date, students who have decided to stop their studies are attractive applicants on the employment and training market. The training landscape in Germany also offers various opportunities to obtain a degree or qualification and find an alternative to studying.
Alicia: From teacher training to vocational training
I always wanted to become a teacher. After graduating with “Abitur” in 2015 from a commercial high school, I decided to pursue my aim and applied at several universities in NRW. During the registration processes at the universities, I noticed I had no chance to enter my favourite subject “German” because my numerus clausus of 3.0 was not sufficient. Finally, I had to think of alternative study subjects and I decided on history, not least because the numerus clausus was not as high as for other subjects. Even my favourite university did not meet my expectations and because of that, I decided for the University of Cologne. This was the first time I doubted my decision.
In spring 2016, my doubts had grown so much that I often talked about them with my family and friends. I never wanted to quit my study. The study was my first choice and I did not have an alternative. In the beginning, I was ashamed and I was afraid to take further steps. I was afraid of my future. Unfortunately, I did not know any contact point at the university for my problems and I did not feel that anyone would be interested in them. My friends and most of all my parents supported me the best they could and I decided on stopping my study and find a vocational training program instead. Because may 2016 was already late for applying for a place in a vocational training program with start in august/September 2016 my expectations were not high. However, unexpectedly, many companies invited me and some of them offered me even a training contract. Through my study, it came clear to me exactly what I want and what I expect, so I even declined most offers.
My last job interview brought me to my current training organisation, Siempelkamp Giesserei GmbH, which convinced and impressed me immediately. The vocational training program is in cooperation with the company Geo-Mont Personaldienstleister GmbH, which has many benefits for me.
I found my training place through an intensive web search. I can only recommend to any student with study doubts to confide in someone. Additionally, you should also think carefully about what you want. If the study is not what you expected it to be, you should not be afraid to change your decision. There will always be an alternative!
Successful study dropout Alicia, 23 (photo: private)
Yannik: From industrial engeneering studies to vocational training
It took a while until I finally decided to study. This was mainly because I was already insecure then, whether studying would be the right thing to do for me.
My cohort was the first to graduate from the “G8-Abitur”. When I was just 18, I already had the higher education entrance qualification – but what I would want to do for a living later I did not know at this point. To make the most of the decision-making time, I decided on a voluntary, social year. However, at the end of the FSJ I had to deal again with the question how I should continue with my professional education.
What I did not know at the time though was that the 6-week internship, which I had to complete in advance for my studies, brought me to the company where I am currently completing my vocational training as an electronics technician for automation technology. The company Elektro Löb is a medium-sized company in Mönchengladbach. Due to the family atmosphere, I immediately felt well and well received. In addition, I was able to gain an insight during the 6 weeks, how extensive the job of the electronics is and what further training opportunities exist after the first job qualification.
However, I had already fixed everything and my study started the following winter semester. I found the technical subject more interesting than the economic subjects, but that is of course a matter of taste. What surprised me was the amount of information I had to learn per subject and per hour. To my disadvantage, this turned out only in the exam phase, when I had to rework everything.
One reason why I decided to stop studying was the missing practice, without which it was difficult for me to internalize the teaching content. The lack of compulsory attendance also contributed to my decision to stay at home during one or the other lecture. Meanwhile, I know that a structured workweek is the best for me.
Since my parents always support me, I was able to tell them openly and honestly that this study was not right for me. However, the question was again how to continue in the summer – should I start another study program in the summer semester or would it be the better choice to start a vocational education program?
Since I enjoyed the internship at the company Elektro Löb very much, the decision – unlike shortly after leaving school – was much easier. I knew immediately: I want to start the vocational training program there. What I personally like about the vocational training and this kind of work is that you can see the results of your work at the end of the day – this gives me a good feeling.
If you have doubts about studying, I can only recommend talking to someone about it. No matter if it is your parents, friends or fellow students you have met during the semester. Sometimes, even a small suggestion or idea can help to make your decision: Do I break off my studies or do I continue and give everything?
Successful study dropout Yannik (photo: private)
Finn: From physics studies to vocational training
After graduating from school, I decided on a physics study program at the University of Cologne. At this point, I knew I wanted to work in a job that relates to natural sciences. What I did not know at all was what this job could be.
The study program was very time-consuming because on the one hand, like I expected, I had to learn a lot of theory and at the same time, I had to hand in weekly homework in several courses. I had to achieve average points of 50% to be eligible for the course exam. The admission to the exams I always achieved, however, the exams went not always well for me. This was the point when my first doubts arose.
This decision was a long process. I had to admit to myself that I could not and that I did not want to continue with the study that program. I thought about all this just for myself. This was not because I had no one to speak to but because I had the feeling, I had to cope with it alone.
It was very difficult for me to communicate my decision to my family. After I told them about it, they supported my without any hesitation. In their opinion, I did not fail, in my opinion I failed– at least for some time.
Looking back, I am glad about my decision to stop studying instead of burdening myself even longer. However, I am equally glad I had started it and I do not see it as mistake.
Since the end of 2016, I am completing a vocational training program with Elektro Löb GmbH & Co. KG as an electronics technician in the automation technology department. My daily work constantly confronts me with new practical or practice-oriented problems to be solved. Thereby I learn something new, theoretically as well as in the field of handicraft. I enjoy this kind of practice-oriented learning and – for now – it is exactly what I need as a professional beginner.
My experiences confirm me that the “direction” was right from the start; just I did not choose the optimal approach.
Successful study dropout Finn (photo: private)