German skilled workers stranded in America: Europe wants its well-educated children back

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Highly qualified doctors and natural scientists living in the USA would like to come back - but they do not find a job in Germany. How can that be? Career Europa01

Here writes for you:


Antje Rabenalt Best of HR –®Antje Rabenalt is Interim Human Resources Manager.


Highly qualified specialists - desperately wanted?

The issue of skilled labor defiance and also the doubts as to whether in Germany is really as great as is often claimed, was Best of HR –® already discussed more often - and also in a panel discussion Professor Dr. Gerd Bosbach and Dr. Two years ago, Karl Brenke from the DIW, we came to the conclusion that this is not so easy.

Now I have met young people in the USA who live there and have to work - returning to Germany is extremely difficult for them. And that, even though they actually bring exactly the qualifications that are desperately needed in Germany.

When Anna tells me her story on this first morning, I still think it is a single case. She is an immunobiologist, center 30, and will complete her PhD phase in early summer with her own research in a stem cell project at the MIT in Cambridge Mass. She is looking for a job, thinking about family foundations and about being at home somewhere.

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European Career Fair - Europe brings back its well-educated children?

Anna does not know what to do next. Working in research is exciting. She could imagine a university career and combine both. She has also looked around the economy.

We are at the MIT Athletic Center at the European Career Fair in Boston. Already at the 17. The students of the MIT Cambridge organized a career fair in the hall where runners jumped over hurdles the night before. The concept is as simple as ingenious. Europe is bringing back its well-educated children.

1st place in the “Land of Ideas” competition

Student, graduate and career starter meet potential employers from Europe. Company, Cities and regions advertise with slogans such as “return to bavaria”. For Germany, this concept was worth a place in the “Land of Ideas” competition. Several “recruiters” stand at simple stands and hold so-called speed job interviews every minute with the queuing candidates.

The candidates are Paul, Kathrin and Sophie and come in suits and costumes with their hair pinned up, under their arms their “resumee”, which they pull out of a folder with the golden embossings from Harvard, MIT or Yale. On this first day of the fair, they still hope to get an appointment for one of the interview slots over the next few days. Europe is bringing back its well-educated children.

With a longing

It is probably the TV tower and the be Berlin logo, which emblazon on the oversized billboard on the stand of Berlin partners who act as a signal for the passers-by. Because they stop. Often with a yearning look.

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We provide brochures with information about the Berlin labor market and talk about tripartite groups about Berlin and its employers. The postcards are particularly popular. A lounger on the beach in front of a graffiti-sprayed wall, a pool in the river Spree with a TV tower in the background, which comes on, is cool.

4000 candidates on job search

Day 2 at the European Career Fair in Boston. We are in the congress hotel. In the cabins, which are separated from the ground, and are close to each other, are more like dressing rooms at large sports events, the following two days will be held during the 20 minute cycle in the ballroom.

The “schedule” for this event was planned weeks in advance. Candidates posted their profiles on an online job board and companies posted their jobs. Happy who got an appointment. Fortunately also the companies that had a large selection of candidates; because a good 4.000 have registered.

Generation “global learner” - at home, where is that?

Anna is also there. She has spoken with a Dutch research company from the pharma sector. Sounds interesting, but actually she wants to go to Germany. Preferably to Berlin.

She studied there and went to MIT after one semester in Heidelberg and London for her doctoral thesis. After four years in America, she wants you back. Well educated, multilingual and cosmopolitan: The generation of “global learners” is grown up and wants to go home. But where is that?

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How to apply in Europe

While some wait for their interview, others are sitting in parallel workshops. They are organized by the GAIN (German Academic International Network) or the GSO (German Scholars Organization).

How to apply in Europe? What is new from the old continent? Berlin Partner also gives an overview of the labor market in Berlin. Others provide information about possible running courses and the German higher education system.

Why is the job search in Germany so hard?

Why is it so hard to find a job in Germany? In the evening, I am at the Goethe Institute at Bacon Street, Boston, which is located in one of the very English houses overlooking the Charleston River. It is one of the flanking events these days. The German consul in Boston Rolf Schütte welcomes us. A politician from the Bundestag has also flown in.

The good 80 guests hear the motivational speeches, in which words such as “demographic change” or “lack of skilled workers” appear.

What are the next steps?

I do not suspect that I will miss the lovingly prepared buffet. Also, not that this evening I give my last business card from a formerly full box.

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Because the professionals who can not return home will not let me go. We'll see how it goes on next week!

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  1. Stefan Wehmeier

    "One must always repeat the truth because the error around us is always preached, not by individual, but by mass, in newspapers and encyclopedias, in schools and universities. Everywhere there is error, and he is comfortable and comfortable in the feeling of the majority which is on his side. "

    Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

    In any talk of "professional deficit", there is always no indication that there is not such a thing, but only a lack of particularly low-skilled workers who are skilled in the salary of an unskilled worker so that the company can continue to afford it Interest money economy always priority capital income of the interest-winners.

    So that no one knows what market justice is, ...

    ... the heresy of the "three production factors" is spread in dulling institutions (so-called "universities"):

    • Simone Janson

      Hello Mr. Wehmeier,
      Thanks for the hint.
      We have discussed this extensively here in the blog - right through to the establishment of our own initiative and arithmetic requests from ARD:

      Lately, however, the topic has fallen asleep - I would be happy if it could be revived.

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