Why should I learn German?

The importance of the German language

The German business magazine Wirtschaftswoche found that German is the tenth most widely spoken language in the world, with 105 million mother-tongue speakers and a total of  185 million speakers worldwide. What’s more, German is becoming increasingly popular:

The German current affairs weekly Der Spiegel says that there has been a rise of eight percent in German language learning, attributing the boom to the global economic crisis. Anyone wanting to study in Germany needs an adequate knowledge of German. International applicants must complete a language test before enrolling.

Opportunities to work in Germany while studying:

The German Parliament has implemented the EU Blue Card and a new unlimited work and residence permit to grant foreign graduates of German universities unrestricted access to the job market.

There are many possibilities to earn money during your studies. You can find job ads on the “Schwarzes Brett” (notice board) on campus or on your university’s website. Knowing German can significantly increase your chances of finding a part-time job.

An ideal way to supplement your studies is to take a job at an institute, library or other facility at your university. Waiting on tables in cafés and pubs is a typical student job. Other students accompany visitors at trade fairs, work as delivery drivers or cycle couriers, or take on odd jobs cleaning, babysitting, working in copy shops, etc. Your chances at finding a job will increase significantly if you know how to speak German. Basic German is a pre requisite to work even part time in any field in Germany.


A degree in German Studies opens up many different career opportunities

Also, after completing one’s degree programme from a German university, one is allowed to stay in Germany for 18 months to look for a job in keeping with one’s qualification

If you speak German you will generally find life in Germany easier. While many people speak English, knowledge of German helps you feel comfortable in Germany and settle in more quickly

If you think a degree in German Studies only equips you to be a German teacher, think again! German Studies offers huge potential for jobs in fields as varied as the arts and journalism. German Studies graduates are generalists and have lots of transferable skills.

German Studies graduates work as editors in publishing houses, librarians or documentalists, find jobs as cultural managers or journalists, run press offices, or write novels and textbooks. And of course they teach German too, in German schools, for the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), or at a Goethe-Institut, the German Government’s cultural and language learning arm.

Some German studies graduates combine teaching German as a foreign language with translation or interpreting

It’s becoming more common for employers to look for language skills on prospective employees’ resumes. Having a language like German on your resume gives you an edge over other job candidates. Many companies pay higher salaries to bilingual employees, or offer bonuses based on language skills and proficiency. The more benefit you can bring to a company, the more attractive you are in the job market.

Learning German can not only help you get a job with an American company that has offices in Germany or other German-speaking countries, but it can help you pursue a position with a German company that has offices in the United States. Germany is a large producer of automobiles and electronics, and some of the best-known German companies for both have locations around the world, including in the U.S. Not only that, but Germany is home to the European version of NASA, so if you have an interest in space or aeronautics–and you speak German–you may be able to secure a position at one of the most prestigious organizations in the world

German is the language of Goethe, Marx, Nietzsche, and Kafka, of Mann, Brecht, and Grass. Mozart, Bach, Beethoven, and Schubert, Brahms, Schumann, Wagner, Mahler, and Schoenberg spoke and wrote German, as did Freud, Weber, Einstein, and Heisenberg, Kant, Hegel, and Heidegger.

Many of the Western world’s most important works of philosophy, literature, music, art history, theology, psychology, chemistry, physics, engineering and medicine are written in German and continue to be produced in German.


Make the most of your travels not only in German-speaking countries, but in many other European countries where German is widely spoken, especially in Eastern Europe.