Can I work without a degree

Training without a school leaving certificate - these are your options

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What are my chances without a school leaving certificate?

Maybe you didn't feel like going to school, maybe personal problems tore you out of everyday school life and didn't exactly simplify your last school year. In the end you didn't graduate and you are now wondering whether an apprenticeship without a school leaving certificate is possible. The answer is yes! A school leaving certificate is generally not a prerequisite for an apprenticeship. Anyone can apply for an apprenticeship - with or without a school report.

As a school dropout or school leaver without a qualification, you have various options to choose from to go your own personal path and find the right apprenticeship:

  • Catch up on school leaving certificate
  • Collecting practical experience
  • Completing preparatory training measures
  • Find training

How can I catch up on my school leaving certificate?

In order to increase your chances on the job market and to get an apprenticeship position in a company, it is advisable to have a school leaving certificate in your pocket. The secondary school leaving certificate is the first school leaving certificate that you can catch up through various educational paths. Using the so-called second educational path, you repeat the theory from school and take exams, which, however, vary from state to state. You can then choose from many apprenticeships with a main qualification.

You can find detailed information on the subject of "catching up on school leaving qualifications" at: https://www.aubi-plus.de/schulschluss-nachmachen/

How can I score points with the training company even without a school leaving certificate?

Not having a school leaving certificate is not a big deal, but then you have to convince the training company of your skills and knowledge in other areas. Many companies give young people without a school leaving certificate a chance to assert themselves. Internships are particularly suitable for this, which give you professional insights into various professional fields and make it easier to decide on a career. During an internship you can find out for yourself what you enjoy and where you can best use your strengths. As a school leaver, it is important to expand your soft skills and differentiate yourself from your competitors in these areas.

During your internship, you will make contact with colleagues and HR managers so that you can build your own network and use it later in your application phase. Through personal contacts you increase your chances of getting an apprenticeship position in a company.

Some school leavers without a school leaving certificate are offered an apprenticeship position even after they have successfully completed their internship. If that is not the case, you will score points with your résumé. You gain practical experience through your internships and there are no major gaps in your résumé. In addition, you signal to the HR manager that you have not given up despite the circumstances and that you are pursuing a goal.

What preparatory training measures can I take?

If you do not want to catch up on your school leaving certificate, you can take the following preparatory measures to get an apprenticeship despite the missing school leaving certificate:

  • Unsolicited application: Perhaps you have already gained an insight into a company through an internship at school and have had good experiences there and were able to shine with your knowledge. Use the impressions you have made and send the company your speculative application with the reference that you already know the company. In the best case, the training company remembers your work and enables you to start training.
  • Entry qualification (EQ): The company entry qualification is a type of internship that can be completed over a period of 6 to 12 months. The aim of the EQ is to prepare you for an apprenticeship. The intern receives remuneration from the company, which can be subsidized by the employment agency. Ideally, you can count the time of the EQ against the training time.
  • Vocational training measure (BvB): If you no longer have to attend school, you can use this offer from the Employment Agency. During the BvB you will receive application training, lessons and you can use internships to get a taste of companies. As a rule, the vocational training course lasts 10 months. Under certain conditions, you can even catch up on your secondary school leaving certificate during the BvB or, in the best case, complete an apprenticeship afterwards.
  • Vocational preparation year (BVJ): If you are still of compulsory schooling and have neither graduated nor found an apprenticeship, you can do a BVJ at a vocational school. Through internships and practical phases, you will get to know different professional fields and get basic professional knowledge. In this way you can orientate yourself professionally and prepare for your apprenticeship. The BVJ varies from state to state, so you should inform yourself thoroughly beforehand.
  • Basic vocational training year (BGJ): Compulsory schooling ended without a qualification? During a year of basic vocational training at a vocational school, you will acquire basic knowledge of a selection of specific occupational fields. You should therefore be clear about which occupation could be suitable for you for dual training. In some federal states, even a certain grade point average is enough and you have made up your secondary school leaving certificate.

Which sectors / professions are promising for school dropouts or school leavers without a school leaving certificate?

You will find the best opportunities for an apprenticeship without a degree in the commercial sector. The demand for new trainees in the trade is high, the requirement profile is usually lower. This means that an apprenticeship that requires a secondary school diploma is more realistic for you than an apprenticeship that requires a middle school diploma or the Abitur. Furthermore, the following sectors in particular offer good prospects of a training position for young people without a school leaving certificate:

You also have higher chances of an apprenticeship position in apprenticeships that only last two years.

Not having a degree does not mean that you have no chance on the training market. However, there is no special training occupation that does not require a school leaving certificate. Therefore, take advantage of the opportunities that remain and try to enable you to get into your apprenticeship. We wish you a lot of success!

Find an apprenticeship position in your region now!

Training as a technical product designer (m / f / d)

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Technical product designers develop products such as household appliances and other everyday objects such as furniture, vehicles and electronic devices, but also production machines and medical technology devices and apparatus. To do this, they create 3D data models, optimize them and plan production.

Dual studies in civil engineering (B.Sc.) - focus on track construction 2021 (m / f / d)

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Dual study business administration bank private and corporate customers (m / f / d)

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Training as a furnishing consultant (f / m / d) with integrated kitchen specialization in 2021

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Retail salespeople sell a wide variety of consumer goods in direct contact with customers, from food and beverages to household goods and clothing to consumer electronics and home accessories.

Training as a druggist (f / m / d) 2021

dm-drogerie markt GmbH + Co. KG in Wolfratshausen

Druggists sell goods in the fields of cosmetics and care, health, nutrition, plant and environmental protection and photography. They ensure smooth processes in the store, advise customers and manage the inventory.

Training as a druggist (f / m / d) 2021

dm-drogerie markt GmbH + Co. KG in Leipzig

Druggists sell goods in the fields of cosmetics and care, health, nutrition, plant and environmental protection and photography. They ensure smooth processes in the store, advise customers and manage the inventory.

Apprenticeship in office management (m / f / d) 2021

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Office management clerks work in commercial enterprises in the areas of industry and trade, in the public service and, in some cases, also in the skilled trades. Your activities in the apprenticeship are diverse: In addition to office communication and organizational tasks, you also have accounting, bookkeeping, personnel administration and customer care.


Commercial vehicle technology (m / f / d)

GP Günter Papenburg AG in Ilsede

Automotive mechatronics technicians maintain, inspect and repair passenger cars, commercial vehicles and motorcycles and upgrade them.

Training as a merchant for wholesale and foreign trade management (f / m / d)

Sto SE & Co. KGaA in Cologne

Salespeople for wholesale and foreign trade management work in all sectors of the economy for companies in trade or industry. Their fields of application are the purchase of goods at home and abroad and their resale to trade, craft, industry and service sectors as well as the provision of goods-related services.

Office management clerk

Studierendenwerk Bielefeld -AöR-

Office management clerks work in commercial enterprises in the areas of industry and trade, in the public service and, in some cases, also in the skilled trades. Your tasks in the apprenticeship are varied: In addition to office communication and organizational tasks, you also have accounting, bookkeeping, personnel management and customer care.


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