• Stephanie Tishler
  • January 31, 2024
  • 7 min

Navigating the job market in Germany can be challenging, especially, if like so many of our students, you’re looking to start a tech career in a field that is new to you. 

That’s where Bildungsgutschein comes in. The Bildungsgutschein is a voucher for free education or vocational training to German residents who are unemployed (or soon to be). It pays for German residents to complete educational training and learn new skills that will help them get back into the workforce, so that they can have the best chance at landing the job they want.

Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about Bildungsgutschein: what it is, if you’re eligible to apply, exactly how to apply, and how to choose an excellent training program that’s right for you.

First things first, what is Bildungsgutschein?

Bildungsgutschein is a voucher offering financial support for education or vocational training. In other words, if you secure a Bildungsgutschein, you can then complete an educational course to learn a new skill or develop what you already know, in order to open doors to new career opportunities. In addition to course fees, additional expenses like travel are often covered as well.

What costs does the Bildungsgutschein cover?

The Bildungsgutschein voucher covers the full cost of the training or education program you choose, and in relevant cases may even cover expenses like learning materials, travel, and accommodation, and even childcare costs. A Bildungsgutschein can even cover months of training and support a complete career change.

I’m a German citizen. Am I eligible for Bildungsgutschein?

Bildungsgutschein is offered to German citizens who are unemployed or at risk of unemployment. First, you’ll need to register with your local Agentur für Arbeit or Job Center. 

I’m not a German citizen. Can I apply for Bildungsgutschein?

If you are a non-German citizen living in Germany and you have a valid work visa, you may be eligible to apply for a Bildungsgutschein, too! Please register at your local Agentur für Arbeit or Job Center first and check your eligibility with your agent at the Arbeitsagentur Jobcenter.

How do I apply for a Bildungsgutschein?

Here’s how to apply for Bildungsgutschein, in 5 simple steps:

1. Register with your local Agentur für Arbeit or Job Center. We’ve created a step-by-step video, to guide you through the registration process here.

2. Apply for a training program that will help you master the tech skills you need for the tech career of your dreams, whether it’s a program in Cybersecurity, Data Analytics or Software Engineering or a Tech Orientation course that will help you figure out exactly what you want to focus on.

3. Join a qualification call with our consultants. They will answer any questions you may have and guide you through the next steps. After the call, you will understand what you need to apply for the Bildungsgutschein. We’ll also prepare you for the next step and set you up for success for the meeting with your agent.

4. Make an appointment to meet your agent at your local Agentur für Arbeit or Job Center. Watch this short video that explains exactly how to make that appointment. 

During the meeting, your agent will assess your current situation and past experience, your training wants and needs, plus the demand of the current job market. If you are eligible for Bildungsgutschein, the approval process usually takes between 2-6 weeks. 

5.  Once you have met your agent and secured a Bildungsgutschein, enroll in a training program, like one of Masterschool’s Cybersecurity, Data Analytics, or Software Engineering programs. At Masterschool, we are focused on not only helping you learn the skills you need, but making sure you land your first job in your new field.

Once I’m granted my Bildungsgutschein, how do I know what training program is right for me?

 Only programs certified under the Accreditation and Approval Regulation for Employment Promotion (AZAV) qualify for funding, so make sure you are only looking at programs that qualify. 

Masterschool offers a suite of accredited courses, such as Data Analytics, Cybersecurity, and Software Engineering, all with German accreditation and eligibility to fund with your Bildungsgutschein voucher. Learn more about all of Masterschool’s programs here.

Want some more information before you make a decision? Join a free, 30-minute info session to learn more about what it’s like to work in tech, and how Masterschool can guide your journey into the industry. 

Alongside program details, like what a typical week at Masterschool looks like, we’ll go over the Bildungsgutschein and how you can leverage this voucher to learn at Masterschool for free. At the end of the session, you can ask questions and get answers in real time. Join the next info session here.

I’ve applied for a Bildungsgutschein, but I’m still not sure what to study or what kind of job I want.

The good news is: you’re not alone! Many students who know they want a career in tech are still not sure where to start and aren’t sure if they have what it takes. In fact, 43% of workers who consider working in the science, technology, engineering fields think they lack industry-related qualifications (Source: NTT Data UK).

That is exactly why we designed our month-long, full-time Tech Orientation course: Masterschool’s Compass course, was created specifically for those who are uncertain about their career path in the tech field. This course will provide a solid foundation for the rest of your training and help you get to know and identify the tech career that fits your skills and your interests best.

Do I have to repay my Bildungsgutschein?

No, you don’t. The Bildungsgutschein is not a loan, it is a grant: a voucher for education that’s paid for. Students can focus solely on learning and training without having to worry about repayment.

How long is a Bildungsgutschein valid? Does it expire? 

You must begin your training program shortly after you are granted a Bildungsgutschein. The agency that issues your Bildungsgutschein will determine the timing within which you need to begin. Your agent can answer this question during your meeting.

How will the Bildungsgutschein impact my future? 

The Bildungsgutschein is an unemployment benefit that kickstarts the careers of many German residents. With Bildungsgutschein,you can focus on learning new skills or developing your current skill set, without the financial burden of paying for tuition or worrying about a loan. Once you have secured a Bildungsgutschein, you’ll choose a training program that will help you achieve your goals efficiently. Masterschool’s training programs focus on real-world training: teaching the skills employers in German are looking for in today’s candidates. Together, they forge an effective path to a new professional future, one that you will be proud of.
Unlike other training programs, we support you until you land your first job, helping you with whatever you need. To get started and embark on your exciting journey into the world of tech, visit Masterschool.

So, what’s the next step?

If you haven’t registered yet for Bildungsgutschein, register now here. If you’re not sure exactly what to do, watch this short video here first.

If you’ve already registered, and you have not yet set an appointment with your agent, that’s your next step. You can do that here. If you’re not sure how, watch this video that walks you through the process of setting an appointment.

If you’ve already set an appointment with your agent, but you still have questions about what program is right for you,  join a complimentary info session to learn more about your program options. In 30 minutes, we’ll go over all you need to know about the tech industry today, what it’s like to learn at Masterschool and how Masterschool helps you land your first job in tech. In addition to what a week at Masterschool looks like, we’ll discuss the Bildungsgutschein and how you can leverage this voucher to learn at Masterschool for free. At the end of the session, there will be a Q&A where you can ask questions. 

Secure your spot in the next info session now.

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