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“The president will be here shortly!” The taxi driver told us looking into the distance.
The president? We all wondered though none of us said anything. It was one of those moments, when you can clearly read everyone’s mind.
We had booked a camel trip to the desert that was supposed to start at 2 pm. But at 2 pm, no one came. At 2.30 pm, this guy arrived.
“I take you to the camels!” he had told us. We had jumped into his taxi relieved that he knew our names and the fact that we were waiting to be taken to the camels. But the taxi had come to a screeching halt, at this deserted train station, with no camels in sight.
“Please comfortable comfortable.” He had told us pointing to the bench. His English was halting, laden with French and perhaps Arabic. His smile was open in a don’t-trust-me kind of way.
We made our way to the bench. It was shiny and new and looked completely out of place. The four of us plopped onto it.
The fact is, Germany is the fourth largest economy in the world. What is also true is that it is an extremely challenging destination for non- German speaking foreigners. The main reason for this is, with the exception of the IT sector, it can be very difficult to get a well-paying job in most sectors in Germany if you are not fluent in German. The working language in the IT sector in Germany is predominantly English. All the software engineers I personally know are fluent in English. The second reason is, that unlike most sectors with rigid guidelines on qualifications and certifications, there is a lot of flexibility in this sector.
I recently talked with a German friend who regularly hires software engineers for his company about the language issue, foreign qualifications and what foreigners who are interested in working in the IT SECTOR in Germany could do to improve their chances of getting jobs.
Here is what I learnt: