In 2017, approximately 52,000 students traveled overseas to Europe for educational purposes and the figure is on the rise. But the ratio of students who get a job in Europe after their education is small. The primary reason being, lack of skills as expected by the industry. Though there is a huge market for graduates out there, students fail to meet the expectations of the industry. This leads to a gap between the graduates and the job market. Here are some pointers to bear in mind that can help you bridge the distance:

Know the local language

This is the most important thing for you to keep in your mind. If you are looking for a job in a country where English is not the first language, then learn the local language. In countries like France and Germany, you will NOT get a job unless you know their language. In most countries, you will be required to prove your proficiency in the native language before you can apply for a visa. Here are some language requirements set in UK, France and Germany for reference:

Country Name of tests Minimum score required
France DELF, DALF Depends on the nature of job. A high skilled job will require at least B2 (intermediate proficiency) whereas some jobs will require just C1 (basic proficiency)
Germany DSH, TestDaF If you pass intermediate levels (TDN 4 in TestDaF or DSH 2 in DSH test), you will face no limitations anywhere.
UK IELTS or any test that can be converted into CEFR levels. A CEFR level of B1 (intermediate proficiency) is required to work in UK.

Develop your skills

Europe is a market where skills matter more than your formal education. A Master’s degree can open doors, but to keep a foot inside, you will need to equip yourself with specialized skills. At Skill-Lync, we have tutored hundreds of students who study abroad in Europe because at some point during their graduation, they realized how much skills they were lacking. And what they needed to make up for that was not a certificate but rather, knowledge. By working on some of the cutting-edge projects at Skill-Lync, they were able to update their qualification to something more than just a traditional degree.

Some of the skills that employers expect from mechanical engineers include:

Coding

A lot of engineers can code, but to be able to code in a way that would be applicable to mechanical engineering is something employers are looking for.

At Skill-Lync, we have designed courses to specifically for mechanical engineers:

Knowledge in Computational Engineering

Engineers who can mesh and simulate mechanical systems in computers are in demand as industries are moving towards a future where prototyping is turning virtual. Some of the courses you can undertake for developing this skill are:

Designing

Learning how to sketch and design your ideas into 3D models is a vital skill to possess. You can enroll in one of these courses to develop such skills:

Plan according to the search period available

Some countries allow the students to stay back for 6 months after their education is complete to look for a job. Some countries allow students to stay back for a year. Depending on your stay back period, start planning your job hunt and start as early as possible. The earliest start will be around the second month after you start your master’s program. You can start by sorting out companies, attending job fairs, hackathons etc.

The visa requirements vary in different countries. But the general procedure is that you can apply for stay back after your graduation for a specified amount of time and look for jobs. If you manage to find a decent-paying job within that period, you can apply for a work visa. Here is some visa information about France, Germany and UK (for reference only, please visit the embassy website for updated information).

Country Visa offered Information about the Visa Stay period tenure
France Visa de séjour etudes (Long stay study visa) This is offered only to graduates. After the study period of over, students can apply for extension to look for jobs 24 months
(Visa de long séjour valant titre de séjour) Long stay work visa This is applicable only if you secure a job where you will work for more than 90 days. Your employer must draw up a contract to confirm your long term employment. Alternatively, you can also apply for an EU blue card. 3 months to 1 year.
EU blue card 2 – 4 years, depending on your work contract.
Germany Extended residence permit In many countries, the residence permit comes combined with student visa, but not in Germany. Once you education is complete, you must apply for an extension so that you can stay back and look for a job related to your study. 18 months
Job seeker visa This is for individuals who returned to their country immediately once the graduation was complete. They can go back for another 6 months if they wish to look for a job. 6 months
German residence permit Once you secure a decent paying job that is relevant to your area of study, you can apply for a residence permit or EU blue card, as per as your convenience. Determined by your employment contract.
EU blue card 2 – 4 years, liable on your work contract.
UK Tier 2 To apply for this visa, you must secure a job that would pay at least £20,800. Maximum – 5 years and 14 days
Tier 1 Graduates who have a Tier 2 visa and a good business or investment plan can apply for this visa. You must be backed up by a sponsorship to be eligible. Maximum – 3 years and 4 months

Don’t be afraid to connect and build a network

A lot of times, students get discouraged when they apply to hundreds of companies and find no progress. Truth is, job-hunting is more of NETWORKING than applying blindly. Most of the time, the best opportunities aren’t posted but rather shared orally. Be bold and approach people. LinkedIn a wonderful platform for such purposes.

Take effort to prepare yourself for the interviews

When it comes to applying for jobs, people prepare a resume, fill their head for a few pointers for acing interviews and then procrastinate. They do not realize that you can autopilot yourself through all interviews in the same way. Every interview must be treated with special attention. One of the most important point to remember is – you cannot use the same resume for all interviews. Take some time off to edit the objective and content of the resume to suit the company and position you apply to. Prepare yourself for every interview by jotting down answers for possible questions.

The job market is problematical for the unprepared. Although there is no shortage of jobs, the bar for eligibility keeps getting higher every day and holding just a degree can no longer guarantee you a way in. What employers truly seek, is knowledge. So work on your skills in your spare time and prepare yourself well.

All the best!


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