Working in Berlin after an MBA


As someone working in Berlin with an MBA (from a European school) I thought I would share a few thoughts:

1. On a macro level, Germany doesn't care about the MBA degree. On a CV, they don't know what it is and they don't care. About 2-3 grads from good schools with go to American companies in Europe, and a few to consulting. You want to be a top manager in Germany? Get a PhD, which is what all the top managers in Germany have.

2. Berlin really doesn't care about an MBA. There are no corporates there, only startups. Startups will pay 40k-60k, max. 60k is already pushing it. Even bigger companies like Zalando will pay an MBA less than 60k. Even with low costs of living, that still isn't a high enough salary to justify the time or money of any MBA.

3. You need German. Berlin is international, but the reality is most of the startups there still require German. There are English jobs, but if you don't speak German, you will be restricted to I guess about <10% of total job opportunities. Hamburg would be the next best place, then Munich.

4. Germans are generally risk-averse and therefore will not take chances on role changes. If you didn't do the job for years before the MBA, the MBA will not change anything. German companies really only care about previous experience. This is connected to the first point as well. So, it's not a place to change roles (which is some of the reason people do an MBA).

In general, if you want to work in Germany, just learn German and save some cash by skipping the MBA. There are lots of jobs for you there and the Blue Card program is super simple. The MBA will only slightly help this goal and cost money and time.
As someone working in Berlin with an MBA (from a European school) I thought I would share a few thoughts:

1. On a macro level, Germany doesn't care about the MBA degree. On a CV, they don't know what it is and they don't care. About 2-3 grads from good schools with go to American companies in Europe, and a few to consulting. You want to be a top manager in Germany? Get a PhD, which is what all the top managers in Germany have.

2. Berlin really doesn't care about an MBA. There are no corporates there, only startups. Startups will pay 40k-60k, max. 60k is already pushing it. Even bigger companies like Zalando will pay an MBA less than 60k. Even with low costs of living, that still isn't a high enough salary to justify the time or money of any MBA.

3. You need German. Berlin is international, but the reality is most of the startups there still require German. There are English jobs, but if you don't speak German, you will be restricted to I guess about <10% of total job opportunities. Hamburg would be the next best place, then Munich.

4. Germans are generally risk-averse and therefore will not take chances on role changes. If you didn't do the job for years before the MBA, the MBA will not change anything. German companies really only care about previous experience. This is connected to the first point as well. So, it's not a place to change roles (which is some of the reason people do an MBA).

In general, if you want to work in Germany, just learn German and save some cash by skipping the MBA. There are lots of jobs for you there and the Blue Card program is super simple. The MBA will only slightly help this goal and cost money and time.
quote
Duncan
That makes sense. The DSH plus MSc is a safer route into Germany.

Did you take your MBA in Germany or at an Anglo-Saxon school?
That makes sense. The DSH plus MSc is a safer route into Germany.

Did you take your MBA in Germany or at an Anglo-Saxon school?
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Rorschach
I am German and can agree with all of your thoughts. If you really want to work in Germany with an MBA you better go to Frankfurt. Other cities won´t make sense, especially not Berlin. Berlin is still to "East German" and they do not care about MBA degrees. Furthermore, in Berlin you won´t find many International Global Players - they are in Frankfurt or Munich.
I am German and can agree with all of your thoughts. If you really want to work in Germany with an MBA you better go to Frankfurt. Other cities won´t make sense, especially not Berlin. Berlin is still to "East German" and they do not care about MBA degrees. Furthermore, in Berlin you won´t find many International Global Players - they are in Frankfurt or Munich.

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mba hipste...
There are global players but in the technology industry - Google, Soundcloud, I believe Microsoft has a presence there now. But I'm not sure that they hire MBAs into their Berlin offices versus one of their other European offices (London). Berlin has a low cost of living going for it, though! Agreed about the language issue - there are very few reasons that a firm based in Germany would hire a non-German speaker into an MBA-level role with management responsibilities.

[Edited by mba hipster on Nov 12, 2018]

There are global players but in the technology industry - Google, Soundcloud, I believe Microsoft has a presence there now. But I'm not sure that they hire MBAs into their Berlin offices versus one of their other European offices (London). Berlin has a low cost of living going for it, though! Agreed about the language issue - there are very few reasons that a firm based in Germany would hire a non-German speaker into an MBA-level role with management responsibilities.
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Duncan
Berlin has a low cost of living for people who speak German and want to live in German speaking parts of the city. Expat tourists live in Mitte, rent from a small pool of landlords and pay double for everything.
Berlin has a low cost of living for people who speak German and want to live in German speaking parts of the city. Expat tourists live in Mitte, rent from a small pool of landlords and pay double for everything.
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