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A friend (who is also German) will soon finish his Master's degree in psychology. He has been looking at job offers but will likely start writing applications only after he has finished his thesis. There will be a little while where he is still enrolled in his university (in the Netherlands).

After that he could in principle enroll as a student at our local university in a different subject to retain the status as a student. This would have significance for health insurance and also give him a bus ticket.

I would think that there is no need to avoid the unemployment status because he will have finished the degree close to the applications. Would a potential employer differentiate between somebody who is officially unemployed or officially enrolled in a random course of study they do not indent in perusing anyway?

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    Can you clarify: do you worry about status with the government or employer seeing "Uni A: 2017-2018, Nothing 2019-today". "unemployment status" sounds like a legal term – aaaaaa Apr 25 at 16:39
  • @aaaaaa: I believe that it is about the appearance towards the employer, and therefore it seems to be more sensible to not state that one is a student. Enrolling for ancillary benefits without stating this on the application then seems independent of this. – Martin Ueding Apr 26 at 7:50
  • In Germany can you call yourself "self-employed"? In my government job in USA the HR simply put self-employed into the computer to fill in the gaps. – Mikey Apr 27 at 11:42
  • @Mikey: Yes, one can do this. This would also allow to stay in the private health insurance plan. – Martin Ueding Apr 29 at 10:16
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Would a potential employer differentiate between somebody who is officially unemployed or officially enrolled in a random course of study they do not indent in perusing anyway?

I'm answering this from a UK perspective so things might be different in Germany but I would say what your friend is proposing would look worse than being unemployed.

It's actually fairly normal for graduates to have a short period of unemployment after graduation, engaging in a random course that they have no intent on completing comes off as pretty sketchy to me. They are taking a university place and ancillary resources/benefits such as the bus pass that could have gone to someone actually intending to participate/complete the course.

  • German here, this is the right answer. Neither myself nor anyone I know have enrolled for / listed another course they were enrolled in on their CV to avoid being unemployed. This is totally fine a recent graduate. Also keep in mind that being a Scheinstudent is nothing I would boast about in my CV. – idkfa Apr 26 at 4:57
  • This was my feeling as well. Thanks! — As a side note: There are no resources taking away directly. The courses that are free to enroll in (physics, philosophy, religion) are used to people enrolling for the bus pass. Therefore we in physics just look at the number of students in the lectures but not the ones enrolled. – Martin Ueding Apr 26 at 7:48
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Whether your friend is or is not enrolled in a class has no bearing on the fact that he is unemployed. If your friend does start applying to companies he could choose to list that he is currently a student but that could bring up some questions during any interviews such as:

  • are these courses relevant to his degree/career? If not, why is he taking them?
  • will attendance at these classes affect the times he can come into the office?
  • when will he complete his schooling?

Your friend needs to be prepared to answer questions such as these if he intends to list his classes on his resume.

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