This might be a serious off-topic question, but I could find no more suitable site on SE for posting up this question (I had expected atleast a site on automobiles!). I'm an engineering aspirant currently at +2 level, I'm quite passionate about the automobile industry and the vast array of innovations undergoing for decades in this sector. So what are the necessary educational qualifications and/or work experience required to be able to join the German automobile giants in engineering/R&D?

In other words how should one plan his career path to be an eligible candidate? Which streams must I choose for my graduation and specializations for further studies (will doing it from Germany be of more help)? Are there internships possible during graduate degree course?

Well, that must be a lot of questions already, but I feel they're quite focussed, and I'd be genuinely glad if someone could help me plan my career and achieve my dreams!

  • Hello there. Your suspicions about this being off-topic are correct: the requirements you seek are specific to each job offering, and also to each company. Only those companies know what requirements they seek or ask for (you can find those in the details of the job posting they put up). Your university counselor or career director should also be able to give you some pointers on what courses/path you could consider to focus your career to that industry.
    – DarkCygnus
    Oct 14, 2020 at 16:12
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    Honest opinion: why would you want to work for dying companies in a dying industry? I am betting that at least one of the German car companies will be bankrupt in 10 years. Don't start working blockbuster when netflix is just taking off. If you are currently planning on what to study, you should look ahead to the next big thing, or at least the current thing (electric cars) not the last big thing.
    – Felix B.
    Oct 14, 2020 at 21:57
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    What is "+2 level" ?
    – Fattie
    Oct 15, 2020 at 11:10
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    @Felix B. I will ignore the fact that this comment is totally irrelevant to the question itself, but nevertheless I think there is no basis for this "bet" of yours (nor there is any basis to say it is false). It is just speculation, based on some obscure criteria that wasn't provided in your comment in any way. You could easily prove me wrong by adding some concrete evidence that these companies will fail. But this would probably start an unecessary conversation in the comments that wouldn't at all be helpful to OP. Oct 16, 2020 at 10:40
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    @SirArthur7 "Duales Studium" means that you will spend half the time studying, half the time as an intern for a company. The company pays you during your time studying and during your internship (I think I heard something like 1000/month - but it depends on the company not sure if that is good or bad). You also have to apply to the company for that (how good is your German now?) and the theoretical education is not quite as good as at university (you can only do that up to bachelors level I think) but you can do a masters at uni afterwards I think.
    – Felix B.
    Oct 16, 2020 at 16:22

3 Answers 3


You likels have nearly zero chance unless you make a career in this field somewhere else first.

Part of the problem is that those departments are SMALL and a lot of people want to work there and all major german cities have local universities. Even if you are good - you compete with people that can plan their career AND make connections while in university by taking summer jobs and internships there, or go there and try to meet people in person. It is not only "being in germany" - you must be LOCAL. I.e. Stuttgart for Porsche (located in a suburb), Munich or surrounding area for BMW.

  • You're right, there are probably some 200 job openings at engineering/R&D at BMW worldwide, similar stats for others as well. They have their own reservations (practically every university and company does). But how much is the scope at Detroit? Can I expect the Germans (or anyone for that matter), not to get any undue edge over me there? I could consider doing an MS in a required field, any sort of specialization in Germany. I also heard that many of them sponsor international students for apprenticeship during their graduate course. Do you know anyone in this sector who could help me out? Oct 14, 2020 at 18:45
  • The VW plant in Leipzig seems to be one of the few plants where there isn't enough local workforce available. Some of my engineering friends got offers to work there, but declined. West German people have no incentive to move to East Germany. Not sure how much R&D they have there, specializations of these friends were welding and QA. Also, there's "Tesla Grohmann", not sure how many people are willing to relocate there, into the middle of nowhere. I believe once you have proven yourself in such a secondary location, you can more easily apply internally to jobs in R&D facilities.
    – Alexander
    Oct 15, 2020 at 14:26
  • Nice try. Here is the problem: The VW Plant in Leipzig is likely where exactly ZERO R&D happens. it is a factory that is hammering out new cars, not a place where cars are developed. Same with Tesla.
    – TomTom
    Oct 15, 2020 at 15:22
  • @Alexander I think the States will be better for joining Tesla, but as I've heard they're quite restricted to people of the US, maybe about 1/4th of the company today is international, and the numbers fall miserably when it comes to engineering or R&D. Oct 16, 2020 at 12:56

"Research and development" is not some field where you need exactly one diploma or one career path. There are many jobs and many ways to get them.

For example BMW has their openings here. Right now there are 79 real jobs (not apprenticeships, internships or ohter programs) and the first 5 I clicked required university degrees, but where very forgiving on which exactly.

Volkswagen for example has a similar search here that currently lists 66 "real" jobs.

I'm sure the other automobile companies have similar sites. Just google for "$companyname research and development" and you should find their websites with job postings.

So look at the jobs, pick a few you like and then see what they want.

Generally speaking, being in Germany, speaking German and having a German university degree is not strictly required, but each of those things makes hiring you a little bit easier and they might go with candidates who bring more of those qualities, even if they are a little less qualified for the actual job than you. It's not a deal breaker, but it counts.

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    Expanding on the answer: If you look up companies, don't stop with OEMs like BMW and VW. Most research nowadays is outsourced and done by suppier companies. Continental mostly for BMW and Audi, Bosch for Mercedes and so on. And those suppiers also have suppliers doing research work for them. I'm an electrical engineer from bavaria, worked for a very small contract developing firm in the past. Did also automotive research. Mostly several layers of suppliers between me and the OEM.
    – jwsc
    Dec 6, 2021 at 7:07

Ask the German engineering professional body.

Odds are that there's some professional body that regulates the engineering sector in Germany, such as the IEEE in for electrical engineers in America or Engineers Australia in Australia. Once you figure out who they are, you should be able to go onto their website, and find out what the requirements for being certified as an engineer with them are - and if you can't find it on their website, you could just contact them and ask.

Note that they might not be able to help you with finding a job with these specific companies, they would be able to help you with becoming qualified to apply for Engineering jobs in general, since their role would be certifying you as a qualified engineer, which would almost definitely be required to work as an engineer for one of these companies.

  • Nope. That assumes you nee to be an engineer (which is not true - I am sure they have other jobs around, i.e. welding for prototypes) and it also assumes that those bodies help with a career in a SUPER narrow field.
    – TomTom
    Oct 15, 2020 at 9:11
  • @TomTom He's not asking about welding or manufacturing, he's asking about Engineering, and in order to work in Engineering, you need to be an Engineer, which is what these bodies regulate. They might not be able to help him with getting into those companies specifically, but they can help him with the path of becoming qualified to even begin applying for Engineering jobs in Germany in general.
    – nick012000
    Oct 16, 2020 at 3:20
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    Yes, but then he is not asking about Engineering but asking about VERY VERY localized and rare jobs in Engineering. Jobs that are rare EVEN WITHIN THOSE COMPANIES. So b"applying for engineering jobs in general in germany" is as helpful as telling him to become a Vegan.
    – TomTom
    Oct 16, 2020 at 7:16

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