Jobs in Germany roundup: The lowdown on coding bootcamps and new quarantine rules

Jobs in Germany roundup: The lowdown on coding bootcamps and new quarantine rules
Would you consider a coding bootcamp in Germany. Photo: picture alliance/dpa/dpa-tmn | Christin Klose
Every week we compile news and talking points on working life. Here we look at German bootcamps for budding coders, and quarantine pay rule changes.

What you should know about coding in Germany

Coding schools or boot camps have become a popular option for people looking to change or launch an IT career. In just a few months, people can turn themselves into software developers or data scientists through intense training – and often earn a very nice pay packet. 

As Germany has a shortage of skilled workers in the IT industry, this can be a good career move if you’re looking for a job.

According to the industry association Bitkom, more than 80,000 IT positions for skilled workers are unfilled in Germany. 

READ ALSO: How much do employees really earn across Germany’s states?

While boot camps for programmers have been the trend in the US for years, there are only about a dozen providers based in Germany so far, reports Spiegel.

The courses are often structured along American lines – and are intensive: during the day, you sit in the (virtual) classroom of the coding school, and in the evenings and on weekends you will probably have to complete further “coding challenges” alone or in a team.

As an incentive, some providers promise their participants a job guarantee after training. Others provide the contacts to get into companies and coach graduates in their job search.

Since many of the courses are aimed at career changers, previous IT knowledge is often not a prerequisite. In selection tests and interviews, the main focus is on assessing the motivation, stamina, general technical understanding and learning abilities of the applicants.

“Every participant has to go through several preliminary interviews with us,” says Steffen Zoller, founder and CEO of the Digital Career Institute (DCI).

Originally founded as an initiative to integrate refugees into digital professions, the courses are now open to anyone interested. And most people stick with the tough classes. Zoller attributes the low dropout rate primarily to the selection process: “We reject a relevant proportion of applicants,” he said. Learning programming is often compared to learning a foreign language: If you want to be good at it quickly, you have to be willing to learn a lot.

Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Fabian Strauch

Daniel Breitinger from the industry association Bitkom says there’s another advantage: “The bootcamps are ideal if you first want to test whether you are at all comfortable working with data, for example.”

It’s not cheap, though, because the courses cost up to €10,000. It pays to compare, not only the duration and content of courses, but also the payment terms. With some providers, for example, the money is only due after a successful start in a job.

If you are starting out while receiving unemployment benefits, many of the qualifications can be financed through an education voucher from the Job Centre so check with your advisor. In some cases, an employer can cover the cost of the training, too.

According to Zoller, the big advantage of coding bootcamps over other educational courses is the fact that they are very specifically geared to the needs of the IT job market.

“We get a whole slew of graduates right away who can do exactly what we need,” he said.

Quarantine pay rule changes

People in Germany who have not been vaccinated against Covid-19 will no longer receive compensation for lost pay if they are ordered into quarantine from November, it emerged on Wednesday. 

The state has been paying workers sent into quarantine for at least five days after having contact with an infected person or returning from a “high risk” area abroad.

But that will end from November 1st, Health Minister Jens Spahn said after a meeting with the health ministers of Germany’s 16 states, in the latest government initiative to encourage more Germans to take the jab.

Some states have already started going down this route. 

Getting vaccinated is a “personal decision”, Spahn said, but that decision will now “also come with the responsibility to bear the financial consequences”.

READ MORE:

People who have been vaccinated do not have to quarantine in Germany. However, everyone is told to self-isolate if they have been confirmed as carrying the virus. 

Germans lack financial knowledge

A new study shows the gap in knowledge when it comes to everyday financial matters among the German population.

About half of the respondents to a survey did not know when overdraft interest accrues on their checking account, and didn’t know or understand the compound interest effect. When it came to other questions about investments, insurance or loans, only one in two people managed to answer half of the questions correctly.

Low-income earners, women and younger people have a greater knowledge gap than other population groups, according to the representative study by Finanztip.

They asked more than 3,000 people aged 16 to 69 questions on everyday financial decisions.

Those who answered all the questions correctly could score a maximum of 12.5 points. More than half, however, managed a maximum of six points. 

“We asked questions about financial knowledge, which are necessary in order to judge everyday financial products correctly,” said Hermann Josef Tenhagen, editor-in-chief of Finanztip. 

Income also has an influence on how familiar respondents are with financial topics. The Finanztip study showed that those who earn more also know more about it. Of households earning up to €1,500 a month, only around 30 percent managed at least 6.5 points.

For households that take in more than €3,800 per month, around 69 percent scored at least 6.5 points. Tenhagen said that comes down to different experience knowledge.

“Those who have once taken out a loan are more familiar with interest and repayment than those who have never borrowed money from the bank,” he said.


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