July 30 2012

Spanish Engineers Migrating to Germany: Spain’s ‘Brain-Drain’

It is very paradoxical how history changes. In the Second World War German people migrated to other countries, while at present, they are welcoming people from all around Europe.

In this precise moment I am writing this post, and I am physically in Germany. Some months ago I quit my position in the Engineering department of the previous employer after I was offered a job in a R+D Department in Germany. A position that I could not refuse! In March 2012, the unemployment rate in Spain was 24,1%, one of the greatest rates in Europe, and of people between ages 16 and 24 is, unfortunately, more than 50%. Young people are the best ever educated generation. On the contrary, Germany has one of the lowest unemployment rates, 5,6% in Europe, but less people go to the University. This is the one of the reasons why the Spanish ‘brain drain’ effect is increasing day-by-day. It means the migration of educated and technically skilled people to other countries.

Before the recession, Germany was such as interesting country for engineers to explore; the reputation of German engineers has been always worldwide known as they have had increasingly important role within high-tech industries. In addition, German engineers have excellent technical skills and are also serious people. However, they are also are seen as too inflexible for the fast-changing engineering field.

There is one major handicap to add for engineers thinking about relocating to Germany, the language. Engineers and any person that desires to move to Germany must be well aware that, sooner or later, they will end up needing German. There are not many multinational companies in which the working language is English. Moreover, even if English is a universal language, in the supermarket the labels are not in English, but only German.

In short, I strongly believe that the so worldwide known ‘brain-drain’ concept applies to me as I make the transition to working, and therefore, living in Germany.

Would you be willing to start a new life in a foreign country? Would you learn another foreign language?

Credits: Image and data linked to sources.

Miriam Ansorena

Miriam Ansorena holds a Master’s Degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of Navarre, in Spain. Strongly concerned about the environment, in the past, she worked full-time as a Design Engineer of Wind Turbines. Her blogs will concentrate primarily on the affects of wind turbines and their prevelance, however, she will also cover issues occurring around Zarautz, Spain and Berlin, Germany. Although she currently resides in Berlin, she is from Zarautz, Spain and has lived in Copenhagen, Denmark, and Glasgow, United Kingdom.

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This entry was posted on Monday, July 30th, 2012 at 6:27 pm and is filed under Education and Careers, Engineering. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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