Diplom vs. Bachelor's degree

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Posted

I looked up the translation of "Degree" for my job applications and the suggestion was "Diplom". A work colleague (who has just completed his "Diplom" and feels it necessary to boast about it at every opportunity) said that the German Degree is better than the British one and also that a "Diplom" is not a "Bachelor". He said that if I write "Bachelor" some people may think I am purposely misleading them... He said that a "Diplom" consists of a Bachelor and a Masters...

 

Are they different?

 

He said that they are now starting to recognise the Bachelor in Germany and that I should use that...

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Posted

I have a Diplom and a Bachelors (Honours). Officially a British Bachelors with Honours is the same as a Diplom, however, most Germans let their superiority complex get in the way of what is correct and still insist that a Diplom is a Masters degree, simply because they stretch it out over a couple of semesters extra.

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Posted

Yeah, Germans have told me that a Bachelors is just a Vordiplom -- but you could check with the Zeugnisanerkennungsstelle.

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Posted

There is officially a difference between a) a British Bachelors with Honours, B) a US Bachelors and c) a British Bachelors without Honours. So a "Bachelors" is not always officially translated as a Diplom, which confuses the Germans so they simply downgrade everything. c) is not really worth the paper it is printed on, even in Britain.

 

 

but you could check with the Zeugnisanerkennungsstelle.

With European Degrees, you don't need to, they are automatically "anerkannt".

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Posted

So would you write "Bachelor" or "Diplom"? Could "Diplom" be considered misleading?

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Posted

If you are writing a CV you have to write the same what is written on your degree. The equivalence is established either by the university (if you are planning to study at one) or by the employer if you are looking for a job.

For example I have a bachelor in physics from my studies back home so I always write BSc Physics without making any statements about it.

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Posted

Yes, writing Diplom when you have a Bachelor would be misleading as it is simply not true. A Bachelor is well-known enough for you to just put it on your resume. German university programs are being changed now anyway, as they are switching to a BA/MA system.

 

By the way a Diplom is a graduate degree so in that way it is a lot closer to a Master's degree than a Bachelor's degree. My degree is more or less equivalent to a Diplom and it is an MA (Magister Artium - which is Latin and it means Master of Arts, hmmm). But if I put Master of Arts on a resume it would be misleading too, even though they are more or less equal.

 

Ruthie a BA/Sc is not always just a Vordiplom, it depends on the classes you took, the grades you got etc. But roughly that is about right.

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Posted

 

A german student doing a Diplom once smugly told me, a BSc holder, that "a bachelor means you havent finished your degree course".

I wonder where this idea comes from. Totally untrue.

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Posted

I am curious as to how a bachelor's degree is being accepted by companies based in Germany. A German acquaintance of mine told me earlier this year that the consulting firm that hired him contingent on him completing his (German) bachelor's degree advised him that he was their first hire without a Diplom. Of course, he had done all the right things- he interned with them and elsewhere, plus he studied in the US for a year. Any thoughts on this?

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Posted

I think that a Bachelor is seen as being of lower value than a Diplom, even though it is more recognised now than it was a couple of years ago.

 

An added complication is the changing of the system throughout Europe. For example, my Bachelor of Engineering degree was a four year course, and therefore "higher" than the standard 3-year Bachelor in place here. However, this has now been changed in my Alma Mater to a 3-year course.

 

Whenever I explain my qualifications here (I also did a research masters - try explaining that one!) I have to emphasis the duration of the bachelor degree in order to get people to see it as more than a Vordiplom. Or "mini-degree" as one previous supervisor condescendingly described it.

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Posted

dublindoll, at least in comparison to the American BA/BSc - a German BA/BSc takes three years, but we already do all the General Education in high school which takes a year longer here (now that's being changed too but for a few more years most people will have been in school ages 6 to 19, or 7 to 20). So the total length is the same and since we only do degree/major relevant classes here the time-span of the BA/Sc program can be shortened. Graduates will still be 22 years old at the point they graduate.

I am not sure how it is with European BAs/BScs but I think you also only have 12 years of school, right, like in the US? Do you take any GenEd classes in uni?

 

If I had gone to the US to study at a university there with my German Abitur, I would have been able to get some of the GenEd requirements waived, which would have saved me a semester or two on the American BA program.

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No, we have 14 years of school - from 4 to 18. Although you would probably compare the first years with Kindergarten, even though we also have an optional kindergarten prior to this. I'm not sure if the Abitur allows any classes to be waived at an Irish university - I dont personally know anyone who's studied there after doing the Abi. I think to really compare the situation with "GenEd" requirements etc., the leaving certificate and Abi structures would have to be compared as well, which is a little off-topic for this thread!

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Posted

When I joined a German company back in 1986 having been previously employed (following studies) by a UK University they never batted an eyelid when I stated that I had MSc. & BSc. from the UK.

 

I remember one Uk colleague on being offered a job with Hamburg university - they wanted to know what "grade" his PhD was. There is no grading (or at least was not then) of PhDs at UK universities. Having offered my colleague this job the admins got sticky & demanded to know what grade his PhD was so the external examiner wrote them a suitable letter :)

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Posted

 

He said that a "Diplom" consists of a Bachelor and a Masters...

Not where I come from. I've got a US bachelors, and it's pretty much the same as a Diplom (had to sit through both, so I got to compare the two). A US masters is much more work than a Diplom, but the Germans try to claim they're the same.

 

For example, in my field of study (physics), there are some standard courses that are pretty much all the same between a bachelors and a Diplom. For a bachelors, two semesters of electrodynamics and two semesters of quantum mechanics are required to graduate (among others), and for a masters you have to do two additional semesters of each for a total of four semesters of electrodynamics and four semesters of quantum mechanics. In Germany (at least, at the LMU), they only require two semesters of quantum mechanics and *one* of electrodynamics - so actually less than a bachelors degree. The rest of the required courses are about the same between the two.

 

A US bachelors is only equivalent to a Vordiplom if you did not have to do a bachelors thesis to graduate. The thesis is the only difference between a Vordiplom and a Diplom.

 

 

By the way a Diplom is a graduate degree so in that way it is a lot closer to a Master's degree than a Bachelor's degree.

That depends on the system in question. A Diplom is nowhere near equivalent to a bachelors degree in the States.

 

 

If I had gone to the US to study at a university there with my German Abitur, I would have been able to get some of the GenEd requirements waived, which would have saved me a semester or two on the American BA program.

I doubt it, given that Germans start attending school later than US students do.

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Posted

From actual experience:

 

German Diplom is like a Bachelors with a thesis. That means they get more practical experience, but not necessarily more theoretical experience. In fact, they get a much more limited view because the system is really a tunnel vision with the Diplom.

 

US Masters with Thesis is about the equivalent to a German PhD. The only thing that differentiates the two is the amount of experience and what they have actually done.

 

US PhD is for the most part real and amounts to a German PhD with 2-3 years of experience added on. A US PhD is much more qualified to teach than their German counterpart and one of the reasons that the German system adds the Habilitation requirement onto the PhD in order to teach.

 

I once had a boss here that had to teach Genetics and the fucker hadn't had a Genetics course in his life. That right there tells me the quality of the PhD here. It is so fucking tunnel visioned that it is fast becoming a joke. Few, if any, have the needed well rounded education to look outside of their own narrow world for other possibilities.

 

In my first paper, I looked into the world of Clinical Chemistry to solve a problem. My bosses thought I was being ridiculous to do that. Even after the publication, the corresponding author was amazed at the follow up questions to the protocol that I developed.

 

US education=broad and encompassing

German education=narrow and focused

 

Good students can come from both, but my bet is that more will come from the US system and that the German system is 100 years behind the times.

 

That is my experience having worked with and hired people from both. In my opinion, the broader the experience early on the better you will fair later on.

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Posted

 

I doubt it, given that Germans start attending school later than US students do.

Yeah, I do not speak from my own experience but from that of many other Germans who have gone to university there. I am not guessing here, just passing on experience that others made. Feel free to ask people at http://www.talkaboutusa.com/ about theirs (which is what I was referring to), plenty of the posters there did their Abitur here, then went on to university in the US, the universities waived many of the Gen Ed requirements for them.

 

http://www.talkaboutusa.com/viewforum.php?f=16

 

Quote by Ivonne in this topic:

 

 

Bei mir stand University eligibility Diploma. Die Evaluierungsfirmen kennen sich aber damit aus und wissen, das Abitur 13 Jahre geht und haben somit bei mir auch High School Degree + 1 year undergraduate studies anerkannt.

lovelybeast in this topic:

 

 

bei mir haben sie die realschule als high school abschluss anerkannt

Realschule is 10 yrs of school (Gymnasium is 13 years).

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Posted

 

German Diplom is like a Bachelors with a thesis.

Many US bachelors degrees actually also require a thesis (mine did). In fact, the LMU accepted it as equivalent to a Diplom thesis. Because they were so convinced of their system's superiority, they made me do the Hauptdiplompruefungen. They also required me to pass a course of my choice, which was no different from the same course I took in the US. I sat through several other courses as well in preparation for the oral exams, having been convinced by them that they must be at a higher level than those that I took in the States. Nope, they were identical.

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I did a thesis too. We had a general topic (the one for my year was humanitarian intervention) and from that had to figure out what we were going to work on. Not everyone at my school had to do a thesis for their bachelors. Some could choose to if they wanted (thus getting extra something, not sure what) while other programs you had to to graduate/finish the program (that’s what one of my majors had).

 

As for skipping out of some Gen. Eds. You don’t have to come from the Germany or some other similar system to do that. My freshman year roommate was exempt from all but 2-3. Same with many other people. It all depends which courses and electives you took in high school. If you took the basics then yeah you’re stuck with gen. ed., but if you took AP, Honors, or other classes then, depending on the college/university, you might get out of a few.

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