Work: IT company vs. university (teaching)

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Crazy decision I have to make. Both an IT company and a university want me to work there. One, of course, is IT (boring), while the other is education (teaching/interesting). The IT job is unlimited in duration (in theory); the teaching job is a hard stop after 2 years. Money is roughly equal, with a slight advantage to the IT job. 

 

Sometimes it's a curse to be skilled in multiple areas.

 

So the question: What factors would you weigh most heavily in making such a call? Stability? Location? What the heart wants?

 

Assuming I can't find anything after the teaching gig, I'd be looking at potentially needing to return to my home country. Not the end of the world, but I'd prefer to have options.

 

Thanks.

 

 

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If you think that IT is boring per default, then go for university, although it’s hard to get a permanent job in the academic world.  I work in IT myself for more than 25 years and don’t regret it. I did implementations in more than 20 countries and saw a lot of this world.  My professor back then offered me to do a Ph.D, but I didn’t want to go the academic route.  It also depends on which life stage you’re in: e.g. mid-20s or early 40s with wife and kids.

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28 minutes ago, LukeSkywalker said:

If you think that IT is boring per default, then go for university, although it’s hard to get a permanent job in the academic world.  I work in IT myself for more than 25 years and don’t regret it. I did implementations in more than 20 countries and saw a lot of this world.  My professor back then offered me to do a Ph.D, but I didn’t want to go the academic route.  It also depends on which life stage you’re in: e.g. mid-20s or early 40s with wife and kids.

 

Good points. I'm actually in the "last" life stage (career stage, anyway), so having nothing after a 2-year stint would not be a catastrophe, as I could just retire. No ties so far as wife and kids are concerned. Added bonus of the IT direction would be the option to get permanent residency if I decide to stay on because the salary is over the income threshold for blue card.

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Doesn't matter how much money is involved,

if you can't get out of bed in the morning due to expecting another boring day,

then you've picked the wrong job.

 

Speaking as a well paid project manager in IT who now delivers yachts across oceans...

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9 minutes ago, HH_Sailor said:

Doesn't matter how much money is involved,

if you can't get out of bed in the morning due to expecting another boring day,

then you've picked the wrong job.

 

Speaking as a well paid project manager in IT who now delivers yachts across oceans...

 

:D

 

I hear you.

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Some things to consider with a two-year contract, is that there is usually a time limit you have to wait to get another befristet contract. In Bavaria, it used to be a three-year wait, now you can never get another two-year contract! The only contract you are eligible for is a permanent contract (good luck with that!). This is for public universities. Sometimes they work out new befristet contracts with a “Projekt” and then it is acceptable. 

 

Private universities are different. 

 

You can also move states and there is no limit or go for a federal job. 

 

This isn’t something to be taken lightly. You can get Arbeitslosengeld 1 for about a year after the contract ends and hope and pray you find something in that time. Also it depends on your visa status (I have unbefristet). If you have unbefristet status, you can then go the freelance route teaching and on ALG 2 (this is not fun). 

 

Academia is extremely competitive for jobs. Think about what you will do when that contract of two years runs out and which state it is. 

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11 minutes ago, klingklang77 said:

Some things to consider with a two-year contract, is that there is usually a time limit you have to wait to get another befristet contract. In Bavaria, it used to be a three-year wait, now you can never get another two-year contract! The only contract you are eligible for is a permanent contract (good luck with that!). This is for public universities. Sometimes they work out new befristet contracts with a “Projekt” and then it is acceptable. 

 

Private universities are different. 

 

You can also move states and there is no limit or go for a federal job. 

 

This isn’t something to be taken lightly. You can get Arbeitslosengeld 1 for about a year after the contract ends and hope and pray you find something in that time. Also it depends on your visa status (I have unbefristet). If you have unbefristet status, you can then go the freelance route teaching and on ALG 2 (this is not fun). 

 

Academia is extremely competitive for jobs. Think about what you will do when that contract of two years runs out and which state it is. 

 

Interesting and excellent points. Thank you. Sounds like they're really doing everything possible to limit the chance that these contracts could be deemed Kettenverträge. In my younger years I worked at a German university in which all of the lecturers had sued to keep their positions and won based on the notion that their renewed contracts were essentially Kettenverträge and therefore could not be terminated.

 

Sounds like the safe course may be to accept the IT job, get a blue card, and apply for a permanent residence permit once I met the time and German language requirements. Then I could teach, assuming I still wanted to and could find something (although, heck, VHS may be good enough for me at that point).

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47 minutes ago, jauburn said:

 

Interesting and excellent points. Thank you. Sounds like they're really doing everything possible to limit the chance that these contracts could be deemed Kettenverträge. In my younger years I worked at a German university in which all of the lecturers had sued to keep their positions and won based on the notion that their renewed contracts were essentially Kettenverträge and therefore could not be terminated.

 

Sounds like the safe course may be to accept the IT job, get a blue card, and apply for a permanent residence permit once I met the time and German language requirements. Then I could teach, assuming I still wanted to and could find something (although, heck, VHS may be good enough for me at that point).

 

 

Well, I saw upthread it wouldn’t be a catastrophe since you said you can retire. Some VHSes are hard to get into a nice teaching setup and some are easy. I got a lot of work in Frankfurt VHS and not so much in Munich, but I also had different circumstances. You can also do Lehraufträge since you said that about retirement. You just need to organise a freelance visa, but that’s a pain with health insurance and taxes. 

 

And you’re right, they all sued and now it has made things very difficult for others in academia. You can google Lehraufträge and Hartz 4 and you will see it is a problem. They can’t get contracts. The government doesn’t know what to do with these people. 

 

I don’t have the blue card. I have the Daueraufenhalts-EU (I’m not really sure what the difference is). Thank God I got that because I separated from my exH right when my contract ended. It was an absolute nightmare. 

 

But I have recently secured a contract with a private Hochschule. Not 100%, but it will go up next year. That’s unbefristet. 

 

One more thing to consider: which city? Munich is so expensive for rent. 

 

 

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4 hours ago, klingklang77 said:

 

 

Well, I saw upthread it wouldn’t be a catastrophe since you said you can retire. Some VHSes are hard to get into a nice teaching setup and some are easy. I got a lot of work in Frankfurt VHS and not so much in Munich, but I also had different circumstances. You can also do Lehraufträge since you said that about retirement. You just need to organise a freelance visa, but that’s a pain with health insurance and taxes. 

 

And you’re right, they all sued and now it has made things very difficult for others in academia. You can google Lehraufträge and Hartz 4 and you will see it is a problem. They can’t get contracts. The government doesn’t know what to do with these people. 

 

I don’t have the blue card. I have the Daueraufenhalts-EU (I’m not really sure what the difference is). Thank God I got that because I separated from my exH right when my contract ended. It was an absolute nightmare. 

 

But I have recently secured a contract with a private Hochschule. Not 100%, but it will go up next year. That’s unbefristet. 

 

One more thing to consider: which city? Munich is so expensive for rent. 

 

 

 

 

Thank you for the response. Oh, yes, I've heard about Munich's challenging Mietsituation. I doubt I would consider anything in Munich for that reason alone.

 

I'd be in Oberfranken for the IT position, Greifswald for the Uni job.

 

Lehraufträge may indeed be a Plan C. Thankfully health insurance wouldn't be an issue for me. Taxes, of course, would be no fun, but that's primarily because I'd be in Germany and therefore taxed at a much higher rate than I am now. That's one thing I'd have to make my peace with no matter which option I select.

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