Job search: Training programs for young professionals

There are many companies out there that offer training programs for the potential young employees. These training programs aim to introduce a company to a trainee and demonstrate what a trainee could expect from certain positions. What are these training programs and how do they differ across sectors? Should you consider such path, or do you need to go with the direct-entry jobs? What questions should you ask before accepting temporary training contract? Read on to explore what it’s all about…


What are your options in choosing your training program?


There is no fixed definition of what training program is. Both the length and the content of such programs vary significantly from company to company, and from sector to sector. In most cases, training programs target mainly university graduates. The aim that companies pursue here is to turn trainees into versatile junior employees. For this to come true, training programs usually last from 12 to 24 months, with two to three months at various departments and sometimes also foreign offices. By working in multiple locations/departments, trainees learn about the company’s structure and get to think and act across departments. In addition to the general training programs, there are specific technical programs, in which a trainee goes through various levels of their major department, where they plan on being permanently hired. Oftentimes, however, employers do not know exactly in which role in the organization the trainee will end up. After the training program is over, a trainee might be considered for several positions and departments.


What salary can you expect?


Trainee salaries differ significantly, depending on the industry and the region. Salaries range from less than 10,000 € to more than 50,000 € gross per year. Two essential factors here are the industry and the size of the company.


What do various programs offer?


Besides giving you hands-on experience with the company, training programs often offer special soft-skills seminars to build the qualities essential for leadership roles. Another typical element of trainee programs are networking events. These serve to ensure that managers from various departments know the trainees personally, which will help to collaborate across the organization in the future. Although many graduates initially sign the contract only for the duration of the program, the companies are highly interested in hiring the trainees permanently, due to the high investment in training (training itself, travel costs, soft-skills seminars, networking events, etc.), provided that the trainee meets all expectations.


How difficult is to get in?


Companies set high standards for applicants, and this is particularly true for corporations active on international arena. Oftentimes, a minimum that training programs require are a good university degree, some experience abroad, relevant soft skills and relevant practical experiences. For the medium-sized companies, graduates with less than “A” in all disciplines also get real chances to be accepted into a training program. Until recent years, training programs were mainly available for the graduates of economics and finance. Meanwhile, however, companies are also increasingly offering trainings for engineers, computer science graduates, lawyers and students of social disciplines.


What should you ask yourself before going for training programs?


Before you decide on go to a training program, you should gather a lot of information about it to avoid potential unpleasant revelations.


We suggest that you make sure the following points are clear to you:


– How long is this training program?
– How will your work be structured? Will you get to work in different departments?
– If yes, how long will you stay in each department?
– Will you travel abroad?
– Will you have a mentor or another person responsible to take care of you during the program?
– Will there be any professional and personal development trainings and seminars?
– What specific tasks will you be responsible for?
– Will you have your own projects?
– Will you receive a temporary contract for the duration of the training program, or a permanent contract?
– If it is a temporary contract, what are the prospects for a subsequent employment?
– How likely are you to get a job after this training program?


These are the questions you could investigate online, and/or ask the former or current trainees in the company, as well as the person in charge of the training program.
If you find that the position suits your aspirations for the future career and offers a smooth transition into employment, don’t hesitate and go for it. As the practice shows, many graduates have found their permanent jobs through training programs.

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