Handywoman: how to benefit from any education you got in your country when moving abroad?

Personally, I know plenty of women who studied Teaching in CIS-countries and completely changed their professions when they moved to an EU-country. Usually they are in mid 20s or early 30s and start from scratch by getting a Bachelor degree. The most popular subjects would be Marketing, Economics and IT, as these professions are “always in demand”. The usual idea behind this is: if I had a “good” subject (economics, law, IT etc.), I will study the same abroad. If I had a “bad subject” (social science, education etc.), I should choose a new field.

However, this way is a bit outdated. We live in the times, when the most wanted professionals have a degree mix. Energy Engineering + Financial Management, Politics + Geography, Education + Business Management… I predicted this trend and, after getting my diploma in Financial Management, decided not to continue this path abroad, but to get a degree in Environmental Engineering. The result?  It is much easier for me to get a work permit, a work visa, a job or anything related.

With a usual profession, you are competing with all natives in the country as well as with highly qualified expats. Let’s be honest, how high are your chances against a native speaker? And against an expat from a developing country who just wants to stay in the country and is asking for 15% less?

By taking a risk and mixing professions, you will benefit from your own unique profile. However, you should make your choice carefully. If you, for instance, will do a Master in Development Studies with an IT background, your job options will be quite limited. Some professions with a very strong focus on specific subjects will give you a guaranteed job today, but will put you into trouble in 3 years.

In order to give you some ideas, I prepared a “mix me” table, which will show you the most popular professions in Germany, when the Bachelor is not related to the Master study at all:


Just don’t ask me, how much a person with a scientific degree (who often earns as good as nothing in Russia) and additional education in Marketing will earn in a Business Development department of a chemical company..it will make me very sad))

One question remains: how to apply for a totally different subject without having a Bachelor in that field? It’s not that hard. First of all, a good letter of motivation will get you in. Second, there are many Master options nowadays, which require only X hours of important subjects, be it physics, mathematics, medicine etc. Ever wondered, when are you going to use such subjects as Philosophy, Life Safety etc. you studied during your Bachelor in Financial Management? Exactly, here! I needed X hours of General Science and Environmental Science for my Master in Environmental Engineering, so I used all those “annoying and unnecessary” subjects from my diploma to get in.

I hope, this short article was interesting for you. If you have any questions, just write them in a comment.

Kindly yours,


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