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Old 13.01.2014, 01:53
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Switzerland or Germany for a new grad Mechanical Engineer?

Hello everybody,
my name is Enrico and I'm an italian new grad Mechanical Engineer.
Me and my girlfriend have decided to move abroad because of the italian economic situation and we have identified in Germany and Switzerland our favorite destinations.
She is a computer scientist and has been accepted as a PhD both in a german university near Stuttgart and at ETH in Zurich.
Now, I was wondering which of these cities could be better for a new grad engineer like me, with a low knowledge of German (say A2) and a good knowledge of English (say B2).
In particular, I know that in Germany I'd have high chance of finding a good job position in a modest time (according to my personal knowledge and some research I've done) but I do not know if you could say the same for Zurich.
I know there are good businesses nearby that accept applications in English (e.g. Alstom and ABB) but I wanted to ask if there is a realistic chance for a candidate like me to find an employment in a limited time (say not more than 2 or 3 months... living in Switzerland is very expensive ).
Frankly speaking, our first choice would be Zurich, both for the prestige of the university and for the standard of living, but I can not afford the risk of being unemployed for a long period.
Sorry for the long boring post, but in a few days we have to make a decision that will change our lives, and any advice would be really appreciated.
Thank you all for your attention!
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Old 13.01.2014, 09:58
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Re: Switzerland or Germany for a new grad Mechanical Engineer?

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Hello everybody,
my name is Enrico and I'm an italian new grad Mechanical Engineer.
Me and my girlfriend have decided to move abroad because of the italian economic situation and we have identified in Germany and Switzerland our favorite destinations.
She is a computer scientist and has been accepted as a PhD both in a german university near Stuttgart and at ETH in Zurich.
Now, I was wondering which of these cities could be better for a new grad engineer like me, with a low knowledge of German (say A2) and a good knowledge of English (say B2).
In particular, I know that in Germany I'd have high chance of finding a good job position in a modest time (according to my personal knowledge and some research I've done) but I do not know if you could say the same for Zurich.
I know there are good businesses nearby that accept applications in English (e.g. Alstom and ABB) but I wanted to ask if there is a realistic chance for a candidate like me to find an employment in a limited time (say not more than 2 or 3 months... living in Switzerland is very expensive ).
Frankly speaking, our first choice would be Zurich, both for the prestige of the university and for the standard of living, but I can not afford the risk of being unemployed for a long period.
Sorry for the long boring post, but in a few days we have to make a decision that will change our lives, and any advice would be really appreciated.
Thank you all for your attention!
Hi Enrico,
Your situation is very similar to a couple that I know well, except that the boyfriend found a job in IT, and the girlfriend, who is a mechanical engineer, wanted to join him. It took her 1 year to find a job in her field, and that was 5 years ago when probably there were more job openings on the market.
Probably it would be easier for you, permits and stuff wise, because you are from EU-15.
But if you know for sure that you have higher chances in Germany, then why risk coming here?
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Old 13.01.2014, 12:58
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Re: Switzerland or Germany for a new grad Mechanical Engineer?

In general I would say that expecting to find an employment in 2-3 months is more than just unrealistic, given that even Swiss find it difficult to find a new job in specific areas and I don't think there are that many openings in your field of expertise.
Also finding a place to stay is more than difficult, I think it is safe to say that Swiss citizens are preferred as tenants almost anywhere and even those usually need to send numerous applications before finding a decent place to stay.

I would contact ABB and Alstom and see if there is a job opening you could apply for, hand in your application and see if they invite you for an interview - some companies offer EU citizens apartments or help them with relocating once they have been accepted.

Plus, if you're entitled to unemployment benefits in Italy you can have them transferred to Switzerland which would help with the financial situation.
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Old 13.01.2014, 20:57
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Re: Switzerland or Germany for a new grad Mechanical Engineer?

Swiss_Can and greenmount, thank you very much for your valuable contribution.
I'm still rather ignorant about to the labor market in general and the Switzerland one in particular, so your help is very important to me!

- greenmount, your question is a good question, but the decision should be a compromise between what I want ( an easy/good job ) and what my girlfriend wants (she prefers ETH, which is one of the best universities in the world).

- Swiss_Can, thank you for the accurate answer and advice!
To tell the truth, I did not think to find such a difficult situation (the time it takes to find a job for a mechanical engineer in my area is on average less than 1 month).
I think I 'll try to do some research on those two companies in order to see if there are some suitable open positions, but I'm afraid we'll have to take a decision before being answered

If anyone else had other experiences to help me, maybe regarding specifically mechanical engineers in the area of Zurich, It would be very valuable to me!
Thank you in advance for the attention
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Old 14.01.2014, 00:05
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Re: Switzerland or Germany for a new grad Mechanical Engineer?

There are more options...for instance check out the openings for Sulzer Chemtech

http://www.jobs.ch/de/firma/Sulzer-AG/5436
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Old 14.01.2014, 00:53
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Re: Switzerland or Germany for a new grad Mechanical Engineer?

I wouldn't let pass the opportunity for your girlfriend to study in ETH, the prestige will pay off. It would really be a pity to turn down ETH for Stuttgart.
As for you, you can find also many opportunities in the form of graduate programs in any of the big companies headquartered in Zurich and around. Plus you can also take the academic path and apply for a master thesis etc. Alumni.associations work here quite well, the uni is well connected to the industry.
You might need more than 2-3 months to find your track (although you might still do it: right now, beginning of year, it is an excellent moment ot apply for graduate programs!). In any case the PhD stipendium should be OK to go by a few more months.
Try all kind of industries for the graduate programs, not only mechanical/electrical, if you wish to speed it up.

http://www.careerjet.ch/graduate-program-jobs.html

Good luck!



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Hello everybody,
my name is Enrico and I'm an italian new grad Mechanical Engineer.
Me and my girlfriend have decided to move abroad because of the italian economic situation and we have identified in Germany and Switzerland our favorite destinations.
She is a computer scientist and has been accepted as a PhD both in a german university near Stuttgart and at ETH in Zurich.
Now, I was wondering which of these cities could be better for a new grad engineer like me, with a low knowledge of German (say A2) and a good knowledge of English (say B2).
In particular, I know that in Germany I'd have high chance of finding a good job position in a modest time (according to my personal knowledge and some research I've done) but I do not know if you could say the same for Zurich.
I know there are good businesses nearby that accept applications in English (e.g. Alstom and ABB) but I wanted to ask if there is a realistic chance for a candidate like me to find an employment in a limited time (say not more than 2 or 3 months... living in Switzerland is very expensive ).
Frankly speaking, our first choice would be Zurich, both for the prestige of the university and for the standard of living, but I can not afford the risk of being unemployed for a long period.
Sorry for the long boring post, but in a few days we have to make a decision that will change our lives, and any advice would be really appreciated.
Thank you all for your attention!
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Last edited by suissa; 14.01.2014 at 01:09.
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Old 14.01.2014, 09:44
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Re: Switzerland or Germany for a new grad Mechanical Engineer?

She will be getting around 5000fr/month, should be enough for you two.

I don't know about the job situation but Mechanical Engineering is ETH's biggest department student number wise, reflecting the high demand on the job market.

Still, if it is easy to find a job there, and you struggle finding on around Zurich, did you consider commuting? It may be difficult, but...

Anyways, I don't see why it should be easier to find a job in Germany than in Switzerland.
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Old 14.01.2014, 11:20
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Re: Switzerland or Germany for a new grad Mechanical Engineer?

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Still, if it is easy to find a job there, and you struggle finding on around Zurich, did you consider commuting? It may be difficult, but...
.
Uuhhh, commuting....me and significant other lived like that for more than a year, but he was worn out by commuting between Zürich and Mulhouse Fr every day.. Nope, I would recommend our OP to make a compromise indeed but one that is do-able on the long run...
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Old 14.01.2014, 16:15
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Re: Switzerland or Germany for a new grad Mechanical Engineer?

I'm receiving a lot of interesting tips, thank you all!

Quote:
There are more options...for instance check out the openings for Sulzer Chemtech
http://www.jobs.ch/de/firma/Sulzer-AG/5436
Of course I'll watch, this is a good opportunity too

Quote:
I wouldn't let pass the opportunity for your girlfriend to study in ETH, the prestige will pay off. It would really be a pity to turn down ETH for Stuttgart.
As for you, you can find also many opportunities in the form of graduate programs in any of the big companies headquartered in Zurich and around. Plus you can also take the academic path and apply for a master thesis etc. Alumni.associations work here quite well, the uni is well connected to the industry.
You might need more than 2-3 months to find your track (although you might still do it: right now, beginning of year, it is an excellent moment ot apply for graduate programs!). In any case the PhD stipendium should be OK to go by a few more months.
Try all kind of industries for the graduate programs, not only mechanical/electrical, if you wish to speed it up.

http://www.careerjet.ch/graduate-program-jobs.html

Good luck!
Thank you very much! These are a lot of interesting tips! As far as we decided our destination (in a few days), these advice will be very valuable!


Quote:
She will be getting around 5000fr/month, should be enough for you two.
It's not only about money, I'm a new grad and I need/want to find a good job too

Quote:
I don't know about the job situation but Mechanical Engineering is ETH's biggest department student number wise, reflecting the high demand on the job market.
Regarding the real demand of mechanical engineers... I think that it's the main point! There are a good number of international companies in my sector, but I don't known if the labor market is moving and whether or not the domestic demand is fully covered by the ETH graduates.

Quote:
Anyways, I don't see why it should be easier to find a job in Germany than in Switzerland.
Germany has a huge uncovered demand of mechanical engineers, it can be easily checked in different sites, and it yields to an extremely low unemployment rate. Furthermore, Stuttgard is an industrial city with a lot of different opportunities.
Unluckily, it's difficult to find such information about Zurich in particular and Switzerland in general, probably because it's a small country. I know that some opportunities are available, but I don't known how high is the real demand.
Does anyone know any site where I can find any detailed information about the labor market (related to mechanical engineers)? Maybe I haven't search enough but I've not been able to find any precise information about the unemployment rate of mechanical engineers and the relationship between supply and demand.

Quote:
Uuhhh, commuting....me and significant other lived like that for more than a year, but he was worn out by commuting between Zürich and Mulhouse Fr every day.. Nope, I would recommend our OP to make a compromise indeed but one that is do-able on the long run...
Yes, I agree with you
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Old 14.01.2014, 22:25
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Re: Switzerland or Germany for a new grad Mechanical Engineer?

If you have a good job opportunity in Germany - go for it!
Zurich/ETH is not that far from Germany and until your partner gets her PHD, it's only a matter of a couple of years.

Universities of Applied Sciences in Switzerland offer degrees in mechanical engineering and the national (and small !) market is quite covered with their students.

My 2 cents
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Old 15.01.2014, 00:09
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Re: Switzerland or Germany for a new grad Mechanical Engineer?

You can check general unemployments rates here: http://www.tradingeconomics.com/swit...mployment-rate
http://www.bfs.admin.ch/bfs/portal/e...men/03/03.html

You can see number of jobs in machines construction (one of the many areas where a mechanical engineer can work) historical since a decade ago:

http://www.bfs.admin.ch/bfs/portal/d...ment.64568.xls

Select second tab if you want to see total number of open jobs and see that row 24 corresponds to 'Machinenbau' (machines construction). Not sure which data you have about Germany, but you can see the evolution of number of jobs since the second quartal of 2003 (numbers are x1000 jobs): the level today is that of 2006-2007 before the crisis.

If you want to estimate about jobs in Zurich you can take the proportions shown at the top of the table (Zurich offers circa 20-30% of the total open jobs, although for machine construction it might even be better given that many of the big manufacturers are near the Zurich area).

Finally, for your perusal: http://www.swissmem.ch/en/organizati...sociation.html

I do not really suscribe to the idea that ETH and local unis provide for the open jobs, my experience is that the big companies are full of foreigners (especially for industrial companies). Now, I have no data to support this, this is just personal opinion/observation.

Good time for your analysis, let us know what you finally decide!


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If you have a good job opportunity in Germany - go for it!
Zurich/ETH is not that far from Germany and until your partner gets her PHD, it's only a matter of a couple of years.

Universities of Applied Sciences in Switzerland offer degrees in mechanical engineering and the national (and small !) market is quite covered with their students.

My 2 cents
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Last edited by suissa; 15.01.2014 at 00:22.
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Old 15.01.2014, 00:20
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Re: Switzerland or Germany for a new grad Mechanical Engineer?

Half a year ago one my mechanical engineer friend who lives in Germany (Turkish citizen) was contacted by a headhunter regarding a job in Switzerland. It was with one of major companies like Alstom or ABB, can't remember exactly. So I guess it implies they are at least looking out of Switzerland for people to employ.
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Old 15.01.2014, 20:02
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Re: Switzerland or Germany for a new grad Mechanical Engineer?

Thank you all again for your contribution.
Thanks in particular to suissa, who has replied exactly to my questions!
I think that now we have all the information we needed to decide where we'll live (at least) the next 3 years.
I'll let you know our choice as soon as we decided our future
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Old 16.01.2014, 14:57
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Re: Switzerland or Germany for a new grad Mechanical Engineer?

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Yes, I agree with you
It wasn't actually that bad because he was with a consulting company and had other advantages, but there were busy times during this period when he commuted daily and it was awful. So that is why I said commuting is not an option from my point of view, unless I have to commute between Zürich and Luzern....and work only 60-80%. (kidding)

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Unluckily, it's difficult to find such information about Zurich in particular and Switzerland in general, probably because it's a small country. I know that some opportunities are available, but I don't known how high is the real demand.
Does anyone know any site where I can find any detailed information about the labor market (related to mechanical engineers)? Maybe I haven't search enough but I've not been able to find any precise information about the unemployment rate of mechanical engineers and the relationship between supply and demand.
Hmm... I just checked out Taconova Group AG which used to always look for new employees (relatively) and couldn't find any job opening. The only one of this company was, guess where....in Germany.

It will not be an easy choice but I hope you two will make the right decision.
Good luck.
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Old 31.01.2014, 21:33
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Re: Switzerland or Germany for a new grad Mechanical Engineer?

Hi everyone! Thank you all again for your contribution! Eventually my girlfriend and I decided for Germany, not only because we think it will be easier for me to get a job but also because she actually preferred the research area of the German university, although ETH is of course more prestigious.
Well, it means we'll come to Switzerland as tourists, we're not that far after all!
Thank you again and have a nice day!
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Old 30.03.2016, 12:27
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Re: Switzerland or Germany for a new grad Mechanical Engineer?

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Hello Enrico,

Yore thread sound seems interesting. I also done mechanical engineering and faced job searching problem then someone suggest me linkedengineer.com. Here, you find all types of mechanical engineering jobs, must try once.

Thanks,
verajolley639


Seeing that the last post here was in 2014, OP has either found a job or left by now
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Old 30.03.2016, 12:46
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Re: Switzerland or Germany for a new grad Mechanical Engineer?

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Seeing that the last post here was in 2014, OP has either found a job or left by now
Verajolley has left now as well.
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Old 02.04.2016, 03:36
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Re: Switzerland or Germany for a new grad Mechanical Engineer?

very bad time anyway. Plenty of companies did leave CH too
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