Career outlook

What can I do with study abroad experience?

Junior Year in Munich Program (JYM) alumni have successfully competed for employment and career opportunities that either require or prefer the level of German language proficiency and extensive international, cross-cultural experience they acquired in the program.

A 2018 study by Adzuna confirms what the Junior Year in Munich Program has stood by for years: "Not only does knowing a second language make résumés stand out with potential employers but this can drive an increase in salary," says Lily Valentin. "Companies today serve a global community and want to hire versatile employees who can speak other languages and can reflect cultural expectations." If you know a language used in a powerful economy or one that's involved in business innovation you'll likely be paid more, the study confirms.

JYM shares job openings and career opportunities that require German and are ideally suited for recent graduates with the JYM Alumni Facebook Group.

Transferable skills

The Junior Year in Munich study abroad experience offers skills in:

  • Adaptability
  • Communication
  • Creativity
  • Critical thinking
  • Increased understanding of global, economic and political matters
  • Rapport and relationship-building
  • Time management

Careers with experience in German

Studying abroad during your junior year in Munich can help improve your German language proficiency which pays off when you enter the job market.

Fast facts

  • Top of the list for earnings potential was German, which has an average salary of $109,000/year
  • The wage premium for college graduates who can speak German is 4%. With a $60K salary that amounts to $260,000
    when compounded over 30 years
  • Employers are willing to pay more if you speak a second language since American businesses lose almost $2 billion/year because of language or cultural misunderstandings

Career Insights

Career Median salary Market growth
Marketing manager $132,230 10% to 14%
Sales manager $121,060 5% to 9%
Lawyer $119,250 5% to 9%
International law $115,820 5% to 8%
Purchasing manager $115,760 5% to 9%
Global supply chain manager $105,610 5% to 9%
Compliance manager $105,610 5% to 9%
Human resources manager $104,440 9% to 13%
Foreign service officer $94,170 10%
Global logistics manager $92,460 5% to 9%
Industrial engineer $85,880 10% to 14%
University professor $65,010 10% to 14%
Post-secondary teacher $61,380 9% to 13%
Archivist $51,760 10% to 14%
Bilingual educator K-12 $50,434 10%
Paralegal, legal assistant $50,410 15% or higher
Interpreters and translators $44,190 14%

International careers begin with JYM

If you're serious about becoming fluent in German and want to learn marketable global competency skills that'll help you land a job after graduation, you should study abroad for a year if your schedule permits. How long you study abroad does make a difference (see Gaining an Employment Edge - The Impact of Study Abroad)!

As you plan for your Junior Year in Munich experience, we recommend that you set some goals. What do you want to learn? What do you want to experience? What do you want to accomplish? And how will those goals advance your career objectives? For some students, obtaining an internship while on JYM helped them find employment after graduation. For others, it was having participated in unique extracurricular activities that they could highlight on their résumé. And for others, it was their ability to digest and communicate the many dimensions of their journey abroad. Everyone's path will be different and there's no one-size-fits-all path to follow.

Pro tip: You'll help yourself immensely if you can document something on your résumé that stands out (experiences, involvement or engagement, certified language proficiency, IKK certificate, etc.).

After your JYM year/semester, we encourage you to build upon your cross-cultural experiences and German language skills as you make your career decisions. See career sources for more information on jobs, internships and post-graduate fellowships.

Graduate study

This degree also provides a solid foundation for graduate study in:

Notable people who lived or studied in Munich

  • Wangari Muta Maathai  Kenyan social, environmental and political activist and the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize. Studied at the LMU in 1968
  • Jonathan Franzen  Novelist, essayist, National Book Award Winner and JYM alumnus. Studied at the LMU in 1979-80
  • Donna Summer  American singer and songwriter, joined a German adaptation of the musical Hair in Munich in 1968 and spent several years living, acting and singing there
  • Freddie Mercury  Lead Queen singer who was a regular visitor to Munich between 1979-85 and recorded at Musicland Studios in the basement of the Arabella House


Many students have found careers that built upon their JYM experience. Here's a sampling of where some have ended up not long after graduation (some have since been promoted).

Name Title Company Institution
Maria Head of human resource governance, strategy and lean management Daimler AG, Stuttgart Wayne State University
Jonathan Plant project manager, executive assistant plant manager's office Detroit Diesel Wayne State University
Jason Supplier management, vendor scheduling Detroit Diesel Wayne State University
Julie Public relations and marketing TASCHEN Verlag, New York Wayne State University
Halyna Compliance project manager Daimler AG, Stuttgart Wayne State University
Stephen Controller Munich Re Group, Munich Wayne State University
Lena Head of administration Graduate School of Systemic Neuroscience, LMU Munich BioZentrum Wayne State University
Karena Manager Global Marketing and Communications, Berlin George Washington University
Morgan International project coordinator EVOLVO, Milan Italy James Madison University
Lenore Content and communications manager InterNations, Munich College of William & Mary
Sabrina Sales specialist Direct Markets at ESCADA, Munich University of San Francisco
Tyler Organizational development manager Bosch-Siemens Haushaltgeräte (BSH) Home Appliances Corporation, Irvine California Mary Washington University
Beth Program director Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals at Cultural Vistas, New York University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
James Manager, delegations and energy projects German American Chamber of Commerce of the Midwest, Chicago Miami University of Ohio
Morgan Manager German American Service, Inc., Chicago American University
Shelley Service coordinator Siemens Industry, St. Louis Truman State University
Heidi Program coordinator Center for Transatlantic Relations, Washington DC University of Colorado, Boulder

Investing in your future