Bildungs­gutschein: your bootcamp for free

For students who live in Germany, one of the most popular ways to fund your bootcamp is a state-sponsored educational voucher called a Bildungsgutschein.

What is a Bildungs­gutschein?

The term ‘Bildungsgutschein’ translates to ‘educational voucher’. The aim of the Bildungsgutschein is to train people with new skills to help them find a job or new career path. We have helped opera singers, forklift drivers, chefs, vicars, military personnel, and many others, move into rewarding tech careers.

In simple terms, this voucher allows you to take a course, bootcamp or any other educational program, and have the German state pay for its cost. 

WHAT DOES THE VOUCHER COVER?

The voucher will cover the cost of all academic fees charged by the school you are applying to. It does not cover such things as living or travel expenses. Although the Arbeitsargentur may reimburse the cost of our campus residence and travel to Berlin.

Our Admissions Officer will help you with this process if you intend to take that option.

Instructor Ben with two students during a coding workshop

Who can apply for a Bildungsgutschein?

group of students sitting outside with laptop

A German Resident

The Bildungsgutschein is available only for German residents, meaning you cannot apply for it if you are living abroad. However it is not exclusive to German citizens, meaning you can still apply if you are a foreign national as long as you are living on German territory. 

You are also either:

Kurzarbeit (‘short-term work’) is a condition of employment in which your company finds itself in economic distress and is forced to reduce both your working hours and your pay. If your salary is reduced to a point where you are unable to support yourself, the government will step in and compensate, offering you financial support while declaring you officially in Kurzarbeit.

Anyone who has worked for two or more years in Germany with a regular contract will be entitled to one year of financial support under Arbeitslosengeld I. If you receive this benefit, you can apply for a Bildungsgutschein.

The Hartz IV program usually follows on from Arbeitslosengeld I. Someone who has been on the latter scheme for the full year (or six months) and was unable to find employment in that time, will be moved on to Hartz IV, which performs the same functions of financial support but tends to pay less.

Note that being moved on to the Hartz IV program also entails being moved on from the Arbeitsagentur to a different unemployment agency called the Jobcenter. Both institutions are able to award educational vouchers.

Your contract will be officially ‘due to expire’ when its fixed term will end in 3 months or less. Similarly, if you have been informed your job is at risk of redundancy, inform the Arbeitsagentur. It’s worth pointing out that it is not very common for an educational voucher to be awarded before one reaches a state of unemployment, but it’s certainly possible to get the ball rolling on the application process.

How do I get a Bildungsgutschein?

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Checklist for your interview

To help take the stress out of preparing for your Bildungsgutschein interview we have prepared this handy list:

Bundesagentur für Arbeit Logo

Any questions left?

Get in touch with us. We’re happy to advise you.

You are your best investment.