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Job prospects in Poland for Polish-American

ubergoose 1 | 1
7 Jan 2016 #1
Hello everyone,

I am currently a university student in America studying electro-mechanical engineering. My intentions are to move to Poland after I finish university here. Both of my parents are from Poland and are also planning on returning to Poland. I am a native English speaker, and also speak (read and write too) fluent Polish. I have dual citizenship in America and Poland. Obviously my plans to move to Poland are not due to finances as I am taking a steep downgrade in terms of potential salary. However I am contemplating the move due to loving the country much more than America and missing it after staying for months at a time. I know I will have no issue with the culture and living there as I have been raised Polish and am no stranger to the differences. My question rather would be if someone with my area of study would be able to find work in Poland to sustain myself. What kind of salary could I expect?

Would there be any potential alternatives for someone of my qualifications? (I looked into English certifications, but I know this is not what it used to be and work would be hard to come by).

Anything else I should know?

Thank you in advance :)
G (undercover)
7 Jan 2016 #2
If you know Polish and have citizenship there's no need to go into teaching English (perhaps except translating some technical texts/manuals etc. which I believe could be a good extra income) or anything like that. I don't have background in manufacturing so can't say much about details but generally people with technical degrees don't have huge problems to find jobs here. Salaries vary from crappy (but enough to meet both ends for a single person) in case of entry level positions to nearly western levels in case of experienced specialists. Getting any (even short) work experience in the US first could be also a good idea.
Jardinero 1 | 405
8 Jan 2016 #3
my plans to move to Poland are not due to finances

find work in Poland to sustain myself

Do some forum search on this first - this question comes up quite frequently.

Unless you consider yourself extremely lucky and like taking huge risks - this is not the best idea.
While things may be a bit better in your field, generally the trend still is for those that can and want a better working and living standard (and know a Western foreign language) to emigrate West.

people with technical degrees don't have huge problems to find jobs here

There are jobs - and there are jobs... that pay peanuts, treat one like a slave, and offer little development, and on top of that leave you drained psychologically. In general, if you have not worked in Poland you might find the work environment and standards... let's just say not up to scratch by Western standards.

Moreover, having a US degree is not an advantage in Poland. It will actually work against you. You will have to go through the process of academic recognition first. In addition, you will be competing with local graduates with the knowledge of the local market and the applicable industry standards, not to mention their lower expectations and higher determination. That will be a serious detriment to your chances of finding decent work. And you will often be looked upon with suspicion and disbelief - why on Earth you've emigrated in the opposite direction...

If you are tired of chasing the American dream as I was, my suggestion would be to look for work in the UK/Ireland instead. Unlike Poland, employers there are open to foreign graduates and the work environment and potential is fantastic in comparison. You will be surrounded by Poles everywhere - and close enough to Poland to fly in for the weekends and holidays.

But it sounds like you are determined. No intention to discourage you, but it might be best to actually come and try it out for yourself. You never know - you just might be that lucky...
OP ubergoose 1 | 1
8 Jan 2016 #4
I did do some forum searching and looking around, and have a general idea of what the job market is like. Again seems more suited to IT than "traditional" engineering, but thats to be expected. It isn't so much an issue with the American dream, as it is an issue with the culture and people here. The UK is something to look into, though again the culture of Poland is my main driving force.

At some point I have no doubts I will live in Poland for some period of time, that experience will probably shape the future more than anything else. I know a lot of Germany companies (mostly automakers) hire directly from my university but again not sure how I feel about Germany outside of Dortmund.
Jardinero 1 | 405
8 Jan 2016 #5
It isn't so much an issue with the American dream, as it is an issue with the culture and people here.

Well, I think the two are very much intertwined: the people chasing it create a certain 'culture' that is not everyone's cup of tea...

At some point I have no doubts I will live in Poland for some period of time

Go for it, especially if you've got no commitments...

not sure how I feel about Germany

And you won't know unless you try. Germany's a surprisingly progressive and well organised society - and a very attractive place for engineers... Although, if you do not speak the local lingo you'll likely to feel like 2nd class citizen wherever you live...
Grzegorz_ 51 | 6,161
8 Jan 2016 #6
Moreover, having a US degree is not an advantage in Poland. It will actually work against you.

I don't think that's correct in most cases. If nothing else, he will stand out from the crowd and that's always good in case of recent graduates.
Jardinero 1 | 405
8 Jan 2016 #7
stand out from the crowd and that's always good

That was my initial thought, but you would be surprised. Employers in Poland are not generally impressed or interested in 'exotic' candidates. The market is not really at that level yet. And they know such candidate has higher expectations and would be less susceptible to abuse. And they would be clueless about the local market or other practicalities. Hence, such a person is less useful and practical than a comparable local candidate, unless they happened to have a sought after skill the locals do not have. That most often used to be the knowledge of a foreign language at or near native level, but that is not the case any longer.
10 Jan 2016 #8
There are multi national companies where your CV and degree as well as ease of using English will give you a definite headstart against any other potential candidates. It's definitely easier in IT but in your line of work it should be similar. With a technical degree you should at some point earn as much as the best paid 5% of people ib PL.
polishinvestor 1 | 362
10 Jan 2016 #9
If you are required to have contact with Polish natives day to day or liase with other colleagues in Polish, not knowing the language isn't going to help a foreigner get a post, but certain jobs don't require this so best to consider each on an individual basis.
29 Apr 2017 #10

How hard is it to find a job in Poland with an American Degree?


I am currently a High School (liceum) student in the United States, who is going to be going to college soon. I was born in Poland, lived there until the age of 10, and speak the language fluently. I am planning to study engineering here in one of the U.S colleges. My SAT score is good so I am 100% sure to get into a good college, not some community college.

I am wondering about my ability to find a job in Poland after I get my degree. Would it be easy or hard? What would be the pay?

Thanks in advance
29 Apr 2017 #11

Engineering job in Poland with a foreign degree

I am planning to study either A) Electronic Engineering or B) Mechanical Engineering. I reside in the USA, so this will be where I get my degree from. If I am to move back to Poland (Polish citizen, moved to USA at age 10) after getting my degree, would I be able to find a job with a good pay?
DominicB - | 2,709
29 Apr 2017 #12
I would recommend more lucrative fields like petroleum, geological or biomedical engineering. Your lifetime earnings and savings potential would be significantly higher, job prospects are much better, and, with the first two, there is the possibility of working in the field at obscenely high wages. Think Alaska, the Gulf or oil platforms. Biomedical is taking off, as well, and the only thing holding it back is a shortage of qualified engineers. The advantage here is that it will be easier for you to get patents on your work that have a good chance of paying off in the future. Most of my current income is derived from processes that I patented as a doctoral student.

The strategy for finding a well-paid job as an engineer in Poland is to work for a good American or international engineering company until you qualify to be transferred to oversee their projects in Poland at Western wages. That will take a few years, but the fact that you speak Polish will help a lot, so keep developing your Polish.

Best of luck with your studies! And don't forget that the whole point of your studies is to acculturate yourself to your future professional community and network, network and network from day one. You're not there merely to learn "about" engineering. You're there to become an engineer.
Lyzko 33 | 8,154
29 Apr 2017 #13
There's long been a glut of engineers in Europe, not only those from the States:-) Traditional shortage areas, although not always comparable in pay, have usually been easy to fill such as English teachers, IT specialists and the like.

Best of luck and of course, the more specialized an engineer you are, the more feathers in your cap.
DominicB - | 2,709
29 Apr 2017 #14
Europe needs more English teachers like it needs more cockroaches. The problem with IT engineering is that you will always have to compete with Indians, who are happy to work for peanuts, and thus drive wages down.

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