If you want to move to and work in Germany, you had better be qualified. German’s take qualifications VERY seriously and as a result, their whole education system is set up differently from that of the UK, or the USA.
Here in Germany you either get a degree or work as an apprentice in your chosen field in order to gain certification for almost all jobs. This even includes general administrative jobs, like bank clerks, or car dealership workers, it’s not just formal trades like plumbing or carpentry as is popular in the UK.
Without these qualifications, you will find it nearly impossible to be hired for a job. If you did somehow get a job without a qualification, but at a later stage want to go for a promotion, it is highly unlikely you would ever get the job over someone who has a relevant qualification – even if they had little, to no experience.
So how is it different in the UK at least? Well if you have 5 years experience in Estate Agency, versus a University graduate with a relevant degree, your experience is pretty likely to be regarded by the employer as worth as much, if not more, than the degree. In Germany, the person with the qualification would get it.
The disadvantage I see to this, given my very diverse work history, is if you did an apprenticeship in something like Tax advising, then after 5 years want to do something else, essentially, you can’t. You would first have to study and get qualified in order to move fields. I find the whole balance toward education frighteningly restrictive. But then I would, seeing as I am a dumbass college dropout.