Training & development

Close all Expand all

Our approach to training and development

We offer our employees a wide range of specific training and development programs. Important principles for this are defined in our Code of Human Rights and in our Guiding Principles. For many units at Deutsche Telekom, specific agreements were also reached with the employees’ representatives on the subject of training. The training we offer our employees pays off. In 2023, for example, we were able to fill 51 percent of our open positions with internal candidates (2022: 33 percent; 2021: 51 percent; 2020: 66 percent).1

Training the experts of tomorrow
We offer many young people the opportunity to enter the workplace. For example, we have a comprehensive range of technical and commercial apprenticeship programs that train our skilled workers of tomorrow. In 2023, the Group offered around 2 000 training positions, including more than 1 220 positions for apprenticeships and about 750 positions for persons in dual study bachelor’s degree programs. In addition, up to 25 young people took part in our 12-month DiscoverMINT program, which offers career orientation and a chance to explore opportunities in the digital workplace. The programs we offer make us one of the largest training providers in Germany. Our training programs provide a foundation for digital competence – and thereby enable our apprentices to make a seamless transition into the digital workplace.

Promoting lifelong learning
We promote lifelong learning and support our employees on their individual learning paths. We start by reviewing the skills our employees have now and those they will need in the future. On this basis, we offer our employees tailored training and development programs. These can also include stays abroad or studies parallel to their jobs. For example, Bologna@Telekom gives employees access to part-time bachelor’s and master’s degree programs. Since its introduction more than ten years ago, a total of 2 310 employees in Germany have taken advantage of this opportunity.


… takes a look at the entire educational chain from vocational training – university degree – further development.
Informal learning in the working process

  • Dual bachelor’s degree program
  • Dual vocational training
  • DiscoverMINT@Telekom
Initial career

  • Start up!
  • Theses
  • Student internship/Flexikum scheme
Courses for students
and graduates

  • Part-time Master’s degree
  • Part-time Bachelors’ degree
further education

  • Talent management
  • Expert development
  • Leadership development
  • WeLearn
Courses for

In order to prepare our employees for the future requirements of the job market and ensure that they can participate successfully in the workplace, we offer them various development programs to expand their digital capabilities. With the “Explorer Journeys,” our employees can acquire basic skills in the areas of data analytics, software development, digital marketing, user experience design (UX design), artificial intelligence (AI) and cloud and DevOps technologies. These learning journeys are open to both beginners and experts. For example, our global upskilling programs in the areas of data science, data engineering, and data visualization help experts deepen their specialist knowledge. In 2023, a total of 8 200 employees took part in our Explorer Journeys. Our multi-week programs on “Generative AI” registered a total of 2 468 participants. Thanks to retraining programs such as the Junior Software Development Academy, our employees also have the opportunity to develop themselves in an entirely new area – customer advisors can retrain as software developers, for example. As a result, the programs also help us expand our own pool of candidates. 

Learning independently, and digitally
From 2019 to 2022, our “youlearn” initiative supported our overall aim of developing Deutsche Telekom as a learning organization. In the process, we offered our employees worldwide (excluding those of T-Mobile US) the opportunity to manage much of their own training, with online courses, and to make learning an integral part of their everyday working life. In the reporting year, we have continued these efforts, while also highlighting the sense of community fostered by the initiative: Since the summer of 2023, “WeLearn” has been the motto for all of our learning programs. 

Over the past few years, and via the Percipio learning platform, which we introduced in 2019, we have continued to expand our online education and training programs at the global level (excluding T-Mobile US). In addition to a desktop solution, the Percipio app img lets users access content anytime and anywhere. It offers a wide range of courses, videos, books, and audio books on topics such as leadership, technology and development, and digital transformation, and it conveys the learning content in an entertaining way. Content is offered in 18 languages – with the help of dubbing and subtitling. In 2023, some 164 000 Deutsche Telekom employees were registered on this platform. Via Percipio, our employees can access training materials offered by Coursera, the world’s largest provider of online courses at university level. The courses, on issues such as big data, cybersecurity, cloud, and artificial intelligence, are provided by a network of around 200 universities.

The employees’ initiative Learning from Experts (LEX), which was launched in 2018 and is now successfully established at Deutsche Telekom, provides another example of the opportunities we offer for self-managed, self-guided learning. In LEX, experts from the Group share knowledge with their colleagues via a range of different channels. LEX is one of our fastest-growing communities. Its LEX sessions, lasting 30 to 60 minutes, are especially popular. More than 20 000 LEX sessions had been held by the end of 2023.

Throughout the Group (not including T-Mobile US), our employees completed some 3.8 million hours of learning in 2023, as investments in their own personal and professional development. Slightly over half of these hours were devoted to acquiring technical and digital skills. Overall, LEX users completed a total of almost 2.8 million hours of online learning in 2023. The comparable figure for 2019 was only 1.8 million. In 2023, fully 88 percent of the training courses available for registration throughout the Group were available online.  

Training and skills management
We are aiming to develop Deutsche Telekom into a skills-focused company that orients its learning and development programs, and its pertinent processes, completely to its employees’ skills requirements.

We are continually building and upgrading our skills management program. With the help of a special, smart tool, skills management supports us in identifying skills gaps, throughout the Group. It thus enables us to offer targeted, focused continuing training and education programs for our employees. We tailor our learning programs to the skills gaps we identify. Also, we show our employees skills profiles that they can aim for, and achieve, by developing their skills. Since 2023, following a successful pilot program that began in 2017 and reached several units, we have been running our skills management program interdepartmentally, throughout the Group. To date, some 46 000 employees have successfully completed the skills management program.

Strengthening leadership skills in the digital age
In our management and leadership development programs, we are also increasingly relying on virtual solutions. The aim of such programs is to strengthen virtual leadership skills. 

In 2021, we introduced WeGrow, a new approach to performance development, for employees at Deutsche Telekom in Germany and at T-Systems’ Local Business Units (LBUs), and subsequently rolled it out in other companies as well. By building on regular feedback, this process will help us enhance our employees’ development and commitment, create clarity about tasks and expected results, and strengthen trust-based relationships between managers and employees. 

In addition, it will dovetail closely with other HR processes, such as skills management, talent management, and succession planning – and thereby help us tackle the challenges we face as a company. Since 2023, we have also been using WeGrow in our career development meetings with employees covered by collective agreements and with civil servants.

Talent management at Deutsche Telekom
Deutsche Telekom completely overhauled its approach to talent management in 2022. The aim was to garner a holistic, Group-wide view of talents at Deutsche Telekom. This is enabling us to a) develop centralized talent initiatives for all employees, and b) supplement those initiatives with local initiatives tailored to the specific requirements of the particular business unit involved in each case. For us, all employee groups harbor talents, including employees covered or not covered by collective agreements, and executives. WeGrow, our Group-wide performance development approach, serves as our basis for identifying talents. WeGrow, providing for ongoing dialog between managers and employees, is designed to further our employees’ development and help us identify talents. To this end, we have developed common, clearly defined, and comparable talent criteria – summarized by “4 As,” standing for Achievement, Ambition, Attitude, and Ability. As the 4 As suggest, in addition to reviewing previous achievements and existing skills, we also consider whether employees have the necessary ambition and attitude for inclusion in talent initiatives. 

All our initiatives aim to develop suitable talents towards positions that add value to the Group. To this end, we network talents and managers, create transparency regarding our talent pool, and promote direct contact with prospective hiring managers.

In the WeGrow framework, we hold annual “People Days” events. They bring management teams together for discussion aimed at identifying talents among the employees under their responsibility. At these meetings, a holistic, forward-looking evaluation process is applied that takes account of aspects such as performance, values-based skills, and potential future development. 

The “Executives and Prospective Executives” target group is promoted via the Global Talent Hub, a globally operated talent initiative that includes up to 200 talented people who are directly suited for, and aiming for, an executive position in the company. Since 2022, the Hub also includes up to 100 talents who, early on in their careers, have already shown that they have the necessary potential to reach the executive level. This group receives extra support throughout a series of several career steps. In the reporting year, 22 percent of the company’s executive positions (excluding positions at T-Mobile US) were filled with talents from the Global Talent Hub.

Also in the reporting year, our work in the area of training and development was honored with a number of awards.


1 Due to a system and methodology adjustment in 2023, the figure is only comparable with the figures from previous years to a limited extent.

Our contribution to the SDGs


Careers at Deutsche Telekom

With more than 200 000 employees in 34 countries, Deutsche Telekom is one of the leading telecommunication companies worldwide. Our employees are shaping the digital world of tomorrow, often performing pioneering work.

We constantly monitor the increasing demand for skilled workers, particularly IT and tech experts, and compete for the best talents. With our targeted recruitment programs, we give school and university students, graduates, and experienced hires a variety of options for immersing themselves in the Magenta world, including apprenticeships, dual study programs, internships, trainee programs, and expert entry. 

In 2023, in Germany, we launched Magenta Campus Team, an effort aimed at coordinating our many different cooperative relationships with universities and at intensifying our dialog with students and graduates outside of the company’s sphere. In this framework, we began inviting junior staff to excursions and expert presentations that offer an opportunity to become better acquainted with the company. Also, we continued our annual campus tours, under a new concept. We offered students and graduates the opportunity to meet with our IT and tech experts, in relaxed settings with snacks and games. In the reporting year, and in this context, we visited a total of eight universities in Germany – and got to meet many of the country’s up-and-coming skilled staff. In addition, the “Community of University Experts” was founded in 2023 as a platform for the exchange of information and the scaling of measures within the framework of university cooperation within the European Telekom subsidiaries.

With state-of-the-art workplace concepts, comprehensive codetermination options, and a broad range of training and development, we are moving toward our aim of becoming the “Leading Digital Telco.”

We offer our employees a broad, flexible benefits package that lets them shape their careers and personal lives individually, in keeping with their specific needs and objectives. Examples include flexible working hours, hybrid working models, and part-time employment, as well as lifetime work accounts, risk cover, and support with caregiving for family members. Our mission as a responsible employer also includes fair, competitive remuneration, with options for performance-based variable components, as well as a generous pension scheme. In addition, our Share2you program gives employees the option to purchase employee shares at special conditions: when they buy two employee shares, they receive a third one free of charge. Other benefits, such as sustainable mobility solutions and extensive health promotion, round out our offerings. More information about this is available on our careers website.

We have special offers for career starters, such as our “Start up!” trainee program. Our Start up! trainees spend a total of 18 months getting to know the different units at Deutsche Telekom. In the process, they gain extensive insights into our multinational corporation. In each case, the program has a focus topic, but can be oriented to a trainee’s specific needs. 

Also, our Software Academy’s re-skilling program, which launched in 2022, offers participants – including even those without any prior IT experience – the opportunity to train as software developers. Our 12-month DiscoverMINT orientation program offers young people in Germany career orientation and an opportunity to familiarize themselves with the digital workplace, and its promise.


Systems Solutions segment: training and development

T-Systems supports the personal and professional development of its employees with a broad range of customizable training and development programs. Also, it provides its junior staff with special support while they are still new to the workplace.

Training and development programs, for acquisition of key tech skills
In the reporting year, T-Systems continued running “youlearn,” a Group-wide initiative launched in 2020. Also, it emphasized “Digitize!,” a company-wide skills-development campaign. The company’s management is giving the initiative top strategic priority for the next few years. Digitize! comprises several programs that help employees develop key technology skills needed in managing customers’ digital transformations. The programs include digital training on topics such as artificial intelligence (AI) and big data, as well as the part-time programs Digital Engineer, Data Scientist, Digital Consultant, and Digital Expert of Tomorrow, which are offered in cooperation with RWTH Aachen University. In addition, a “Career Shifter” module helps employees reskill for IT roles – including complex roles such as “cloud backend engineer” or “cloud architect hyperscaler.” In terms of prerequisites, the programs are aimed at a wide range of persons, including persons with no prior experience, persons with IT experience and solid tech skills, and experts on digitalization. Wherever possible, courses are offered internationally. For the most part, the programs are presented online, for self-directed learning, but they also include in-person classroom training at participants’ own locations. While all of these reskilling and upskilling measures are managed centrally, they are carried out in close cooperation with the relevant business units (departments, teams of experts). With them, T-Systems is seeking to develop itself as an organization that promotes self-directed learning. For this reason, it welcomes and supports learning/development initiatives that its units develop on their own. In the reporting year, all such initiatives were again successful. 

To date, some 2 815 employees, representing a total of 25 portfolio units, have taken part in Digitize! since it was introduced. In the reporting year, employees earned 3 834 certifications, in a total of 39 strategic skill clusters. In the process, a total of 1 000 certifications were earned in key cloud services such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) – and T-Systems won the Digital Revolution Award for its outstanding efforts on behalf of the digital transformation.

In 2023, and for the second time in succession, T-Systems presented its “Learning Hero Award,” which is designed to promote a culture of learning throughout the company. The award is given to “Learning Heroes” within the company who have carried out especially interesting and useful initiatives in the area of learning and teaching. In 2023, nine winners were selected, from a total of 184 candidates (representing 13 different countries), in the three categories “Individual,” “Multiplier,” and “Teams.” The winners received prizes, including both non-cash and cash prizes, worth up to 5 000 euros. The 2023 Learning Heroes’ efforts were publicized both within and outside the company.

Promoting junior staff
T-Systems offers special programs for career starters, such as a Graduate Program. In that program, which begins in May and October of each year, participants move through a range of learning phases and practical assignments, over a five-month period. Mentors support participants in developing their skills and in navigating their entry into the workplace. In designing the program, T-Systems cooperates with leading universities.

T-Systems also works to promote STEM img (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) skills outside of the company. For instance, it is a founding partner of 42 Berlin, a coding academy that opened in early December 2022. The academy has no professors, exams, or lectures. Instead, it creates a framework in which students can develop their own projects, individually and in groups. Age, origin, and previous education are explicitly ignored; everyone gets a chance to start programming. 42 Berlin’s program also calls for participants to put what they learn to practical use. In the reporting year, T-Systems hired eight program participants as interns. And two of those persons, who came aboard in March, have since been employed on a regular, permanent basis. T-Systems has appointed six experts, known as “Fellows,” to represent T-Systems and Deutsche Telekom to educational institutions, assist and guide interns, and carry out mentoring events.

Talent and skills management
WeGrow”, the Group-wide performance management format, promotes employees’ personal and professional development and helps identify especially promising junior staff – “talents.” In the WeGrow framework in 2023, T-Systems launched the global Talents@T-Systems program. This initiative is aimed at supporting talents in developing their careers, networking with leading industry figures and collaborating internationally. In the reporting year, a total of 2 000 employees participated in the program.

In its HR work, T-Systems keeps track of the changing market, and it invests efficiently in development of key skills needed to meet future requirements. Throughout the year, to support employees and management staff in their personal development, in the context of the digital age, the company highlighted the different career paths available within the organization, and gave them a sharper defining profile. This effort is now proving especially useful for T-Systems employees in the areas of consulting, software engineering, IT architecture, and project management.


Training program for cybersecurity professionals

IT security experts are still in short supply on the German labor market, which is why, in 2014, we developed a 2.5-year, part-time training program leading to certification as a cybersecurity professional (certified by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry). The program is integrated into regular work processes and supplemented by subject-related and general modules in a variety of formats (classroom courses, e-learning img, blended learning). After successfully passing the examination at the relevant Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK), participants receive an IHK certificate as a cybersecurity professional. For the skills they have acquired as part of the training, they can obtain credits that can be used in bachelor’s or master’s programs. During the reporting year, 19 participants passed the exams to become certified cybersecurity professionals at the Cologne Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK Köln).

We are continuously developing our training programs, taking into account current and future IT security requirements. For example, in the reporting year, we updated and expanded all program content in keeping with the latest developments in the area of artificial intelligence (AI). 

In 2018, in response to demand that emerged at other companies and at government agencies, we opened up the program to employees of other organizations. In 2023, the program entered its tenth year, with a total of 14 participants. They include staff of Deutsche Telekom Security GmbH (ten persons), Deutsche Telekom IT GmbH (two persons) and Deutsche Telekom Geschäftskunden GmbH (two persons). 

Graduates of the program are increasingly taking on the role of expert coaches for the new participants, documenting the positive rating of the program and supporting its development. In the reporting year, the expert coaches from the program’s seventh class (year) were certified. They were able to expand their skills through a course entitled “Fit for expert coaching” and even put them to the test in the practical implementation of the program. 

During the same year, and on the occasion of the program’s tenth anniversary, over 120 program graduates and expert coaches gathered for an in-person alumni meeting. In addition to featuring presentations on current IT-security issues, the gathering offered plenty of opportunity for discussion and sharing of experience. The overall aim of the event was to promote the further development of the company’s professional cybersecurity community and to strengthen its network. 

After ten years of the program, we can report that our experience with it has been very positive. As of March 2023, seven classes had completed the training in full and received the pertinent certification. The average age of the graduates was approximately 24. At 5.7 percent, the dropout rate among participants was low. The course was described as challenging, but manageable in the context of the growing requirements of everyday working life. In total, we have had 152 program participants, in ten classes. 96.4 percent of the graduates from the classes of 2014 through 2020 remained in the Deutsche Telekom workforce.


Skills development at Telekom Training KPI

Deutsche Telekom offers its employees a range of training designed to help them to develop and brush up their skills. 

In 2023, we offered a total of 47 005 learning programs via our global Learning Management System (LMS). 88 percent of these programs were available online. On average, our employees in Germany and at our European Local Business Units (LBUs) invested 4.6 working days in their professional education, 3.4 of which were digital. During the reporting year, the percentage of learning carried out online decreased to 73 percent (2022: 79 percent).

Further information about this is available in the HR Factbook.


International development and leadership programs KPI

Our international development and leadership programs are designed to help high potentials and top performers establish themselves within the Group, to foster their loyalty to the company, and to position them in suitable jobs. These programs focus on developing the upcoming leader generation and supporting it in addressing current and future challenges. At the same time, the programs have the purposes of enhancing leaders’ identification with the company, promoting their knowledge-focused exchanges and interactions and cultivating their sense of personal responsibility.

    2020 2021 2022 2023
a) The program duration is 15 to 18 months. Listed are the new hires per year. The program is only offered in Germany.
b) Group-wide program for top talents. Has replaced the predecessor program “Global Talent Pool” since 2021.
Participants Trainee-Programm Start up! a) total 44 39 38 56
Participants Trainee-Programm Start up! a) of which women 59% 49% 53% 48%
Participants Global Talent Hub b) total - 365 237 190
Participants Global Talent Hub b) of which women - 30% 30% 35%

The Start up! trainee program runs four times a year, offering ambitious and outstanding graduates from various disciplines a chance to become the pioneering experts and leaders of the digital future. Trainees who are driven by an entrepreneurial spirit, a game-changer mentality, and a digital mindset can tailor their 18-month learning journey to their specific needs and interests. By immersing them in a fascinating exploration of the different business areas in Germany and abroad, the program offers an opportunity to gain practical experience from a series of challenging projects and customer-centric tasks supported by experienced leaders.

In addition, the Global Talent Hub serves as a pipeline for high potentials at Deutsche Telekom, which helps them develop into a leadership role or toward the next level – directly or with a step in between. It is an incubator and launchpad that gives talents visibility on a Group level, connects them with relevant business leaders across segments, and helps accelerate their careers to become key players in the future.

The levelUP! environment offers a host of leadership development options. Centralized, segment-specific, and country-specific content is combined into a harmonized learning experience for all leaders. In the reporting year, levelUP! successfully acquired 4 000 new users from all segments and is now providing information to more than 8 500 leaders in total.

Further information about this is available in the HR Factbook.


Apprentices and training programs in the DT Group in Germany KPI

In 2023, a total of some 5 350 junior staff underwent training, or took part in a dual study program, at the company. Of these, 22 percent were women.

Further information about this is available in the HR Factbook.


Employee recruitment in the DT Group in Germany KPI

In 2023, Deutsche Telekom hired around 2 500 new employees from the external labor market in Germany. In addition, we gave around 1 300 internal junior staff permanent jobs on completion of their vocational training or dual study courses.


Further information about this is available in the HR Factbook.


Proportion of digital experts

Our workforce’s in-depth expertise and future-centric skills are a vital company resource and pivotal to our business success. Deutsche Telekom prioritizes the promotion of future-proof digital skills. In 2023, we reiterated our commitment to improving employability by offering our Explorer Journeys – intensive programs focusing on up-and-coming innovation areas. More than 8 200 employees attended these digital training events lasting several weeks, covering topics such as generative AI, data analytics and data visualization, machine learning, and software development.

Further information about this is available in the HR Factbook.


benchmarking tool

Through our interactive benchmarking tool, important facts and figures of our national companies can be analysed and compared.

please rotate your device


  • Highlights

    We are working on behalf

    of an online world in which all people

    can participate and coexist in

    keeping with democratic principles

    We are working on behalf of an online world in which all people can participate and coexist in keeping with democratic principles

    Via our “No hate speech” initiative, we once again reached a great many people (about 865 million media contacts), including the many opinion leaders and educators (about 5.7 million people) we contacted directly.

    Our “ShareWithCare” campaign also reached a great many people – and it has played an important role, worldwide, in discussion about online sharing of photos of children. With over 250 million media contacts, ShareWithCare has successfully raised awareness about issues surrounding online sharing of children’s photos and data.

    Also, via programs such as Teachtoday and Scroller, we have continued working to promote media literacy in people of all ages, always with the aim of helping people navigate cyberspace safely, securely and with confidence.

    More than 200 000 people work at Deutsche Telekom – and every one of them is unique. This diversity is our strength. In keeping with our understanding of diversity, we offer our employees many ways to keep developing and growing professionally and personally. Thanks to such efforts, our employees’ satisfaction levels remain high: In 2023, our “engagement score,” which is calculated on the basis of responses in subject areas such as mood, employer attractiveness, brand identity, and inspiration, totaled 76 percent.

    Detailed examples of our progress in 2023, described from the perspectives of both the Group and our segments, are presented in the subsections.

    Highlight numbers

    Highlight numbers

    Progress of selected KPIs in  2023

    • 2022 2023

    • Community Contribution 2 346m. € 1 504m. €

    • Beneficiaries – Focus Topics 41m. 51m.

    • Reach – Focus Topics 2 070m. 1 734m.

    • Employee satisfaction 78% 76%

    • Proportion of women in middle and upper management 28.1% 27.9%

    Topic overview

    Read more

    Find out more about the topic

    Social in the topic specials

    Find out more about the topic Social in the topic specials