Germany is one the largest sources of doctoral graduates worldwide with about 25,000 graduations annually (Bundesbericht Wissenschaftlicher Nachwuchs 2013). This also means that a doctoral degree in Germany is not only intended to prepare for a career in academia, as is the case in many other countries, but rather provides access to a wide range of higher positions in the government and in the private sector.
The decision to earn a doctorate pays off because it considerably lowers the risk of unemployment: in 2003, the unemployment rate for doctoral degree holders in Germany was only 3.2%, compared to 4.8% for university graduates and 9.8% for those without a degree (Bundesbericht Wissenschaftlicher Nachwuchs 2008).
The advantages that a doctorate can bring are not uniformly positive, however, as there are differences according to gender and subject fields:
You should keep in mind, however, that attractive employment rates do not mean much if you have chosen the wrong field for your interests, or if you have no plan B.
Once the research project has been completed, the dissertation still has to be submitted, reviewed and in the end defended orally. These steps are illustrated further on the following site: Doctoral Completion
Typical sectors, where postdoctoral researchers find work are Research Careers at Universities and Public Research Institutions, the Public Service, the Private Sector and Entrepreneurship. Detailed informations to these areas are provided via the site: Career Entry