Professional orientation (employability)

Bachelor's and master's degree programmes should provide students access to a professional field. The distinctive quality of university degree programmes is their orientation on skills, firmly based in academic- and research-oriented content. During their course of study, students should gain an impression of the professional fields in which they could potentially seek future employment.

This can be achieved through mandatory work placements. We also recommend integrating professional practitioners and alumni as guest lecturers or consultants in future curricular development. In research-based programmes, instructors can more strongly emphasise practical orientation by establishing research groups, organising presentations at conferences and helping students publish their first articles or short papers.

Integrating the results of regularly administered graduate surveys is an especially helpful way to enhance professional qualification in degree programmes. The graduates' self-evaluation of the skills they acquired during these programmes can prove especially useful. Coordinators can also benefit from the expertise provided by the University's Careers Service.
Careers Service
More information on graduate surveys [de]

Additional recommendations:

  • To ensure the quality of work placements, we recommend forming a network of cooperative partners from related professional and practical fields.
  • Students should be given the opportunity during their programmes to reflect on the relationship between "university study and career" and the relationship between "undergraduate study and continuing advanced qualification", e.g. as part of General Studies or in workshops offered by the Careers Service.
  • To allow students to benefit from the positive practical experience of former students, instructors can recommend work placement providers.
  • Employers can also be asked to evaluate the skills of the graduates they employ.