How do I improve my employability

Employability

The recipe for success: Dutch universities rely on employability

Every student wants a quick, successful career start, but good grades have long ceased to be a guarantee for a successful start in professional life. What matters is employability. Companies are looking for employees who can put them to productive use as quickly as possible and this is the particular strength of the Dutch higher education system. Universities and technical colleges have set themselves the goal of training students for the current job market. During their studies, students develop exactly the skills and abilities that employers require. Compared to Germany, Dutch university graduates can start their careers more easily and quickly.

To explain how Dutch universities achieve a high degree of employability for their students, it is helpful to take a look at internal university structures and course content. In Dutch universities of applied sciences, for example, there is a professional field committee for every degree program, consisting of employers and university lecturers. Current course content is discussed together here. In accordance with the recommendations of these commissions, course content is regularly reviewed and adjusted if necessary.

Another special feature: Students have the opportunity to set their own priorities depending on their talent and interest in their studies. A student in the field of civil engineering who would like to work as an independent architect in the future can, for example, acquire the necessary entrepreneurial and business management knowledge during a "minor" (specialization semester). A business administration student with international career plans has the option of taking a semester abroad or internship abroad as a minor in order to get to know another language as well as other cultures and mentalities. The individual competency profiles of graduates of a degree program are correspondingly different thanks to different specializations, just as later jobs make different demands on the graduates.

Employability - A question of the concept

In their conception, courses of study are often tailored directly to later professional requirements. At the University of Twente in Enschede, the Netherlands, this application orientation is even in the name of some courses: Applied Communication Sciences or Applied Mathematics. If you want to work in the HR department later, you can study HR management in the Netherlands from the first semester and not, as in Germany, business administration with a subsequent specialization. The same applies to many other courses such as marketing, tourism and leisure management or textile management.

In many degree programs, students also come into contact with their future field of work in the first semester. Internships and small projects give you first impressions of your future career. This clear focus on later work from the first year of study increases the employability of the students. As a desired consequence of the high employability of Dutch university graduates, they find a job quickly.