Students and one of the lecturers in front of a whiteboard

Career planning

Before applying, you should think about what you want to do and what you are good at.

Think about the following:

  • What am I good at?
  • What do I like?
  • What is important for me at work?
  • What kind of career do I want to make?
  • Do I want to work at a big company or in a small or medium business?
  • What kind of degree or qualification do I need: Bachelor, master, doctoral degree?
  • In what industry do I want to work?
  • In what region do I want to work? City or more in the countryside?
  • Do I want to work in Germany permanently?

A distinction is made between hard skills and soft skills.


Hard skills

Hard skills can be proven by certificates:

  • What qualifications and skills do you have?
  • What school or academic degree do you have?
  • Do you already have professional experience?
  • Do you speak one or more languages?
  • Do you have IT-knowledge/-skills?
  • Have you spent longer periods abroad?
  • Do you do voluntary work?


Soft skills

Soft skills are interdisciplinary competences and describe your personality. In everyday professional life, these are important for working together with colleagues. During the job interview, your possible future employer will check whether you have the qualifications necessary for the advertised job.


These include the following personal qualities:

  • Personal competence (sense of responsibility, self-confidence, introspection, discipline, willingness to learn, resilience etc.)
  • Social skills (capacity for teamwork, ability to empathise, knowledge of human nature, intercultural skills etc.)
  • Methodical competence (handling new media, presentation techniques, structured working, analytical capability, creativity etc.)
  • Emotional intelligence (handling your own feelings and the feelings of others)


If you decided for a goal, check which qualifications and skills you already have to reach this goal. Now you are able to acquire specifically skills and knowledge you lack so far.

On a regular basis FHWS (Labour office, VHS) offers:

  • Language courses
  • IT courses
  • Presentation techniques
  • Project management
  • Intercultural Skills
  • and many more…

Plan your career as early as possible. The best is, to start thinking about your professional career already at the start of your studies. To find out which professional path you prefer, try to gather experience by working at companies in different areas already during your studies.

This experience will help you with quickly finding a job after your graduation.


There are several ways to gather work experience during your studies:

  • Internship
  • Working students/part-time work
  • Writing your final thesis within or together with a company
  • Establish your own network


Entering professional life

There are several ways to enter professional life. These include:


Without having done an internship, it is hard to get a job at the desired company. You get to know the daily work, gather experience and can make contacts. At FHWS there is a mandatory internship period.

It is useful if the job is related to your studies. You not only earn money, you also gather experience, get to know the company and can make contacts.

As a graduate you can apply for trainee programmes. By working in different departments/units you will get to know the company and get an overview of the whole company. You are usually assigned a mentor and there are trainings offered. After completing the programme, trainees should be able to take over management responsibilities.

In Germany a traineeship in cultural institutions or the media sector is often called “Volontariat” which is just another word for trainee programme.

Direct entry

Graduates can apply directly for a job. There is usually a short familiarization period. Danach wird man eigene Aufgaben und Projekte erhalten.

Going into self-employment, realising your own ideas and create your own future. While still studying, students are often founding a little start-up. FHWS offers information and workshops for founders.

Graduates often only look at big enterprises, but it is worthwhile having a closer look at small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Many of them are already affected by the lack of specialists and are looking for employees. Advantages of SMEs are their often less hierarchic structure, the opportunity to quickly help shaping the company and good career opportunities. Diversified work and training-on-the-job are two more advantages. New long-term projects should be sustainable and thus provide greater job security.

You can find our supporting events on the page Transition into professional life. <EM/>