Dual studies for SMEs: 10 tips for medium-sized companies [+ checklist]

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Large Company have been offering dual study programs for a long time, now more and more medium-sized companies and small businesses are discovering the benefits for themselves. What should SMEs pay attention to when they want to employ dual students?

Dedicated young employees win

Here writes for you:


Prof. Dr. Patrick Geus is Vice-Rector of the IUBH Campus Program.


Dual study as a recruiting and retention tool

The demand for dual study programs is increasing - on the side of Company and with freshmen. 2013 around 21.000 young people have started a dual degree. Until 2030, this number is expected to increase to 38.000 per year, according to a recent extrapolation from the Bertelsmann Stiftung.

In today's “War for Talents”, the competition for the best brains, employers can score with the dual degree. The concept is based on a regular change between practical phases in the company and theoretical phases at the university.

Interlock theory and practice

This combination of practice and bachelor's degree is very attractive to many young people. Not only in sectors such as tourism, where classical education has lost its appeal and it is becoming increasingly difficult to find qualified applicants, we have very good experiences with the dual study program.

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Other sectors of the economy, such as marketing, logistics and health management, are now benefiting from dual study offerings. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) usually have to manage with few resources for personnel development and employer branding. In these cases, the dual degree program offers clear advantages from recruiting to employee retention.

Matching between candidate and company

What is not clear to many companies: Some universities also support companies with recruiting. This can save a lot of work for SMEs in particular. It is worth asking here: Some universities only take care of the academic education of the “Stuzubis”, as the dual students are also called due to the combination of study and practical training. Others, such as the IUBH, take on the role of the personnel service provider to a certain extent and specifically assist in the selection of dual students.

In the matching process, the study advisors of the university apply the framework conditions and the background of the company in order to find a qualified and above all suitable candidate. If a family-run hotel needs a successor in the long term, the university is looking for a life-oriented, appropriately ambitious student who can and wants to grow into this role.

“Stuzubis” offer practical know-how adapted to the company

Another key advantage for SMEs: the study concept is very practice-oriented. Employers benefit from the know-how of the “Stuzubis”, which is tailored to the company, the processes and workflows. As part of their dual studies, the students devote themselves to business-related questions for which the daily work of an SME often lacks capacities and time, for example: Is our inventory system the right one? Does online marketing have potential for our company? What are the strengths and weaknesses of our competitors?

The “Stuzubis” are therefore not trainees, but can be entrusted with more complex tasks based on their knowledge from their studies. This not only pays off for companies during their studies. Because when they take over the employees, there are no long training periods and often high starting salaries for other university graduates.

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Introduction of the dual study: checklist for SMEs

Companies interested in the dual training model should clarify the following questions. If they can not find the answer on their own, they can go directly to a university offering a dual degree program, as most of them also consult employers.

  1. Does the dual study fit into our company structure and our personnel development strategy?
  2. Do we have the human resources to train and accompany dual students?
  3. How can we cushion the absence of dual students (study / examination phases)?
  4. Are we in a position to offer them an attractive take-over offer, that is to say, to bind the two students to us?
  5. Which university in our area offers dual courses of study that are relevant to us?
  6. How is the quality of study and the university secured? Is the degree in Germany fully accredited and (also internationally) recognized? What awards does the respective dual university have?
  7. What do graduates and company partners say about the universities? Do you recommend the university?
  8. Are my questions to the university answered promptly and competently by specific contact persons and supervisors?
  9. Will I be specifically advised and supported by the university, e.g. B. when recruiting the “Stuzubis”?
  10. Does the university provide opportunities for exchange and networking with other companies that employ dual students?

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