Dual studies in Germany. What do companies think about it? 

Dual studies

What the study is about

This trend study looks at dual studies from a different angle: the company’s perspective. The importance of dual students for companies, the demands on them, but also the challenges in times of Coronavirus. 

One goal that almost all companies pursue with dual students? Counteracting the shortage of skilled workers - by investing in dual students. In this way, companies can bind the qualified specialists of tomorrow to their company at an early stage. The companies' expectations of dual students are correspondingly high. In particular, companies demand a high willingness to learn and perform, to take on responsibility and to actively think beyond their tasks. Soft skills such as empathy and loyalty are also desired. The dual students in companies are largely able to meet these expectations. This is also reflected in the fact that almost all companies are/were overall satisfied with their dual students. Evidence of this is also seen in the companies' plans to take on the students. More than two out of three companies have/had plans to take on their dual students after graduation. All of this shows that dual students are highly important for companies. 

The study shows that companies trust dual students with more complex tasks than traditional trainees. In addition, they tend to see them as the next generation of managers. However, this does not mean that dual students are more important than traditional trainees. A good half of the companies rate a dual study programme higher than a traditional classroom study programme. Why is that? Because companies are primarily of the opinion that dual students are better prepared for their later tasks in companies and make a greater contribution to the company's success than traditional students. 

In times of Coronavirus, companies also face a challenge in the training of dual students. Working and training had to be switched overnight and be possible in a home office environment. More than eight out of ten of the companies surveyed are of the opinion that they were well prepared for the digitalisation of the training of dual students. Nevertheless, almost half of the companies rate the quality of training dual students in the home office as worse compared to training before the Coronavirus pandemic. 

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The 5 most important findings

  • A real competence bonus. Compared to traditional studies and training, companies see decisive advantages in dual students. They are awarded more competences and more leadership qualities. Half of the companies surveyed therefore prefer to train or would prefer to train dual students. 
  • For the skilled workers of the future. Almost 90 % of the companies would like to tie their dual students to the company in the long term. They see the offer of a dual study programme as an investment in the future. Especially with regard to training suitable skilled workers for their company and in such a way that there is no need for an intensive induction period and they can start immediately as a fully-fledged member after graduation. 
  • The plus of practice. The combination of theory and practice is a clear plus when it comes to the advantages of dual studies. Dual students gain a realistic insight into the everyday work of their practical company and are thus better prepared for their later tasks. At the same time, companies appreciate the high-quality academic degree in combination with the practical experience. 
  • Time and offer must match. Whether it's a split week, a weekly rotation or block lessons: the right time model is particularly important when choosing a partner university. In addition, the offer, i.e. the subject, should also be a perfect match for the company. 
  • Dual studies? Digital is a possibility. During the Coronavirus pandemic, the majority of dual students were also able to take advantage of home office offers from their practice companies. More than 80 % of the companies stated that they were very well/ rather well prepared for the digitalisation of training. 

About this study: 

  • Published on 14 October 2021 
  • Survey of 765 companies that currently employ dual students, have employed dual students or companies interested in employing dual students. 
  • Survey period: 2 August 2021 – 29 August 2021 


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