Study: Dual studies help combat shortage of skilled workers

Every second company wants to employ more dual students to make up for shortage of skilled workers.

  • According to a study conducted by IU International University of Applied Sciences, companies want to invest more in dual students.
  • 70 percent of industry partners plan to offer their dual students a permanent position after their studies.
  • For just under half (46 percent), the corona pandemic resulted in quality losses in training.

Erfurt, October 14, 2021. The trend study "Duales Studium aus Unternehmenssicht " (Dual Studies from a Company Perspective) conducted by IU International University of Applied Sciences (IU) shows how important dual studies are for counteracting the shortage of skilled workers: almost all of the German companies surveyed (90 percent) want to invest or have already invested in dual students in order to train future skilled workers for their company. More than one in two companies surveyed (57 percent) would like to recruit more dual students to make up for the shortage of skilled workers.

"Finding skilled workers is a challenge for many companies. Training dual students is one solution for them. The study shows how great the need already is and how important it is to create access points to introduce young talent to businesses," says Michael Kästner, COO Dual Studies at IU International University of Applied Sciences.

The combination of theory and practice has advantages for companies: 73 percent of the companies surveyed found that dual students gain a realistic insight into everyday working life at an industry partner. A further 67 percent cited a high-quality academic degree and the acquisition of practical experience in the company as advantages, and 65 percent cited the combination of sound specialist knowledge and background knowledge from practical experience as an advantage.

The study results show that a dual study programme not only has advantages for companies, but also for dual students: 70 percent of the businesses surveyed plan to offer their dual students a permanent position after completing their studies. 62 percent of the companies surveyed are prepared to pay the tuition fees in full, 20 percent would do so in part.

The corona pandemic has shifted the training of dual students from the office to working from home. Eighty-three percent of companies surveyed said they were "very well or rather well" prepared for the digitilisation of training. Nevertheless, according to the IU study, knowledge-transfer between industry partners and students suffered: Just under half of the companies surveyed (46 percent) rate the quality of training in the pandemic as "rather or much worse," while 30 percent rate it as "unchanged" compared to the time before corona.

 According to the survey, only a quarter of businesses (24 percent) with a working from home option have taken concrete steps, such as procuring hardware and software or digitalising processes, to make training more digital in the future.

 "When it comes to training, the corona pandemic presents industry partners with major challenges. They have to digitilise the practical training of their dual students. Even if most companies say they were well prepared for this, they are not very satisfied with the quality overall. The transfer of knowledge between industry partners and dual students is particularly difficult at one point: the direct exchange on site," says Prof. Dr. Patrick Geus, Prorector Dual Studies at IU International University of Applied Sciences.



With over 75,000 students, IU International University of Applied Sciences (IU) is the largest university in Germany. The private, state-recognized educational institution brings together more than 200 Bachelor's and Master's degree programmes under its roof, which are offered in German or English. Students can choose between on-campus study, dual study, distance learning and flexible combination models and thus shape their studies in a self-determined way. IU began operations in 2000 and is now represented in 28 German cities. It cooperates with over 10,000 companies and actively supports them in employee development. Its partners include Motel One, VW Financial Services and Deutsche Bahn. Further information at: www.iu.de