The bachelor’s degree was introduced in Germany to harmonise German degrees with foreign degrees. In addition, industry had been urgently calling for such a change for some time. German graduates are generally seen as being very competent, but they are often perceived as being too old and having limited practical training. The number of bachelor’s degree graduates in Germany is still low and companies do not yet have much experience of the new degrees. However, one thing has already become clear: A bachelor’s degree is not sufficient for all professional fields. Those hoping for a future in research must continue their university education beyond the initial six semesters.
In non-research business areas, the career prospects for bachelor’s degree graduates are a lot better, for example in the field of logistics where Nestlé recruits some graduates with bachelor’s degrees, or in sales and marketing as for example at Genzyme CEE GmbH in Constance. Constance-based Genzyme CEE GmbH is the Eastern European and Asian head office of the Genzyme group and employs several people with a bachelor’s degree, the majority of them from outside Germany. Genzyme also has a few trainees including a young Chinese student. Dr. Ute Stölzle finds the division of a study programme into a bachelor and master’s degree suitable if students have a clear objective. The bachelor’s degree gives graduates the possibility to gain some experience in industry. “Success does not necessarily come just from people having a doctorate, they also need creativity,” said Dr. Ute Stölzle.
For a company like Genzyme, the new degrees fit well into the company’s concept: the company has always concentrated on in-house education, i.e. training programmes that are tailored to the requirements of the company and its employees. This also includes logical thinking or sales training, explained the CEO. The bachelor’s degree enables people to have an early start to their career in the company.
Dr. Ute Stölzle is not too concerned about the age of the bachelor’s degree graduates who are in general a few years younger than their master’s degree colleagues. “We do not only hire young people. The last people we hired were all over 40,” said Dr. Ute Stölzle emphasising that it is the CV, the experience and the applicant’s personality that count. “Of course, the applicant’s education and training is also important. But this is not just reflected in a degree and a title. For her, degrees and titles are not of prime importance. She attributes greater importance to emotional intelligence, a willingness to take on responsibility and teamworking skills. The ability to motivate colleagues and whether a person has managerial skills cannot be deduced from the degree, said Stölzle who would recruit a graduate with a bachelor’s degree who has practical training rather than a master’s graduate straight out of university if she had the choice. At Genzyme, bachelor’s degree graduates with excellent English are not paid less than the more qualified recruits with Diplom. She believes that excellent language skills and practical training are very important, because this gives graduates the ability to get on in professional life.
Further information:Genzyme CEE GmbHBleicherstraße 1078567 KonstanzTel.: +49 (0)7531 457-270Fax: +49 (0)7531 457-2798E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.orgNycomed GmbHBykGuldenstraße 278467 KonstanzPress OfficeTel.: +49 (0)7531 84-3021Fax: +49 (0)7531 84-3065E-mail: email@example.comPTC SingenLange Straße 2178224 SingenBeate Trost HR ManagerTel.: +49 (0)7731 14-1277Fax: +49 (0)7731 14-1403E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org