Increase your employability, develop your competencies!

With the spring finally came the sun and with it, a new project at Maastricht University.

Looking at the learning process in schools and organizations, the project focuses more specifically on the role played by competencies.

Often, students and employees follow courses, participate in trainings and workshops, read books or discuss with colleagues with the aim to develop competencies at the core of their field of expertise.

But are they addressing the relevant competencies? And how can they best develop these competencies? Do these competencies match recruiters’ demands? And how do recruiters and students perceive the topic?

Competencies as a common language

The results of a questionnaire distributed among 20 HR recruiters and 140 SBE students during the Maastricht Business Days, show that most of the students are interested in taking on a consultancy job after graduating.

Students also indicated the ability and the willingness to learn as the most important competencies needed in the workplace. Next, social and communication skills were seen as crucial.

Remarkably, the competencies that were seen as important by the students were also those perceived as most relevant by HR recruiters. Students seem to have a good idea of the competencies needed in the workplace.

In order to better support the development of these competencies in the future, HR recruiters suggested to increase students’ exposure to the practical aspects of professional life by organizing guest lectures with practitioners, studying real-life cases or encouraging student to set up their own companies. “Is this not what academic education is about?” they asked.

The first research results and their implications will be discussed during a workshop on 24 April, at 11.00-13.00, in Room A1.22 (Tongersestraat 53). The workshop will be included in the programme of the International Case Competition Maastricht (ICC@M).

Are you interested in joining us? Please register for the workshop by clicking on this link.

If you would like to read more about the workshop, please visit the ICC@M website.

During the workshop you will meet HR professionals, Maastricht University staff and bachelor and master students and have the opportunity to discuss research results and exchange experiences and ideas on which competencies students and employees really need and how they best can be developed.

The findings resulting from focus groups discussions will be used to optimize the curricula at Maastricht University and decrease the gap between university and workplace.


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