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The labor market of the future is undergoing a transformation fueled by advancing globalisation and digitisation. This brings with it a paradigm shift: interdisciplinary, transversal competencies are more important than ever. They enable individuals to successfully master a wide variety of situations through the targeted combination and application of acquired theoretical and practical knowledge. Therefore, the Career Centre is particularly concerned to support the students of the University of Würzburg in their profile development into a personality that thinks and acts sustainably, responsibly and innovatively.

The competence profile covers the current state of your skills acquisition. It reveals the knowledge, skills and abilities that you have acquired formally and informally. Skills acquisition may have taken place within (academic) education but also outside school and university, and it implies both theoretical knowledge and practical experience.

Click here for an overview of the different competences.


Professional competence are defined as the ‘willingness and ability to perform tasks and solve problems in a goal-oriented, appropriate, methodical and independent manner on the basis of your professional knowledge and skills and to assess the result’ (Secretariat of the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs, 2021, p. 15, own translation). The term therefore refers to specific knowledge and skills to carry out work activities typical of a given occupation. This often also requires context-specific knowledge acquired in a particular field of activity, industry or position.

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The term ‘methodological competence’ is defined as the ‘willingness and ability to proceed in a targeted, planned manner when dealing with tasks and problems’ (Secretariat of the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs, 2021, p. 16, own translation). This involves the use of certain working techniques, procedures or learning strategies, for example analytical thinking, systematic-methodical thinking, organisational skills and planning skills. Methodological skills help to develop and successfully apply discipline-specific competence.

More information about methodological competence can be found here.

Communication is understood as social interaction between two or more people for the purpose of exchanging information, thoughts, experiences etc. within a current situation. First of all, communication rests on an interest in the success of the communication on the part of all participants.

Further basic components are, among other things, a shared sign system (e.g. a common language), the ability to assign meanings to signs received and the ability to situate signals within the state of knowledge of the other and to draw conclusions from it. In addition, communication always consists largely of nonverbal symbols, for example body posture, eye contact, gestures (Ebert 2018, p.19).

Here it becomes clear that the communication competence in the broadest sense is not a single skill that can be isolated from other skills. Rather, communication skills comprise a ‘whole bundle of skills and competencies, each of which is used simultaneously and in different weights depending on the situation and context’ (Nünning, Zierold 2008, p. 96, own translation).

In a narrower sense, the term ‘communication skills’ is defined as the ‘willingness and ability to understand and shape communicative situations’ (Secretariat of the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs, 2021, p. 15, own translation). This includes communicating constructively, effectively and consciously. A knowledge of important communication models and concepts as well as concrete communication techniques is a prerequisite for this.

More information about communication competence can be found here.

Each semester, the Career Centre offers a wide range of courses that equip students with communication competence:

  • Rhetorik Allgemein (General rhetoric)
  • Sprech- und Redetraining bei Referaten und Vorträgen (Speaking skills training in preparation for presentations and talks)
  • Stimmtraining I und II (Voice training I and II)

[1] Ebert, H. (2018). Kommunikationsmodelle: Grundlagen. In: Praxishandbuch berufliche Schlüsselkompetenzen. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.

[2] Nünning, A, Zierold, M (2008). Kommunikationskompetenzen Erfolgreich kommunizieren in Studium und Berufsleben. Klett, Stuttgart.

[3] Sekretariat der Kultusministerkonferenz (2021): Handreichung für die Erarbeitung von Rahmenlehr-plänen der Kultusministerkonferenz für den berufsbezogenen Unterricht in der Berufsschule und ihre Abstimmung mit Ausbildungsordnungen des Bundes für anerkannte Ausbildungsberufe. Verfügbar unter: [02.06.2022].

The term ‘social competence’ is defined as the ‘willingness and ability to live and shape social relationships, to grasp and understand attentions and tensions as well as to engage and communicate with others rationally and responsibly. This includes in particular the development of social responsibility and solidarity’ (Secretariat of the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs, 2021, p. 15, own translation).

In summary, it can be said that teamworking and communication skills, empathy and a willingness to compromise are central aspects of social competence. It is important to note here that there are no hard criteria for measuring how strong or weak an individual's social competence are. How well someone works in a team cannot be determined objectively or measured on a scale but depends on the individual situations.

More information about social competence can be found here.

First of all, it is important to emphasize that the development of self-competence is a lifelong process. They are not skills that can be fully acquired and perfected within one semester. Nonetheless, it is important to strengthen these skills continually because they are vital to success in the workplace and in your personal life. The Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs defines the term ‘self-competence’ as follows:

‘The willingness and ability, as an individual personality, to clarify, think through and assess development opportunities, demands and constraints in the family, at the workplace and in public life, to develop your own talents and to make and develop life plans. It includes qualities such as independence, the ability to handle criticism, self-confidence, reliability as well as a sense of responsibility and duty. It also includes, in particular, the ability to develop reasoned values and a self-determined commitment to values’ (Secretariat of the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs, 2021, p. 15, own translation).

In short, ‘those who possess personal skills are able to tackle tasks independently and to perform for themselves, for others and for society’ (Pastoors, 2018, p.43, own translation)

More information about self-comptence can be found here.

For communication to be successful, we must understand the patterns of thought and action of our counterparts. Therefore, we can only communicate successfully if we are aware of our own culture and how it is different from the cultures of others.

When you look for a suitable definition of the term ‘intercultural competence’, you quickly come across Alexander Thomas, a university lecturer with a special research interest in intercultural psychology. He defines it as follows:

‘Intercultural competence are reflected in the ability to be aware of the cultural conditionality of perception, judgment, feeling and action in yourself and in others and to respect, appreciate, and make productive use of it’ (Thomas 2006, p. 118, own translation).

Equipping students with intercultural skills has increasingly become a central goal of interdisciplinary education in recent years. The reasons for this are, among other things, the global world economy, the global interconnectedness of people and institutions, social migration and the resulting culturally heterogeneous societies. The ‘confrontation with other cultures leads [...] to a critical reflection of our own ways of thinking and acting’ (own translation). Being in contact with other cultures, we can gain experience that can have a lasting influence on our own self-image as well as our general decision-making and responsibility skills.

Intercultural skills are an important resource, especially for those students who aspire to a successful career in an international environment.

More information about intercultural competence can be found here.

Digital competence is ‘the safe, critical and responsible use of and engagement with digital technologies for education, training, work and participation in society. It covers information and data literacy, communication and collaboration, media literacy, digital content creation (including programming), security (including digital well-being and competencies related to cybersecurity), copyright issues, problem solving and critical thinking’ (Secretariat of the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs, 2021,own translation). The transfer of the human way of life to the digital sphere is also changing the way data, information and knowledge are distributed. An endless amount of these is available to us almost anywhere and anytime. In today's world of work, it is thus not only necessary to be able to find relevant information, but also to be able to use it responsibly.

More information about digital competence can be found here.