On 10 and 11 November 2009, experts from industry, science, chambers and associations attended the 15th Europrofession Forum at the European Academy of Otzenhausen. Individual presentations, statements and a panel discussion outlined potential future scenarios for IT and HR consulting as part of this two-day event. In addition, the ‘Future: Consulting’ information portal was presented, offering a comprehensive overview of the topic area ‘management consulting at the interface between university and industry’.
Presentations focused on areas such as:
Collaboration between science and industry in providing students with academic qualification and in their systematic and structured transfer into professional life has become increasingly important in recent years as the European economic and educational area has been established. The question of students’ personal employability and thus the diagnosis, acquisition and enhancement of individual skills for future career and activity areas is thus the focus of dialogue between representatives from science and industry.
With this in mind, from 2007 to 2009 the Europrofession Foundation and Saarland University in conjunction with the German Centre for Artificial Intelligence set themselves the challenge of providing an exemplary, illustrative answer to the question of individual employability in the field of ‘management consulting’. An interdisciplinary consortium consisting of educational technologists, psychologists and business IT experts analysed transfer from university to the ‘consulting’ segment of the labour market and developed an internet portal with intelligent assessments, specific learning content and media-based information on the topics of IT, HR and e-learning consulting.
The Europrofession Forum on 10 and 11 November 2009 saw the results of this Future: Consulting innovation project (unique in Germany) and innovation platform being presented to an interested audience. Across individual presentations, statements and a panel discussion, speakers from renowned IT and HR companies, the Federal Association of German Management Consultants (BDU), Saarland chamber of commerce and industry, and project partners (the ‘Virtual Saar University’ Competence Centre and the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence) outlined current findings and potential future scenarios for developing regional, national and international IT and HR consulting. The importance of the topic for the present and future development of Saarland as an industry and science location was also taken into account.
Relevant opportunities, possibilities and potential for students in moving from academic qualification to the labour market were presented and selected issues were discussed, for example regarding the recruitment of well-trained young talent given demographic change in Europe, the role of management and staff consultants in finding HR, and the importance of online-based self-assessments in the acquisition and qualification of future staff.
The event was organised under the auspices of Saarland’s Ministry for Economy and Science. It was spearheaded by Prof. Dr. Volker Linneweber (President of Saarland University) and Rudolf Schäfer (Chair of the Europrofession Foundation’s board of trustees). Attendees included management and staff consultants, managers and HR officials as well as students in the fields of business administration, business IT, IT and psychology.