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Bridge the gap! Fostering the transition of STEM students to the technical labour market

Description project

There is a strong shortage of highly educated STEM (Science, Technology, Maths, Engineering) talent in the technical labour market, caused by a 'gap' in STEM students' transition from technical study programs to the workplace. This project takes a professional identity approach to understand career exploration and choices among STEM students during their transition from study to work. Professionals who are able to formulate a clear answer to this question, have a strong sense of their professional identity. A strong professional identity is important, because it helps to boost self-confidence as a professional, it contributes to stable career choices and more optimal work performance .  As part of this project and instrument called the Career Compass has been developed. The Career Compass provides insights in the professional identity of technical students and professionals. The project has three main goals: 1) To provide insight in crucial phases and critical events in the development of the professional identity and its impact on making career choices, 2) to establish the context factors in educational and technical environments that influence professional identity development, related to career choices among different types of professionals, and 3) to design and test tools and interventions to support students and. young professionals to develop self-knowledge and self-confidence in their professional profile.

involved researchers

Dieuwertje ten Berg, MSc.
Dr. Marlon Nieuwenhuis
Dr. Maaike Endedijk - contact person
Dr. Ruth van Veelen
Dr. Natascha van Hattum

Duration of the project

Official project: September 2018 – August 2022

Funding & partners


project website

Click here for the project website.