Report , News of 8 December 2017

The SOEP vocational training program: A model for success

Seventh cohort of trainees in market and social research (FAMS) started in September

DIW Berlin (Copyright)  Foto Christine Kurka
Copyright: DIW Berlin

Since autumn of 2011, the SOEP has been offering in-house traineeships to students who are studying to be specialists in market and social research (Fachangestellte für Markt- und Sozialforschung, FAMS), a three-year degree program that is part of the German dual system of vocational training. Specialists in market and social research are responsible for organizational and operational tasks in diverse areas of empirical social research, for instance, in conducting surveys and other forms of data collection. The seventh cohort of FAMS students started in September: Martin Gerike from Berlin and Omar Alshafai from Damascus, Syria.

The two graduates from the first cohort, Janine Napjeraj and Florian Griese, were hired by the SOEP after graduating in summer 2014. They provide support to the SOEP research staff in survey management and on one project with outside funding. The two FAMS from the second and third cohorts, Marius Pahl and Carolin Stolpe, started university studies in business information technology and media information technology, respectively.
They both continued working for the SOEP as student assistants. Marvin Petrenz, who was part of the fourth cohort of FAMS, completed his FAMS degree in 2016. Since then he has been working successfully on several SOEP projects. Selin Kara and Stefan Zimmermann, who started in 2015 in the fifth cohort, are currently in the third year of the program. Philipp Kaminsky, who started last year in the sixth cohort, has just entered his second year of training.

FAMS trainer Knut Wenzig is enthusiastic about the program: “By the end of their training, FAMS can confidently carry out the full range of tasks of a research data infrastructure from questionnaire development, data preparation, and documentation
to international user support. The SOEP benefits greatly from their skills and reliability. And they benefit from working in an outstanding research environment.”

“As a Leibniz Association research infrastructure, we started early not only in fostering young researchers but also in expanding opportunities for vocational training”, said SOEP Director Jürgen Schupp. He is convinced that an outstanding research infrastructure like the SOEP needs highly skilled specialists in market and social research who do sophisticated research-oriented work. “Our two new FAMS trainees are an ideal complement to our team. Our users are also getting to know and appreciate them for the competent and reliable services they provide as part of the SOEP”.