Prof. Dr. Paula Protsch

Portrait Foto Dr. Paula Protsch (David Ausserhofer)
David Ausserhofer


pprotsch [at]
Former Staff Member of the Research Department
Former Staff Member of the Completed Research Group
Guest of the Research Professorship

Research fields

Education and Training
Vocational Training and Labor Market


until 08/2021 Research fellow, WZB, Research Department "Skill Formation and Labor Markets" and "Work and Care"

10/2016 - 11/2016 Visiting scholar, University of Sydney

2011-2016 Research fellow, WZB, Bridging Project "Recruitment Behavior of Companies in Vocational Training and Labor Markets"

2013- 2015 Fellowship "College for Interdisciplinary Educational Research" (

12/2012 Dr. phil. in Sociology (FU Berlin). Winner of the  Ernst Reuter Award, PhD award of the research network "Sociology of Education" of the German Sociological Association (DGS) and the Friedrich Edding Award for Research in Vocational Education and Training

02/2010 - 05/2010 Visiting Pre-Doctoral Fellow, Center for Research on Inequalities and the Life Course (CIQLE), Yale University

2005/2008 Bachelor/Master of Arts in Social Science (HU Berlin)

Selected Publications

Flohr, Matthias/Protsch, Paula (2023): "Young People's Job-Search Strategies in the German Apprenticeship Market. Who Relies on Referrals by Strong Ties and Why?". In: Acta Sociologica, Vol. 66, No. 2, S. 191-209. (vorab online publiziert 7.8.2022)
Flohr, Matthias/Menze, Laura/Protsch, Paula (2022): Indikator zur regionalen Berufsstruktur auf Ebene der Arbeitsagenturbezirke. FDZ-Methodenreport 02/2022. 1-10: Forschungsdatenzentrum der Bundesagentur für Arbeit im Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung - IAB FDZ.
Flohr, Matthias/Menze, Laura/Protsch, Paula (2021): "Wohnort prägt Jobwünsche. Berufswahl im Kontext regionaler Arbeitsmärkte". In: WZB-Mitteilungen, H. 173, Online-Supplement.
Protsch, Paula (2021): "Employers’ Recruitment Contexts and Hiring Preferences in the German Youth Labor Market". In: Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, Vol. 73, Article 100608, S. 1-11.
Flohr, Matthias/Menze, Laura/Protsch, Paula (2020): "Berufliche Aspirationen im Kontext regionaler Berufsstrukturen". In: Kölner Zeitschrift für Soziologie und Sozialpsychologie, Sonderheft 60 "Berufe und soziale Ungleichheit", S. 79-104 (vorab online publiziert 19.05.2020).
Borgna, Camilla/Solga, Heike/Protsch, Paula (2019): "Overeducation, Labour Market Dynamics, and Economic Downturn in Europe". In: European Sociological Review, Vol. 35, No. 1, S. 115-132. (vorab online publiziert 22.12.2018)
Protsch, Paula/Solga, Heike (2018): "Training Mobility. The Opportunities of Young EU Citizens in the German Apprenticeship System". In: WZB Report, Vol. 2018, S. 15-17.
Bills, David/Graf, Lukas/Protsch, Paula (2017): "Vocationalism". In: Andy Furlong (Ed.): Routledge Handbook of Youth and Young Adulthood. Series Routledge International Handbooks. London/New York, NY: Routledge, S. 113-120.
Dumont, Hanna/Protsch, Paula/Jansen, Malte/Becker, Michael (2017): "Fish Swimming into the Ocean. How Tracking Relates to Students' Self-Beliefs and School Disengagement at the End of Schooling". In: Journal of Educational Psychology, Vol. 109, No. 6, S. 855-870. (vorab online publiziert 13.02.2017)
Protsch, Paula (2017): "Getting a Foot in the Door. How Organisational Characteristics Shape Recruitment Decisions in the Dual Apprenticeship System". In: Journal of Education and Work, Vol. 30, No. 6, S. 585-598. (vorab online publiziert 19.02.2017)
Protsch, Paula/Solga, Heike (2017): "Going across Europe for an Apprenticeship? A Factorial Survey Experiment on Employers' Hiring Preferences in Germany". In: Journal of European Social Policy, Vol. 27, No. 4, Special Issue "Education as Social Policy. Institutions, Public Support and Outcomes over the Life Course”, edited by Valentina Di Stasio/Heike Solga, S. 387–399.
Protsch, Paula/Solga, Heike (2016): "The Social Stratification of the German VET System". In: Journal of Education and Work, Vol. 29, No. 6, S. 637-661. (vorab online publiziert 27.03.2015)
Protsch, Paula/Solga, Heike (2015): "How Employers Use Signals of Cognitive and Noncognitive Skills at Labour Market Entry. Insights from Field Experiments". In: European Sociological Review, Vol. 31, No. 5, S. 521-532. (vorab online publiziert 14. April 2015)
Protsch, Paula (2014): Probleme auf dem Ausbildungsmarkt. Warum für Jugendliche mit Hauptschulabschluss der Einstieg so schwer ist. WZBrief Bildung 28/Februar 2014. Berlin: WZB.
Protsch, Paula (2014): Segmentierte Ausbildungsmärkte. Berufliche Chancen von Hauptschülerinnen und Hauptschülern im Wandel. Opladen u.a.: Budrich UniPress, 244 S.
Protsch, Paula (2013): "Höhere Anforderungen in der beruflichen Erstausbildung?". In: WSI-Mitteilungen, Jg. 66, H. 1, Schwerpunktheft "Von Insidern und Outsidern. Zur Integrationsfähigkeit des Berufsbildungssystems", S. 15-22.
Protsch, Paula/Dieckhoff, Martina (2011): "What Matters in the Transition from School to Vocational Training in Germany. Educational Credentials, Cognitive Abilities or Personality?". In: European Societies, Vol. 13, No. 1, S. 69-91.
Schmid, Günther/Protsch, Paula (2009): Wandel der Erwerbsformen in Deutschland und Europa. WZB Discussion Paper SP I 2009-505. Berlin: WZB.
Groß, Martin/Protsch, Paula (2008): "Die Bedeutung des Scientific Use Files der Versicherungskontenstichprobe 2005 aus der Perspektive der sozialen Ungleichheitsforschung". In: Deutsche Rentenversicherung Bund (Hg.): Die Versicherungskontenstichprobe als Scientific Use File. DRV-Schriften, Bd. 79. Berlin: Deutsche Rentenversicherung Bund, S. 125-146.
Schulze Buschoff, Karin/Protsch, Paula (2008): "(A-)Typical and (In-)Secure? Social Protection and 'Non-Standard' Forms of Employment in Europe". In: International Social Security Review, Vol. 61, No. 4, S. 51-73.
Completed projects

Matching Young People to Apprenticeships in Challenging Times - Employers' Recruitment and Selection Practices in the German Apprenticeship Market (DFG Project)

Mismatch in the Labor Market (A PIAAC-Leibniz-Network - Modul)

Recruitment Behavior of Companies in Vocational Training and Labor Markets
(Bridging Project with the Research Unit Market Behavior)

Doctoral research fellow within the project The “Discovery” of Youth’s Learning Potential Early in the Life Course (funded by the Jacobs-Foundation)
Research Objective B: The Discovery of Youth’s Learning Potential in Vocational Training and Labor Markets