The Expansion of Higher Education and the Academization of Employment A debate currently playing out in connection with both public and educational policy revolves around an encroaching “over-academization” in Germany, i.e. the growing numbers of college and university graduates, and the ramifications this will have for the labour market. Surprisingly, this discourse only marginally takes research into account which examines the relationship between the ongoing expansion of higher education and the developing trends of its graduates’ employment. Studies have shown that, in contrast to manifold predictions, to date the labour market has in fact absorbed the vast majority of higher education graduates, notwithstanding their growing ranks. Overall, graduates have experienced neither a loss of income nor a downgrading of their positions within the hierarchy of the employment system. As such, this (over-)academization describes not only to the rising numbers and share of academically educated candidates in the labour force, i.e. labour potential. It would also appear that the positions offered have evolved to at least accommodate the new situation brought about by this phenomenon. And while statistical evidence supports the emergence of an academization of both personnel and employment positions, the reasons for this dynamic remain unclear. Using exemplary case studies on selected practice-oriented subjects and occupational fields the research project examines the process of academization and its rationale in connection with the generation of educational potential in postsecondary education, i.e. colleges and universities. It further probes the creation and construction of posts for the academically qualified within the employment system. The aim is to demonstrate if, and if so which, reciprocal referentials exist between the construction and classification of academic labour potential in postsecondary education on the one hand and the construction and classification of jobs in the corresponding fields on the other. In terms of the typification of employment potential, the project will also probe the institution and implementation of application-orientated subjects and degree programs in conjunction with a respective differentiation of the relevant academic disciplines. It is taken for granted in the current debate on academization that institutions of higher learning address the need for qualified candidates arising in the employment sector. In contrast, the project focuses on whether and to what extent the expansion of high education does not indeed itself produce such a “need” for employment opportunities for academics, which it then satisfies.