Professionalization contract

What is a professionalization contract?

A professionalization contract is an employment contract that offers a unique combination of work and part-time university studies.

The professionalization contract allows students to obtain university certified professional qualification which is recognized by the state. It consists of theoretical classes held at the University of Strasbourg and the practical application of the acquired skills due to professional experience gained through professional insertion inside a company.

The aim of the contract is to allow young people and adults alike to enter the workforce (or to return after a period of inactivity) in the fields of localization, visual communication, digital marketing or web development.

Who can benefit from the program?


The professionalization contract is open to people in continuing education.

It applies to:

  • People aged between 16 and 25 (regardless of their formerly achieved level of studies).
  • Job seekers above the age of 26.
  • Citizens of a member state of the European Union (EU) and of the European Economic Area (EEA).

However, a work permit is required for citizens from outside of the EU and the EEA.

For more information, please contact DIRECCTE.


Entities that can offer a professionalization contract:

  • All private enterprises.
  • Employer groups.
  • Temporary work agencies.
  • Seasonal employers.
  • Industrial and commercial public enterprises.

Warning: by law, some entities are unable to offer professionalization contracts:

  • Private individual employers.
  • The state.
  • Local authorities.
  • Public administrative institutions (such as high schools and hospitals).

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The advantages of the professionalization contract

For the employees

Thanks to the professionalization contract, the employee can benefit from free certified training (supported by the OPCA of the employer), that is recognized by the State while being paid throughout the duration of the contract. The minimum salary varies depending on the age and the initial level of studies of the employee and generally varies from 70% to 80% of the French minimum wage (SMIC).

The professionalization contract provides a high quality proven professional experience. The beneficiaries of a professionalization contract are accompanied during their working period by a tutor who is tasked with welcoming them, helping them and guiding them throughout their work-study training.

Furthermore, employees under the age of 26 may, under certain conditions, receive a student card, allowing them to benefit from the same discounts as any other student enrolled at a French university (such as access to on-campus restaurants, student social housing, discounts at cinemas, theaters, sports centres, etc.).
Work-study participants are entitled to CROUS university accommodation or a housing allowance if they fulfil the required conditions.

Employees under the age of 30 that have signed a professionalization contract with a private enterprise (excluding the agricultural sector) are entitled to benefit from the mobili-jeune program (aide mobili-jeune), which allows them to reduce the costs of their housing if certain conditions are met.

For the organizations

For businesses, the professionalization contract allows to recruit new employees who are trained and qualified. It also helps anticipating retirements and ensures the transmission of knowledge.

The professionalization contract also allows to benefit, as appropriate, from certain financial benefits for companies: management training, mentoring support, exemption of certain contributions and state benefits. Financial aids are allocated to companies that employ under a professionalization contract some job seekers aged 26 and over, or employees of 45 and over.

The terms of the Professionalization Contract

Important: the professionalization contract is required to start at the very latest on the first day of the work-study training.

The professionalization contract will normally have a limited duration (CDD or Contrat à Durée Déterminée) from a period from 6 to 12 months. This period may be extended to 24 months in some cases.

This contract can even take the form of a permanent contract (‘CDI’ or Contrat à Durée Indéterminée). In this case, it starts with an alternation period of a duration from 12 to 24 months.

A training calendar sets out the days of presence in the company and the days devoted to distance learning. It must be respected by all parties. The student must attend educational activities and exams.
The time spent by the student in training and the time dedicated to the exams are an integral part of his/her working time. As such, the company has the right to monitor the attendance of its employee and may request a monthly attendance report.

What you need to do if you wish to sign a professionalization contract

The professionalization contract must be filled out on a CERFA form.

Your contact at the University of Strasbourg:
Université of Strasbourg
21 rue du Maréchal Lefebvre
+33 3 68 85 49 20

Useful links and further information

The second year of the Master’s degree program with the professionalization contract has allowed me to evolve in the IT consulting field, a field I have always wanted to work in. Working for the S&H group as a technical consultant enabled me to put into practice the knowledge acquired in the CAWEB Master’s: meeting clients, participating in meetings, solving technical problems, etc. Even though the professionalization contract is a little more difficult to obtain than a work-study contract, but the benefits are worth it and very often lead to hiring.

Majdi Jeridi, Information Systems Consultant at S&H