The habilitation serves as evidence of an individual's capability of researching independently and of teaching in a certain subject area. Traditionally in Germany, a habilitation serves as a formal qualification needed to become a university professor. Along with the habilitation, one is awarded teaching qualification (Lehrbefähigung) and (upon request) a teaching license (Lehrbefugnis).

At present, there are other possibilities for qualification for the job of university professor than the habilitation (see here). If you aspire to become a university professor, you must know how important the habilitation is within your area of speciality. Only then can you decide whether or not you would like to complete a habilitation.

If you would like to work on a habilitation, you should have a professor that supports your plan. This relationship is typically not as close as it was during the doctoral process.

For the habilitation, you must complete both written (habilitation thesis; cumulative work, if allowed) and oral tasks (an academic talk with colloquium, public talk).

Specific regulations about the habilitation can be found in the faculty-specific regulations of the university's Conditions for habilitation (Habilitationsordnung).