Leiden alumni who graduated between 2016-2018 soon found a job
Most Leiden master’s students who graduated between October 2016 and September 2018 soon found a job that was related to their degree programme. These are the results of the 2019 Dutch National Alumni Survey (NAE: Nationale Alumni Enquête). The effects of the coronavirus crisis on the labour market are yet to be seen.
The NAE is conducted every two years among recent graduates of all Dutch universities. The most recent survey (2019) was conducted among alumni who graduated between 1 October 2016 and 30 September 2018. At the time of the survey, nine out of ten of the alumni were in employment. Almost three-quarters found a job within three months of graduation, and 45% found one straight away. With the exception of graduates of the Master’s in Archaeology, this is faster than the alumni who graduated between 2012 to 2016 (the previous survey population). The majority of alumni (66%) were able to find a job at university level. The vast majority (95%) found a graduate-level job. In other words, our alumni were in high demand in the labour market.
The economy is key
Other developments (see below) also suggest that the respondents benefited from the economic upturn and labour shortages in a number of sectors during that period. The impact of the coronavirus crisis on employment opportunities for Leiden master’s graduates is yet to be seen; this will become clear at the end of 2021, after the next NAE survey.
More job security and higher salaries
The alumni who took part in the survey have greater job security than previous cohorts: the proportion of graduates with a permanent job, or the prospect of one, increased from 70% to 77%. Alumni salaries have also increased compared to the previous survey population, by an average of a few hundred euros per month. On average, the alumni surveyed earn €2,967 per month, which is around the average salary in the Netherlands (€3,000 per month). However, there are considerable differences between the alumni of different degree programmes; for example, archaeologists earn an average of €1,957 and medicine graduates earn an average of €3,552.
Where did Leiden alumni find work?
Compared to the previous survey, more graduates went on to work in the financial, business and service sectors and in care and welfare, and fewer found jobs in education and research. It is particularly striking that Leiden alumni end up working for government bodies more often than alumni of other universities. This is perhaps due to the University’s close links and historical relationship with The Hague. It has always produced a relatively high number of national politicians and civil servants, and those ties have become even stronger since the opening of Campus The Hague.
The percentage of international alumni who decided to stay and work in the Netherlands following their graduation also increased compared to the previous cohorts (from 30-34% to 46%).
Preparing for the world of work
The survey results are not representative for the entire alumni population as the response rate was too low. Nonetheless, they confirm just how important it is to continue preparing students – and recent graduates – for the labour market. Although Leiden University has been intensifying its efforts in this area for a number of years, according to the survey, Leiden alumni are still less enthusiastic about this than the alumni of other universities.
The labour market is strongly influenced by external factors (such as the current pandemic). And yet, or perhaps precisely for that reason, it is essential that students seize the opportunities offered by the University during their studies to familiarise themselves with the labour market and to acquire the necessary skills. For example, via the new Leiden University Career Zone, which emerged from the University’s Employability project, (part of the Vision on teaching and learning). Or with the help of fellow students who have already graduated, via the Mentor Network. Assistance is not only provided centrally; various faculties and degree programmes have also developed their own initiatives to support their graduates in their transition to the world of work.
Did you make the right choice?
And one last figure to end with: the percentage of students who, in hindsight, would have chosen the same degree programme increased from 74% to 77%. This means that although a good 20% of graduates would rather have studied something else or at another university, a lot of students were happy with their choice, which is good news! The University is working hard to increase this figure further still, for example by improving information and guidance for prospective students and matching activities.
Text: Anna Terra Verhage/Corine Hendriks
Banner photo: Life before social distancing. The Alumni Day in 2018 in the garden of the Academy Building. The event was attended by alumni of various cohorts, pictured here gathered around Rector Magnificus Carel Stolker.
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