Summary Faculty of Humanities Employment Survey

Despite the crisis, our graduates have fared well in recent years. These are the findings of the employment survey of the alumni of the Leiden University Faculty of Humanities who graduated in the period 2012–2015.

Alumni soon find high-level job

On average, 71% of the alumni found a job within two months, and 75% of these jobs were at a vocational or academic level. When it came to finding work, the most difficult period for our master’s graduates was 2013, when 60% of them found their first job within two months. In contrast, 79% of our master’s graduates found a job within two months in 2015. Many (48%) found their first job through their network of family, friends and lecturers, whereas others found it through part-time work, internships or social media.

Important skills

Employers consider the skills that our students acquire during their studies to be very important. Writing and presentations skills and the ability to work independently and analyse and interpret complex information are all desirable skills on the job market.

Relevant part-time job, internship or experience abroad worthwhile

The survey also showed that a relevant part-time job, an internship or experience abroad during your studies has a positive effect on your career. If you have such experience, you are more likely to find the job that you are seeking. Students are increasingly choosing to do an internship during their studies, and many of these internships are abroad.

Where do our alumni end up working?

Many of our alumni find work in the education, research or government sectors. Forty-two percent of our alumni find work in the profit sector and 48% in the non-profit sector, whereas 10% start their own company or work as a freelancer.

Job duties of our alumni

The main duties of our master’s alumni are writing, editing and translating, followed by conducting research, teaching, lecturing and training.

International dimension

Our alumni often have jobs that involve international customer relationship management (41%). In addition, 12% of our Dutch alumni work abroad, while 44% of our international alumni work in the Netherlands. Six per cent of our alumni travel abroad regularly for their work.

Master’s degree means higher entry level

After their bachelor’s degree, 76% of our alumni choose to follow a master’s programme. Bachelor’s graduates initially find work at a lower level than master’s graduates do, but they do catch up to some extent the longer they work. If you possess a master’s degree, your first job is therefore more likely to be at a high level. Graduates with a research master’s degree are more likely to become PhD candidates than those who have followed a one-year master’s programme.

Rapid career development

Alumni are quick to climb the career ladder, often moving on from their first job to one at a higher level. After almost two years of work, 85% of our alumni have a job at a vocational or academic level, in contrast to the 74% whose first job is at such a level.

About the methodology

In total, 30.4% of the alumni completed the questionnaire that they were sent. This high response means that reliable conclusions could be drawn about the group as a whole. A non-response analysis was conducted to establish whether the respondents were representative, and this gave no reason to suppose significant differences between the respondents and non-respondents. The non-respondents did not differ significantly from the respondents in terms of paid employment, satisfaction with choice of degree programme and career development.

More information

For more information, see the full report Your future 2016

Last Modified: 13-10-2016