Leiden Humanities alumni score higher on job perspectives

The 2013 University Education Monitor, a national survey among master’s and doctoral graduates from Dutch universities, indicates that the Leiden Humanities alumni of 2011-2012 scored better on job perspectives than the national average of all language and culture study programmes.

Quicker to find a job

This language and culture cluster includes programmes such as Dutch Language and Culture, History and Philosophy. The Leiden Humanities alumni were quicker to find a job, earned more on average and were less likely to become unemployed. Commissioned by the Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU), the University Education Monitor has been conducted every two years since 2009. It illustrates the link between master’s programmes and the labour market.

73% finds a job within four months

If we look at our Humanities alumni, i.e. our graduates in language, cultural and regional studies, we see that 73% of them find a job within four months. The national average for language and culture programmes is 66%. The percentage of graduates who find a job within two months is also higher among Leiden Humanities alumni. The reason why graduates from other language and culture programmes take longer to find a job has not been investigated. The national average for unemployment among Humanities graduates was 17.6% in 2013, while the average for Leiden alumni was 12.2%. The average gross monthly salary of Leiden alumni in their first job was € 2,125. In this respect too, they perform better than the national average of € 1,959.

National search for first job

Nationwide it took three months for graduates from 2011-2012 to begin their first job. In some cases this was due to alumni first going on holiday, in other cases they failed to find work immediately. By comparison: according to the Monitor, it took alumni on average 2.7 months to find a job in 2011. The 2013 national University Education Monitor also shows that 39% of respondents found a job immediately upon graduation. Nearly half the respondents found a job within 1 to 6 months, and 15% took longer than six months. The national average of all study programmes also shows that one and a half years after completing their study programme, ninety percent of graduates have a job, and 10% are unemployed. In 2011, the unemployment rate among graduates was 8%, and in 2009 it was even lower (5%).

Job prospects improving once again

Career Adviser Loes Nordlohne: “The economic crisis clearly left its mark in the 2011-2012 period. Starters on the labour market are always the first to suffer. It is remarkable  that graduates in the 2012-2013 cohort on average managed to find a first job a little faster.” In collaboration with TNS Nipo, the Student Career Services conducted an investigation in the autumn of 2013 into the position on the labour market of students who graduated between 2012 and 2013. This investigation shows that on average 74% of alumni found work within two months. 78% of them immediately found a job at professional or academic level .”


According to the 2013 University Education Monitor, Leiden Humanities graduates tend to find positions as PhD candidates, teachers, journalists, editors, translators and presenters. Many of our alumni find work in sectors such as government, industry and academia, and they are less likely to find work in the commercial sector or PR.

About the surveys

In the autumn of 2013 more than 37,500 master’s and doctoral students who had graduated in the 2011-2012 period were invited to participate in the 2013 University Education Monitor. 22.6% of the total target group of 8,500 graduates took part in the survey. Among them were 277 alumni from the Leiden Faculty of Humanities. For more information on the University Education Monitor, see the site of the Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU).

In the context of the Leiden labour market investigation carried out by TNS Nipo and commissioned by the Student Career Services, all graduates from the period from 2012 to 1 July 2013 were invited to participate in the online survey. 25.5% of the total of 1,664 alumni took part in the survey.

Find out more about the methodology used in the survey.

See also the 'Your future?' brochure and discover what worked for our students.

Last Modified: 10-07-2014