There are large variations in the labour market position of university graduates. Dentistry graduates have the best entry position on the labour market. Especially hourly pay and annual salary are very good. Graduates of literature studies have the weakest entry position. Furthermore, there is a strong correlation between the labour market position at the start of someone’s career and ten years after this person has graduated.
SEO Economic Research and Elsevier Weekblad have conducted a study into the labour market position of university graduates. On the basis of this study, UWV has conducted a follow-up study. 72 Master’s degree programmes have been compared to each other and classified on the basis of labour market position, both at the start of someone’s career and ten years after graduation.
Most successful labour market position
At the start of their careers, dentistry graduates have the best labour market position, followed by graduates of fiscal economy and econometrics. Having a successful labour market position is based on the time required to find a substantial job, hourly pay, annual income and permanent employment. Ten years after graduation, the top 3 still consists of those who have graduated in dentistry, fiscal economy and finance. Master’s degree programmes offering a relatively good entry position continue to do well on the labour market. Ten years after having graduated in dentistry, the annual income from work of these graduates is over three times higher than that of people having graduated in archaeology.
Least successful labour market position
At the start of their careers, graduates in literature, archaeology and arts and culture have the weakest position on the labour market. Ten years after their graduation, employees who have graduated in archaeology, neuroscience and literature have the least favourable labour market position. Usually, there is no catching-up phenomenon for studies with a (very) moderate labour market position and, sometimes, this position even gets worse in relation to other studies when the long term is considered. This is the case with, for example, archaeology and theology.
These results may be used to improve information on study choices. In addition to interest and competences, career perspectives may be a consideration in choosing a particular study programme. A more transparent market will contribute to a better match between education and the labour market. It may lead to less students choosing study programmes offering moderate labour market perspectives. In addition, better information may lead to fewer regrets afterwards.
Read the ‘A comparison of the labour market position of university graduates’ publication containing an explanation of the methodology used and an explanation of all the results for 72 master’s degree programmes (available on request). Or read the similar publication for higher professional education (in dutch).
source: UWV, the Netherland's PES