How many MSc graduates are employed?

Of all respondents, the vast majority -94%- were employed, had started their own business, worked freelance, were not looking for employment or were continuing their education, within 12 months of graduation.

A small percentage of graduates, 6%, were still looking for a job when they completed the survey in December 2012. That is twice the number of unemployed respondents as in the first Graduate Placement Survey. This increase in the percentage of unemployed graduates cannot be attributed to the state of the Dutch labour market, but it should be noted that the unemployment rate in the Netherlands also increased in 2012; it was 6.4%, up by 1.1% from 5.3% in 2011[1].

Gender plays no statistically significant role in the likelihood of graduates finding their first job.

Employment status within 12 months after graduation compared to 2011

Employment status within 12 months after graduation by regional background


When do they start their job searches?

Most MSc students (71%) start looking for a job before they complete their studies. Some initiate the search earlier than others; nearly 24% say they start looking for a job more than six months before they graduate.

In contract with last year's Graduate Placement Survey, the search for jobs in the financial industries (75%) does not seem to hold the same urgency. Graduates working in consultancy and business research are now the keenest, with 80% of them looking for jobs in their sector before graduation.

Start job search compared to 2011 


Start job search by industry


How long does it take to find a job?

The search for jobs seems to be becoming more effective, with 78% of respondents saying they found a job within three months from the start of their search. This is 7% more than in last year’s Graduate Placement Survey 2011, when 71% said they found a job within three months.

What’s more, there is no significant difference between the time taken for men or women, nor different nationalities to find a job; 69% of students from non-EEA countries said they found a job within three months of starting to search.

With this in mind, and the fact that 42% start looking for a job at least four months before they graduate, it seems likely that some graduates found employment even before their graduation.

Months to find a job by Master programme