MSc degree and job

MSc degree and job

What is required for a first job?

The required level of education for first employment positions is an MSc degree, say 78% of respondents, 7% more than considered it a necessity last year.

Although the unemployment rate for 2012 graduates is higher than for those of 2011, and the number of vacancies – in the Netherlands and elsewhere – decreased in 2011 and 2012,  from 134,700 to 101,700[1], this percentage shows that RSM graduates are still able to find a job at master degree level.

Required level of education compared to 2011

There’s divided opinion amongst 2012 graduates whether or not specialisation is required to win jobs at MSc level. About half (48%) think ‘my specialisation or a connected specialisation’ is required for first employment positions, but only marginally fewer respondents (46%) think ‘no specific specialisation’ is required.

Compared to last year’s survey, the gap between the two camps is closing. In 2011, ‘specialism required’ represented 54% of responders, whereas only 40% thought no specialism was required.

It could be interpreted that the subject of the master programme studied is becoming less important.

However, there are illustrations that point to exceptions. A master graduate in Marketing Management is most likely (70%) to find a job for which this or a connected specialisation is required, similar to 2011.

Required specialisation for a job compared to 2011

Required specialisation divided per Master programme


Connection current job to Master programme

This year we also asked respondents to tell us if their master programme connected in any way to their job. A resounding majority, 72%, of all respondents agreed[2] that there is a connection.

Individually, Master programmes with 10 respondents or more indicating a connection are: Business Information Management (100%), Supply Chain Management (84%), CEMS (82%), Finance & Investments (76%),  and Strategic Management (72%).

The positive response from 72% of Strategic Management graduates is unexpected! Earlier in the survey, 54% of Strategic Management respondents said their job required ‘no specialisation’. Apparently there is a difference between expectation and reality.

On the other hand, 70% of graduates from the Marketing Management MSc programme say that this or a related programme is required to do their job, but only 67% of those respondents agree that their programme connects with their current job, which is less than the general percentage. One would assume differently.

Connection of the Master programme to the current job divided per Master programme



[2] Either ‘agrees’ or ‘strongly agrees’ to the question