What kind of contract do MSc graduates get in their first job?

More than half of employed MSc graduates from RSM, 63%, got a permanent contract either immediately on appointment, or within a year of being hired. That’s a 10% increase in permanent contracts compared to last year’s survey.

Jobs in non-EEA countries provide the most security for graduates in their first job; 71% got a permanent contract on being hired, or within a year of being hired. The remaining 29% got a temporary contract entitling them to a permanent contract. In the Netherlands and EEA countries, companies can issue other kinds of contracts, such as a temporary contract that gives no entitlement to a permanent one.

Sectors that are most likely to give permanent contracts are consultancy and business research (30%) and financial services and insurance (23%). The results of our survey show that respondents who work in consulting are most likely to receive a permanent contract (25%); this is true for the consultancy and business research sector, or consultancy in any other industry.

Type of contract compared to 2011

Type of contract dependent on location of the company

How many hours do graduates have to work for their money?

On average, graduates are recruited to work a 38-hour week in their first job. In reality, respondents say they work an average of 48 hours per week, but there are big differences in the number of hours worked according to industry sector.

In comparison to the Graduate Placement Survey of 2011, women are closing the gap. There is now hardly any difference in contract hours between the two sexes, with women working only 2.5 hours less per week than men, clocking up an average 47-hour week.

Average contract hours and hours worked in reality compared to 2011

The biggest difference between contract hours and hours actually worked is in an EEA country where one of our respondents is contracted to work a 38-hour week, but usually puts in 53 hours per week – that’s an extra 15 hours, or almost two days per week. For those MSc graduates with jobs in the Netherlands, the average difference between hours contracted and actual hours worked, according to our survey, is around 7 hours.

Those working in policy or advising tell us they work about the same number of hours as stated in their contract; on average 40 hours. There is a large difference in the real estate industry, where our graduates tell us they put in an extra 29.5 hours, but with only two real estate respondents, this figure cannot be said to represent the whole industry. And last but not least, MSc graduates working in consulting or finance experience a difference between contract hours and hours actually worked of more than 13 hours per week.

Average contract hours and hours worked in reality by industry