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A university degree provides a good start in the labour market

A university education provides an excellent basis for a successful start in the labour market. Unemployment among university graduates is lower than among graduates from other educational sectors. University degree programmes usually do not train students for a single profession, which is reflected in the diverse range of sectors in which students find jobs. University graduates have versatile skills and often end up working in a different sector from the one for which they obtained their degree.

Themes:
The range of degree programmes is changing with society
Graduates are finding work
Versatility in the labour market

 

 

The range of degree programmes is changing with society

 

Dutch universities offer approximately 400 Bachelor’s and 800 Master’s degree programmes. This is slightly fewer than ten years ago. Over this period, obsolete degree programmes have been terminated and new programmes have been introduced, including broad, multidisciplinary programmes and programmes in the area of data science. Universities are looking closely at what is happening in society and responding to it. They do this by adjusting the content and form of degree programmes, or by launching new programmes or new tracks within existing programmes. A new degree programme can be introduced only following a positive decision by the Higher Education Efficiency Committee (CDHO), which assesses whether there is room in the system for a new programme and whether the proposed programme meets a market need.
  

 

Graduates are finding work

 

Unemployment among new graduates from research university degree programmes has fallen in recent years from 10% to 6%. 94% of research university graduates find paid employment of more than 12 hours per week within 18 months of graduation.

 

 

Moreover, youth unemployment in the Netherlands is low compared to other OECD countries.

 

 

Employers are generally pleased with the skill level of graduates: 91% of employers think the graduates they employ have the right skills (Eurobarometer).
  

Versatility in the labour market

 

When considering the connection between degree programmes and the labour market, people often look at the extent to which they ‘match’. If graduates do not end up in the sector for which their degree programme trained them, it is called a ‘horizontal mismatch’. However, in the context of university education, this term is not particularly useful. The vast majority of university degree programmes do not train students for a single profession or even a single sector. The primary goal of these degree programmes is to teach students academic skills which they can then apply in a wide range of professions and sectors.

 

 

The graph below shows that students from the various Higher Education and Research Plan (HOOP) areas end up in a diverse range of sectors.

 

 

It is also important to note that university graduates will help shape the labour market of the future, by starting companies and responding to new opportunities to create value within existing businesses. Universities therefore have an ambition to train not only people who can make a valuable contribution to society, but also those who will shape society itself.