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Enough jobs for academics

Employment opportunities for young academics in the Netherlands will remain good for the coming years. Economic prospects may not be great, but there will be enough jobs because older employees are about to retire.

For 40 per cent of the university graduates, the chances of finding a job are ‘very good’. These are some of the forecasts made by Maastricht Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market just before Christmas. In general, 4 per cent of all present jobs are becoming available while in principle only 3.5 per cent of new graduates can fulfil the vacancies.

Nevertheless, the labour market will remain “highly uncertain” in the coming years, say the researchers. The perspectives are not the same for all studies. For graduates of humanities, arts and social sciences studies things look favourable, although there is less demand for alumni from literature and language studies.

‘Social sciences’, which includes the large study of psychology, only offers a ‘reasonable’ perspective. Theologians on the other hand can find jobs all over the place thanks to the “high replacement demand”. Architects and mechanical engineers will also quickly find a good job.

ROA expects that it will be a little more difficult for young people who have done computer studies or administrative information science. There are not many older people working in that sector, so there are not many who will retire in the coming years.

The prospects are also ‘poor’ for graduates of studies in business administration and law. For years, there have been many graduates and not too many people retiring.

Now that the baby-boom generation is getting older, it is logical that medical studies have good perspectives: there is not a single sector in which employment will grow as fast as here. The forecasts for pharmacy and medical biology are ‘good’ and for other medical studies even ‘very good’. Dentistry and veterinary science come out on top.

There are regional differences in employment: there is more work in the west of the country than in the north. But for the highly educated, this is not such a problem, ROA reckons. They are more likely to move for a job than the lower educated.

ROA cannot give any guarantees: the report is being published in “uncertain times”. If people continue to work longer, it is logical that employment opportunities will decrease. Should the government make cuts in health care, then the demand for employees will be less urgent than expected at this moment. Employees could also ask their part-timers to work longer so that they do not need to look for extra personnel.


HOP, Bas Belleman



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