The Employment Environment For International Students in the Netherlands

Date:2020-12-07 21:33

Some, are those who are about to graduate or have graduated. Holding their fresh-out-of-the-oven diploma and a recently revised CV, they ready to join the warzone of the firing resume


Some, are who have graduated for almost a year. Watching the approach of expiration of the search year, they still cannot find a job.

Miss H believes that whether you are about to graduate, or have already graduated and looking for a job.

There will be a constant question, triggering the curious heart of yours. What exactly is the employment environment for international students in the Netherlands?


We all have different majors.

We all have a different career path in mind.


Is the legendary business administration really a Jack-of-all-trades?

Is the science and engineering major really getting a job for granted?

Is social science really in a scenario of “graduate = unemployment”?


To reassure this myth, Miss H is speaking with authority and insight.

International-Student-Employment-Big-Data by HoiTalent, to help everyone building an accurate understanding of the International Student Employment Environment in the Netherlands.


Let’s take a look at universities in China, the “high employment rate” is always a key attraction every year. 

So, what is the employment rate of international students in Dutch universities?

According to ranking statistics from Times-Higher-Education, there are 5 U-class universities in the Netherlands were ranked as top 150 globally in 2017,

And the first and the second rank are both science and technology universities.

The third place is Erasmus, which is famous for its excellence in business, management, and finance.


Besides, according to a report from the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), seven years (2014) after the graduation of international students (2007/'08), 33.9% of them are still working in the Netherlands.

 Among them, Science and Technology graduates hold up to 38.4%.


It is worth to highlight that 42.2% of these graduates were from HBO University (Hogeschool).

Among those who graduated from WO universities, 39.7% used to study in technology major, and 31.7% used to study in Science major.

International Student Career Track

It is not difficult to see from the data above, that the employment situation of international students graduated from science and technology major is relatively more optimistic.

 Employment of Financial and economic management majors, which is normally seen as part of the science category, is also not bad.


Among science and technology graduates, more people (29.1%)choose the career track in the business service industry.

However, international graduates from other majors tend to work in the public and care sector (52.8%).

Of course,

 Manufacturing and energy, Information and communication, Trade, transportation, hotel, and restaurant are also preferred choices for international graduates.


Apart from this, we can also take a closer look at the job vacancy in various industries in the Netherlands.


From the 2016 Q1 to the 2018 Q1,

There was a roughly 157% increase in economic-related vacancy.

The majority of opportunities are in Commercial Services.

There are also many career opportunities in some international student-focused industry, including Business Services, Manufacturing, Financial institutions 


How much income can I get after graduates, is probably one of the most concerning questions.


At the end of the day, everyone hopes to be economically independent as soon as possible.

It’s common knowledge that the Dutch school is divided into two groups, namely: 

HBO (H-class) and WO (U-class)

There is some difference in salary for graduates from these two types of school.


The average starting salary of WO graduates is € 2632 before tax

That of HBO graduate is about €500 lower, leads to €2132 before tax.


Of course, the starting salary also depends on the industry.

It can be seen after comparison, the salary for the Financial business industry and Legal industry is slightly higher than that of social science.


But keep in mind, these are all salary before tax. After paying personal income tax, there will be no significant difference.


Of course, each company provides a different salary and benefits.

Miss H is just providing a reference. 

Entrepreneurship of international student


Apart from finding a job, the Netherlands is also an encouraging country for student-start-up.


According to CBS, 6% of graduates start their own business within 7 years after graduation (2010-2017). 

The statics also indicated that German students and Chinese students are the two main parts of entrepreneurs.


The employment rate of Chinese 2010-graduates was 31.3% until 2014 Oct. 

The entrepreneur rate of Chinese students is 4.7% in 2017.

After reviewing all these studies, International Students with science and technology or economics and business management background has a relatively higher employment rate with a higher starting salary in the Netherlands.


However, the overall employment rate of international is less than 50%, which means job hunting is not as simple as it seemed here.


The unfamiliar of language, culture, Dutch labor market, and legal policy, can significantly decrease the possibility of finding a job after graduation.


Thus, it is a crucial decision, to get help from experts, who can effectively guide you during the job search, help you clarify the career direction, enhance you to demonstrate your strength based on your capability, and empower you to bend in the Dutch workplace.


Then, you are most likely, to become the lucky 30% to stay and to work in the Netherlands.


So, are you willing to let HoiTalent be your guiding star, hold your hand to a successful job hunting journey? 

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