Student - November 1, 2012

More graduates going into research

Almost half of all graduates get a research job. Rise mainly due to emerging economies.

Jobless for longer
A growing number of Wageningen MSc graduates go on to become researchers, according to the Dutch Loopbaanmonitor Career Monitor) of 2011. As many as 43 percent of Wageningen graduates find a research job - 14 percent more than appeared from the last survey five years earlier. This figure is surprisingly high, and is also higher than at any other Dutch university, says Gab van Winkel, researcher and co-author of the career monitor.
What is going on?
'In the past few years about 1000 Master's students have graduated from Wageningen per year. The number is growing slightly. Of those thousand, 31 percent got a PhD position and 12 percent got some other kind of research work, such as short-term applied research. Those figures show that Wageningen MSc degrees really are research degrees. Wageningen succeeds in attracting highly motivated students who have the quality to gain a PhD position.'
Where do they find those jobs?
'By no means always at Wageningen. Of the more than 300 graduates who go on to PhDs, 120 end up at Wageningen, 80 at other Dutch universities and 100 abroad. You have to realize that 37 percent of the graduates are international students who come to study in Wageningen and then get a research post in their own countries.'
But the number of Wageningen PhD students is growing too?
'That's right. Enrolments of PhD students have grown over the past five years from 300 to about 350. Of that group only 40 percent have a degree from Wageningen. In the nineteen nineties, 60 percent were from Wageningen. So the growth in PhD numbers mainly comes from elsewhere.'
And the funding with it?
'Certainly. There is no extra funding for research in the Netherlands, but there is in countries such as China, Brazil and the EU. They are investing heavily in the knowledge economy and in the mobility of students, including PhD students. So that has increased tremendously. Because we have a good reputation worldwide, we benefit from that. The number of PhDs is going up globally. That is reflected in students' ambitions too: 60 percent of foreign students want to do a PhD after graduating, as opposed to 20 percent of Dutch students.'

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