Doctoral degree makes a difference on the labour market

21/06/2011 15:00

Doctoral degree holders more often work on a full-time basis and are usually employed on a higher professional level than people without a doctorate. In the period 2007/2010, nearly 60 thousand people in the Netherlands had earned a doctoral degree, i.e. 6 percent of the more than 900 thousand university graduates aged between 15 and 65.

Doctoral degree holders more often employed on a scientific level

More than 80 percent of people who have completed a doctoral degree are employed on a scientific level versus more than half of university graduates without a doctoral degree. Doctoral degree holders relatively often work as a physician, (university) lecturer or researcher.

Employed university graduates by professional level, 2007/2010

Employed university graduates by professional level, 2007/2010

More full-timers among doctoral degree holders

More than nine in ten doctoral degree holders belong to the employed labour force. Their labour market participation rate is higher than for university graduates without a doctorate. They also more often work full-time, i.e. 74 against 68 percent.

The difference between the two categories is mainly due to the fact that most people who doctoral degree holders are men and men have a higher labour participation rate and more often work on a full-time basis than women.

In some respects, a doctoral degree is not essential. In both categories, approximately three quarters work on permanent employment contracts and one in five are self-employed.

Many doctoral degree holders employed in non-commercial services

Two thirds of employed doctoral degree holders are working in the sector non-commercial services, e.g. health care or higher education. Nearly half of university graduates without a doctoral degree are employed in non-commercial services. One quarter of doctoral degree holders are employed in the sector commercial services, e.g. retail trade or banking versus just over 40 percent of university graduates without a doctorate.

Employed university graduates by sector, 2006/2009

Employed university graduates by sector, 2006/2009

Approximately one quarter of doctoral degree holders obtained their degree in health care or social services. Nearly one quarter are mathematicians, physicists, or IT specialists and about one fifth have completed a doctoral degree in human sciences, social sciences or arts. Nearly 10 percent are engineers.

Jacqueline van Beuningen