Start a great career

The Dutch education system looks beyond offering good quality study programmes. It is a common belief in the Netherlands that offering a good study climate alone is not enough, but that students need to be given the tools to start a great career after receiving their diplomas.

It is therefore no surprise that large international recruitment agencies see graduates from Dutch institutions as highly interesting and highly employable.

Staying in the Netherlands to find a job

If you chose a technical degree or a degree in education, your chances to get employed in the Netherlands increase. Learning Dutch will also greatly enhance your opportunities on the labour market in the country.

Following this link, you find an interactive dashbard with the stayrates of international students. Here you can see with what degrees graduates are more often able to stay and find employment: Stayrates of international graduates | Nuffic

The Netherlands also has a thriving start-up scene. The surge of successful entrepreneurial endeavors has made the region one of Europe's hottest start-up hubs. Explore the valuable insights provided by Welcome to NL, offering a practical guide to the landscape of innovation, entrepreneurship, and opportunities in the Netherlands.

To find out more about the available work-permits, visit this page on Welcome to NL.

Orientation Year

Are you about to graduate or did you graduate? If you’re an EEA or Swiss citizen, you’re free to live and work in the Netherlands by default. If you’re a non-EEA citizen and you’ve completed your studies or research project in the Netherlands in the past 3 years, you are eligible to apply for the ‘orientation year’ residency permit. This permit is valid for one year and allows you to find a job as a knowledge migrant in the Netherlands or to start your own business. This residence permit gives you free access to the Dutch labour market.

On the Welcome to NL-website , you will find more information about the Dutch workplace culture, innovative sectors, starting a business in the Netherlands, your Orientation Year and English speaking-jobs. The Welcome to NL-jobboard gives an overview of jobs that also offer residential permits. Also, take a look at the Academic Transfer jobboard for academic jobs in the Netherlands.

Next to that: make sure you have enough money saved up at the start of your Orientation Year. Costs of living, housing, insurances and other costs can be quite expensive in the Netherlands and looking for a job will take time and effort.

Find out more about the Orientation Year by watching this video:

First of all, begin your search for a job as soon as possible. Next to that, please consider these tips when looking for a job in the Netherlands:

  • Build up your professional network at an early stage of your studies. LinkedIn is a great way of connecting with professionals in your field, maintaining these connections and keeping up to date with the latest news in your field of expertise.
  • Apply for a side job or internship within your field of study/expertise. This way you can build up a professional network and also gain work experience in your field.
  • Ask your institutes Career Officer what the stayrates and/or job opportunities are in your field of study.
  • Begin to learn Dutch as soon as possible. While The Netherlands has one of the highest rates of English-speaking people, Dutch is still the main language of the country, and can be a prerequisite for employment.
  • List of recognised sponsors: Public Register Regular Labour and Highly Skilled Migrants | IND

Finding a job in a different country

If you want to leave the Netherlands to return to your home country or move to another country, with a Dutch diploma in your pocket chances are that you will find a job without having to look far. The Dutch higher education system offers high quality diplomas. A diploma description can be helpful in explaining which study programme you have followed in the Netherlands and the value of the diploma you were awarded. It provides your prospective employer or a government agency, with insight into your qualifications and may improve your chances of finding work. You can request a diploma description from the institution where you obtained your diploma. Contact your Dutch higher education institution directly to inquire about the process and requirements for obtaining a diploma description.