Job prospects and pay not an issue in college course choices

New students in Leiden gather for the El Cid freshers week. Photo: Brandon Hartley

School leavers are not taking the likelihood of getting a job in their chosen field or the pay into account when deciding what to study at college or university, the government’s macro-economic think-tank CPB says in a new report.

The study, carried out on behalf of the education ministry, compared job opportunities in different sectors with the number of students and found little correlation between the two.

For example, there has been a slight increase in the number of teenagers signing up to study economics, even though their chances of getting a job as an economist have gone down.

There are also wide differences in starting salaries. Youngsters who have studied language and culture at an hbo college will earn less than other college graduates while technical studies students at trade schools will earn 20% more than those going into retail and trade.

The results of the research indicate that there is a risk that skill shortages in some key sectors will remain a problem and that people who study subjects that are not in demand are more likely to be unemployed.

“From an economic perspective, it would be better if youngsters took changing jobs market perspectives into account when deciding what to study,” the researchers said.

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