Career prospects

Academic careers

HPS is a research-oriented programme. Nearly half of our graduates go on to do a PhD in HPS or a related field, both in the Netherlands and abroad. That is a high percentage compared to other historical or philosophical master programmes.

Non-academic careers

Slightly more than half of our graduates (and quite a few of those who finish their PhDs) find work in other fields. Most of them operate where science meets the rest of the world. HPS alumni are well-placed to translate between academic science and real-world situations. They can digest large amounts of information from different sources and assess which kind of knowledge is relevant in which situation. There are a lot of people who can work with quantitative models. There are also a lot of people who can understand social dynamics and cultural sensitivities. Very few people, however, can combine those skills, and act as translators between the two. HPS students can fill that gap.

The most common sectors are:

  • Science policy or administration: university administration, publishers, funding organizations (NWO), science policy analysis (Rathenau Institute)
  • Government agencies or NGOs who rely on both quantitative and qualitative information (Algemene Rekenkamer, Rijkswaterstaat, think tanks)
  • Museums, especially science-related ones such as Boerhaave, Teylers, Museon, or natural history museums (also abroad)
  • Teaching, on any level
  • Art, often combined with science, including performing arts (music, theatre)
  • Consultancy (business or IT). As one alumnus put it: “None of the content matter, but all of the skills I learned in HPS are relevant to consultancy”.

Career Services

UU Career Services offers training related to career orientation and job application skills; examples include writing an application letter and CV and conducting a job interview. You can find more information about career services on UU Career Services for Dutch students or UU Career Services for international students.

Careers Day

Once a year Utrecht University organises a Careers Day. The Careers Day offers the opportunity to sign up for workshops and trainings, and to meet recruiters at the careers fair. It’s also possible to join a job application training or have your resume checked.