Career prospects

As in many European countries, local governments and companies in the Netherlands carry increasing social responsibilities. This requires interdisciplinary professionals who are capable of combining insights from different perspectives and fields. Moreover, there is a great need for professionals who are able to interpret scientific research and apply evidence-based policies and interventions. This Master’s programme will provide you with the knowledge and skills to meet this need.

After completing your Master’s degree, you could work for a government organisation at the international, national, provincial or municipal level, for social welfare institutions and NGOs, at care organisations, for private or non-profit organisations in the social sector, for research institutions (such as Movisie or the Netherlands Institute of Mental Health and Addiction (Trimbos)) or you could pursue an academic career. About 10% of our graduates choose a career in academic research, while almost 90% opt for a career elsewhere.

I am working at a (strategy) consultancy firm now, where I am currently finishing up a traineeship.

To the labour market: non-academic careers

As a graduate of the Master’s programme in Social Challenges, Policies and Interventions, you could consider the following professions:

Policy adviser

A policy adviser meets with key stakeholders inside and outside the organisation to gather knowledge and relevant research. As a policy adviser, you could work in an exciting, socially relevant, political environment. For instance, you could work for a municipal council and be in charge of supervising the transition in youth care.

Consultant for a renowned (commercial) bureau/agency

As a consultant, you advise external clients on various issues related to, among others, the social domain. This could be in either the profit or not-for-profit sector. It could involve both short and long-term assignments for which you sometimes work in-house for the commissioning organisation for several months on an interim basis.

Evaluation researcher

Evaluation researchers oversee evaluations of recently implemented policies and interventions across diverse welfare topics. This type of research often takes place at or is commissioned by organisations that are active in the wider social domain. These include municipalities, provinces, the national government and welfare organisations.

Trainee generalist

More and more reputable organisations offer traineeships. These often last approximately two years. A traineeship offers an excellent opportunity to get to know an organisation and its various components quickly. In many cases, trainees change organisations or clients every six months.

Project manager/coordinator

Because our alumni are trained in an interdisciplinary way, many of them work in project management or coordination roles. This type of role requires excellent organisational skills, a critical attitude towards policy and research issues and the capacity to act and connect across domains. The issues in the social domain are often complex. Many project managers have a will to contribute to sustainable solutions for the longer term and are attracted by the challenge.

I worked as a student-assistant at the UU during my pre-Master’s and Master’s. Once I graduated, the student-assistant job was turned into a research position.

To the labour market: academic careers

One of the possibilities after you graduate is to conduct PhD research at Utrecht University or at another university in the Netherlands or abroad. PhD candidates work toward obtaining a doctoral research degree. The degree normally takes between four years of full-time work and culminates in a thesis offering an original contribution to a relevant subject in the wider social domain. In fact, the modern PhD is a diverse and varied qualification with many different components and offers great opportunities to continue your career at a university or a scientifical research institution.

Career development

To help you prepare for your career and familiarise yourself with the labour market the programme, the faculty and Utrecht University offers several services and activities.