Career Prospects

Many of our graduates go on to find employment in research. Depending on your personal interests and ambitions, you will be equipped to work in both fundamental and applied research. You can pursue a career in applied research in government institutes, consulting firms, or various industries. Typical professional profiles of our graduates include Solid Earth Specialist, Geologist, and Geophysicist.

Knowledge of large-scale and long-term processes provides you with a good basis for managing major environmental issues. The numerous global-change issues currently facing us mean you can pursue a variety of employment opportunities in divers sectors.

Alumni survey

In 2017, Dimensus conducted an employability survey amongst ‘Earth Sciences’ alumni. The survey shows that graduate employability is high: 87% of participants have successfully found a first relevant job within six months after graduation. Most participants now work in the field of consultancy (38%), and academic and company research (41%). The majority of participants have a current monthly net income that ranges from 1500 to 2500 euros (62%), or 2500 to >3500 euros (30%).  See an overview of the statistics below. 

Professional careers

  • Frans Willem Strabucchi, Technology Consultant, Accenture

    During his internship and the writing of his Master's thesis Frans contributed in the development of novel, state of the art software to enhance seismic interpretation. Two months of this research period he carried out at the PDS office in Houston. He first worked as a junior domain consultant for PDS Petrotechnical, closely collaborating with geologists and software engineers in a challenging, informal and educational environment.Currently, he works as a technology consultant at Accenture for which he contributed in the solution to replace legacy gas transport software.

  • Vera de Leeuw, Senior Operations Geologist, Aker BP ASA 

    Vera first worked as a well placement geologist, for which she uses geological criteria and real-time petrophysical data to interactively position wells to maximise hydrocarbon production or injection performance. She was based in Stavanger, but travels frequently within and outside of Norway to meet customers and provide well placement support. Currently, Vera works for Aker BP as a Senior Operations Geologist. 

  • Heijn van Gent, Exploration Geologist, Shell Global Solutions International

    Heijn works in a R&D team of one of the largest oil and gas companies of the world. His job is to design, develop, test and deploy ground breaking software solutions and workflows for seismic interpretation. This means he interacts a lot with seismic interpreters, software developers, and experts in various geological and geophysical fields, in different countries. 

  • Laurens Kee, Calculator Wegenbouw, KWS Infra Utrecht

    Laurens first worked as a geologist at Van Oord, for which Laurens travels all over the world to study the seafloor and coastal regions. He uses both geophysics and geology to supply Van Oord with the geo-input essential for the construction of harbours and the reclamation of new land. He currently works at KWS Infra Utrecht as a Calculator Wegenbouw.

Academic careers

A large proportion of our graduates follow up their Master’s degree by pursuing a PhD in the Netherlands or elsewhere and ultimately a career in either applied or fundamental research. Fundamental research opportunities are available at universities in the Netherlands and internationally. The research may entail field, laboratory and desk work (such as computer modelling). 

  • Frans Aben, Postdoctoral Researcher, UCL
  • Frans' PhD, which he did first, focuses on faults and the damaged rock surrounding them. Rock mechanic experiments are used to investigate how these rocks are damaged and healed again over time, and their link to earthquake and fault behavior. He worked together with the Université Grenoble-Alpes and is also involved in a European project with other universities.He currently has a Postdoc position at UCL

    At Utrecht University I followed the Earth Structure and Dynamics program. My courses were mostly in the Earth Materials track and I obtained a broad base in rock mechanics, mineralogy, magnetism and petrology. More importantly, I learned the skills for scientific research, published my master thesis and became inspired by my teachers to continue in science. 

  • Paula Koelemeijer, Postdoctoral fellow, ETH Zürich

    Paula's research was focused on imaging the velocity and density structure of the Earth using all available information contained in seismograms. During her PhD at the University of Cambridge, she investigated the long wavelength structure of the lowermost mantle using Earth’s free oscillations. She currently is a Royal Society University Research Fellow at UCL.


Learning Dutch

If you want to find a job or internship in the Netherlands, knowing Dutch will get you places. Even if you work within an international organisation, knowing at least some Dutch is always a benefit and in some cases even a requirement. In order to learn Dutch, free language websites such as or can get you started or take a look at the Dutch courses offered by Babel. As a student from Utrecht University you receive a 25% discount on their course offerings.

After graduation

If you want to stay in the Netherlands after your graduation, you can apply for the ‘residence permit orientation year’. This permit can be submitted within 3 years after completing your studies and allows you unlimited working rights (hence: a work permit –TWV- is not required). For an overview of the conditions that apply for this permit, please visit the IND website.