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 Physical Geographer, Geochemist, and Hydrologist.

Knowledge of coastal and river management, land use, natural resources, pollution, and hazard mitigation provides you with a good basis for understanding the past, present, and future evolution of Earth’s environment, including human impact on this evolution. The numerous environmental issues currently facing us mean you can pursue a variety of employment opportunities in diverse 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

  • Gemma Ramaekers, Physical Geographer, Rijkswaterstaat

    At Rijkswaterstaat Gemma works within the service Water, Traffic and Environment (WVL). In the Netherlands the policy is to maintain the coast with sand. As a senior advisor in coastal morphology, she is involved in advisory work regarding the Dutch coastal policy and the required research. As such, she works as Technical Manager for the Dutch coastal maintenance program.

  • Kyra Hu-a-ng, Geohydrologist, Acacia Water

    Acacia Water is a leading supplier of practical advices regarding groundwater challenges. At Acacia, Kyra works as a junior geohydrologist. Her work involves simulating and understanding of complex geohydrological systems with a focus on the fresh and salt water distribution.  Field work throughout the country is a major component of her job. Based on available data and field work, she advises Acacia Water about issues.

  • Arjan van der Weck, Engineering Manager, Boskalis Hydronamic

    Since 2008 Arjan works for Boskalis. He is responsible for the large and complex civil construction projects, recently working full time internationally in joint ventures. Before, Arjam was involved in general project management, which means he was involved in human resources management, quality assurance, project control and strategy development. Boskalis is a leading global maritime services company operating in the dredging and inland infra, and offshore energy sectors. Boskalis is also active in heavy marine transport, towage and salvage.

  • Jonathan Doelman, researcher Land Use and Climate, Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (Planbureau voor de Leefomgeving, PBL)

    Jonathan works for the PBL, a government research institute for strategic policy analysis in the fields of environment, nature and spatial planning. His work is focused on the modelling of land use change, feedback effects on climate and land based options for climate mitigation policy. The results are published and used to determine climate policy of the Dutch government and the European Union, and even global policy through the IPCC.

Academic careers

A large proportion of our graduates follow 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 deskwork (such as computer modelling). 

  • Marjolein Vogels, PhD candidate, Department of Physical Geography, Utrecht University

    Marjolein's research project focuses around food security and water availability in part of the Awassa catchment in Ethiopia. Combining satellite imagery and hydrological models she analyses the historical land use changes in the region and how this has affected hydrology and soil erosion. The goal is to produce an optimal land use map which maximises water availability and minimises soil erosion.

  • Barend van Maanen, research fellow, University of Southampton

    Together with other researchers and consultants, Barend developed models to predict the long-term evolution of open coasts and estuaries. These models will be used to explore climate change impacts and can tell us how to protect the coast and reduce the risks of flooding and erosion. He currently works at a senior lecturer in physical hydrology.


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.