13 June 2017 • HOP, by Bas Belleman
Elsevier: Your salary later will depend on your alma mater
When it comes to your future salary, your degree programme isn’t the only factor. So is the school you graduated from. This statement comes from an article in Elsevier (a Dutch weekly) that bases this conclusion on a survey in which more than a million graduates participated.
Anthropologists are known to earn a lot less than dentists. But are there also differences between universities of applied sciences and between universities? Yes, according to an article in Elsevier.
‘After factoring in the graduates’ personal characteristics, the nature and scale of their employment contract and their degree programme, graduates of Delft University of Technology and Eindhoven University of Technology earned the most,’ according to the article. ‘Graduates of Wageningen University & Research, Tilburg University and the VU Amsterdam earn the least.’
Similar differences were also found among universities of applied sciences. ‘The highest paid graduates of universities of applied sciences came from the NHTV Breda University of Applied Sciences, the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences and the Windesheim University of Applied Sciences.
Elsevier based its conclusions on a research study, ‘Studie en werk’ conducted by SEO Amsterdam Economics. This was the research agency’s first opportunity to analyse more than a million graduates.
The researchers were permitted – ‘under strict conditions of privacy protection’ and based on personal public service numbers – to combine data originating from the Tax and Customs Administration, the Employee Insurance Agency (the benefits agency in the Netherlands), and the Education Executive Agency with data from Statistics Netherlands.
The differences for each degree programme were sometimes substantial. Ten years after leaving school, graduates of the Business Administration programme at the Erasmus University Rotterdam earned a gross monthly salary of 6,440 euros. Business Administration students that graduated from the University of Groningen earned more than a thousand euros less. A degree earned ten years ago in Tax Law from Leiden University would mean a monthly salary of 6,404 euros a month, while this would be almost 800 euros less with a similar degree from Tilburg University. It should be noted that Elsevier mentioned only the top five university degree programmes.
Business Economics graduates from universities of applied sciences earned the highest salaries if their alma mater was the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences: more than 5,000 euros a month. NHL University of Applied Sciences graduates earned only 3,831 euros. For universities of applied sciences, the article named not only the top five but also the lowest five.
Schools that train primary school teachers also showed similar differences. Ten years after graduating from Zuyd University of Applied Sciences, these teachers earned 3,000 euros while graduates of Driestar Educatief earned somewhat less than 2,100 euros.
‘An explanation for these figures will require additional research into the influence of the personal characteristics of the graduates and their type of contract,’ according to the article in Elsevier. ‘And what role does the regional labour market play? What is the effect of collective labour agreements?’ But differences will be found no matter what.