Graduates often work below their skill level

Roughly half of recent university graduates work in positions that are below their skill level, according to research from CBS.

That was the outcome of research conducted by the Dutch Central Statistics Office (CBS). Almost half of university-educated youths had a job that only required secondary or primary school education in the third quarter of 2015.

If graduates have already built up some experience, it’s a bit easier for them. Based on the CBS investigation, it appears that there are fewer people who are 25 or older employed at a job that is too simple for their skill level.


When it comes to employees with children, a clear difference emerges. From the age of 35, women are more likely to be working below their educational level (33 per cent) than men (24 per cent). This difference can be seen in practically all educational disciplines.

‘In general, women tend to work part-time after their first child is born. They report choosing full-time jobs less often in order to combine work and family life, among other things. As a result, they gain less experience which results in fewer career opportunities’, the researchers report.

Service sector

Most graduates working below their level of education work in the service sector (57 per cent) and engineering, industry and architecture sector (39 per cent). However, there are also many highly educated young people with jobs that they are overqualified for in the health and welfare sector.



Photo: CurrencyFair/Flickr