Universiteit Leiden

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Asian Studies (MA)

Career prospects

Create a world of opportunities with a master's degree from Leiden University.

What our graduates do

As a graduate of the MA in Asian Studies, you are qualified to work within a variety of fields where there is a demand for expertise in Asia, including journalism and publishing, international trade and marketing, business, public relations, education and development aid, and in government, international organisations and NGOs.

Some of the occupations of our graduates include:

  • Account manager at a translation agency
  • Project manager at a trading and consultancy company in India
  • Owner of a consultancy firm
  • Consultant at a defence and security company
  • Communications officer at an animation studio in Japan
  • Relations management officer at an organisation promoting internationalisation in education
  • Editor at an academic publishing house
  • Content editor at a booking website

Research Master

Although you can certainly pursue a PhD position or career as a researcher outside of academia after having obtained the MA degree Asian Studies, you may want to consider opting for the two-year research master in Asian Studies, if you are an excellent student.

A Leiden University degree

Leiden University Master's graduates are sought-after employees at (inter)national organisations. Our graduates are known for their combination of robust academic training, in-depth and relevant knowledge, and critical, multidisciplinary approach to problem-solving.

Robert Beers

Graduated in East Asian Studies (MA Asian Studies)

Robert Beers

"In my current position as management trainee at TU Delft, I benefit every day from having followed the MA East Asian Studies. I owe it to this programme that I have a unique outlook on the world, which makes a great difference when making decisions or doing business."

Intercultural sensitivity

"It improved my analytic skills, critical thinking and problem solving abilities. Thanks to my one of a kind background, heightened intercultural sensitivity and communication skills, I am able to create opportunities that make life and career even more interesting!"

Plenty of flexibility and freedom

"Whichever track you choose within the programme, there is plenty of flexibility and freedom to pursue your own academic interests. I really enjoyed the diversity of the curriculum. My field of study being sociology, I wrote my thesis about the relationship between fans and anti-fans in Korean popular music fandom. I followed intensive courses that provided essential and comprehensive material which proved very useful for my perception of the world as well as my research. Another fantastic asset of this programme is the option to do an internship. This is a great way to prepare you for your career."

Christiaan Raaijmakers

Graduated in Japanese Studies (MA Asian Studies)

Christiaan Raaijmakers

"I work as an international sales manager for a French company that manufactures seats for theatres, cinemas, auditoriums, and conference halls worldwide. I travel around Northern Europe and Japan, where I meet with architects and owners of such venues and offer the company’s top-quality products. The French company is part of a Japanese-owned company group. The head company of this group is Japanese and I attended an internship there in 2014. "

Becoming a link between Japan and Europe

"A few months ago, they offered me to come and work for their French company. Now, I act as a link between the French company and Japanese company due to my knowledge of the Japanese language and culture that I gained during my Master Asian Studies. At the time, I chose the two-year Master Asian Studies – Japanese Studies to be able to study more about the country I grew to love. It also provided me with an exchange program to study the language and culture at one of Japan’s top universities for one full year. With help from this Master programme, I have achieved my goal of becoming a link between Japan and Europe."

Career preparation

Find out how this programme exactly prepares you for your future career and check our career preparation activities.

At Leiden University, we give you the tools to become a powerful critical thinker with a strong and relevant knowledge base. Graduates of the master's in Asian Studies understand the key academic approaches taken within Asian Studies across multiple disciplines, and how to use these concepts to conduct quality research. They have a wealth of practical and professional skills. These qualities amount to a highly attractive package for future employers.

Do you consider to put your knowledge into practice during your studies? Determine whether an internship could be an option for you. Start orientating your possibilities by visiting an internship information session. This way you can receive information about the internship procedure and listen to tips of former interns.
Notice that you will search for an internship yourself to find a place of your interest. Do you need some help with this or the application process? Do not hesitate to contact the Career Service. When you have found an internship, inform us. Then, the internship coordinator advises you how to proceed and provides your internship plan with feedback so it can be submitted for approval to the board of examiners.

Our staff can help you identify both the career that is right for you, and the necessary steps to get you there. Our team at Humanities Career Service provide all Leiden University humanities students with professional advice and guidance on everything from internships and career planning to job applications. Humanities Career Service also organises regular workshops on topics such as effective interview skills and creating a successful CV.

The Humanities Career Service offers you various (online) workshops, webinars and info sessions. Check our overview of career activities

The Leiden University Career Zone is an online career portal that helps you to prepare for the job market. Here you can find information, tools and tips to help you gain more personal insight, learn about the job market, develop your application skills, plan your academic and professional career, find job vacancies and discover what the Career Service can do for you.

Join the Mentor Network to contact alumni with experience on the labour market and ask them for advice. More than 1200 alumni are happy to help you!

Jelle on finding an internship via Leiden University's Mentor Network

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