Universiteit Leiden

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Japanese Studies (MA) (120EC)

Career prospects

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

What our graduates do

Our alumni can be found working within Japanese multinationals such as banks, insurance companies, and government bodies. Others have followed paths into consultancy, management, journalism, PR and marketing, tourism, and education.

Some of the occupations of our graduates include:

  • Account Manager at Asahi Intecc, a Japanese company that develops metal wire for medical applications
  • Analytics Assistant at Reed Elsevier, a provider of information services
  • Area Manager Asia at the Netherlands Council for Trade Promotionn
  • Marketing Trainee at Wakibi microcredit, a provider of microcredit
  • Service Management Consultant at a company developing software
  • Junior Project Manager at Concorde Group BV, a translation agency
  • Coordinator, International Relations at Mima City Hall
  • Consular Officer at the Dutch Embassy in Japan
  • Translator and Product Developer at Kobe Bussan, a business supermarket
  • Corporate Banking Assistant at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ

Your qualifications

As a graduate of the MA in Japanese Studies at Leiden University, you are qualified for careers that require a high level of Japanese as well as highly developed analytical and information-handling skills.

Research Master's

If you have ambitions to pursue a PhD position or career as a researcher outside of academia, you can apply for the two-year Research Master in Asian Studies on completion of the programme.

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.

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."

The graphs below are based on alumni data from the MA Japanese Studies 2016-2020. 

In which sector do students find jobs

  • 20 % Government and semi-government organisations
  • 20 % Communications and marketing
  • 10 % IT
  • 10 % Publishing
  • 10 % Business services
  • 10 % Education
  • 10 % Financial institutions
  • 10 % Other

How successful are they in finding a job?

  • 40 % found a job within two months
  • 90 % Found their first job at academic level

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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