Universiteit Leiden

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Politics, Society and Economy of Asia (MA) (60EC)

Career prospects

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

Where do our graduates work?

Graduates of the MA in Politics, Society and Economy of Asia can offer expertise that is highly relevant to many organisations today. A selection of roles in which expertise on Asia is desirable include professions in journalism, publishing, international trade, marketing, business, public relations, education, development aid, and in government, multinationals 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
  • Policy officer at the Dutch embassy in Tokyo

Research Master's

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

Yu Kai Tan

Graduated in Politics, Society and Economy of Asia (MA Asian Studies)

Yu Kai Tan

"After my BA I leaped back into my studies with Asian Studies, I just wanted to learn more about Asia. The program didn’t disappoint, far from it, Asian Studies turned out to be the natural next step for my academic interests and personal growth. During the program I not only learned about the ever-changing politics, societies and economics of Asia, I also learned more about their international relations, developed my own critical view and met many interesting people with backgrounds in various different disciplines. All that while living in one of the most beautiful and historic cities in the Netherlands, what more can you want? In my current job I am both a researcher and an analyst, and Asian Studies has given me the tools to not only succeed but thrive. The skills and lessons I learned during the study program continue to be of great value in both my personal life and my career."

Omid Anwari

Graduated in Politics, Society and Economy of Asia (MA Asian Studies)

Omid Anwari

"I didn’t want to limit myself during my studies. So alongside my BA programme I followed courses in journalism and business studies. During my master’s programme in Asian Studies I did a communication internship at the Municipality of Almere and I also did the Leiden Leadership Programme. I learned about how to lead, motivate and reward people, and how to stand in front of a group. And these skills are precisely what I need now."

Understanding various cultures, traditions and languages

"I really enjoy teaching Dutch to children in the international access class at the Da Vinci College. They have just arrived in the Netherlands and can’t yet attend the regular classes. My degree helps me understand the various cultures, traditions and languages of my pupils – the majority of them come from the Middle East. I myself came from Afghanistan to the Netherlands at the age of 13, so I know what if feels like to be in their shoes. And they in mine. So the circle is complete."

In which sector do students find jobs

The graphs below are based on alumni data from the MA Politics, Society and Economy of Asia 2016-2020. 

  • 29 % Government and semi-government
  • 21 % Financial institutions
  • 14 % Consultancy
  • 7 % Education
  • 7 % Communication and marketing
  • 7 % Travel organisations and airlines
  • 7 % Industrial sector
  • 8 % Other

How successful are they in finding a job?

  • 47 % found a job within two months
  • 82 % found their first job at academic level

Career preparation

Find out how this programme 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.

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