Universiteit Leiden

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Southeast Asian Studies (MA) (60EC)

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
  • PhD student in South Asian Studies at the University of Edinburgh
  • 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
  • Senior assistant director at the Singaporean Ministry of Education

Research Master

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.

The graphs below are based on alumni data from the MA Asian Studies 2015-2019. 

In which sector do students find jobs?

Maxime van der Laarse

Graduated in MA South and South East Asian Studies

Maxime van der Laarse

“I was always certain I wanted to pursue a Master’s degree. Since I loved studying at Leiden University and enjoyed my BA program South and Southeast Asian Studies, I decided to continue the MA program Southeast Asian Studies. In this way, I could continue my research, focussing on environmentalism in Indonesia. For this, I took several courses on anthropology as well.”

“In my current job, even though it doesn’t seem directly related to my study, I can apply most of the skills and knowledge I have acquired. I work as Marketing & Communication manager for an organisation that builds turnkey crop production facilities worldwide. “

Useful cultural knowledge

“During my studies, I acquired many useful general skills, such as professional writing, public speaking and doing research. But thanks to my focus on environmentalism and sustainability, I can manage our organisation’s corporate social responsibility as well. What I also see as an important skill acquired during my studies is being aware of cultural differences and how to interact with them. As our organisation has many international clients and representation, this comes in very useful most of the time.”

  • 26.0 % Government and semi-government
  • 14.0 % Education
  • 12.0 % Financial institutions
  • 7.0 % IT
  • 7.0 % Culture, sports and recreation
  • 5.0 % Industrial sector
  • 5.0 % Research
  • 5.0 % Consultancy
  • 5.0 % Information management

How successful are they in finding a job

  • 56.0 % found a job within two months
  • 73.0 % found their first job at academic level

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