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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 2016-2020. 

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 % Government and semi-government
  • 14 % Education
  • 12 % Financial institutions
  • 7 % IT
  • 7 % Culture, sports and recreation
  • 5 % Industrial sector
  • 5 % Research
  • 5 % Consultancy
  • 5 % Information management
  • 14 % Other

How successful are they in finding a job

  • 56 % found a job within two months
  • 73 % 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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