Photo by Ton Koene/Hollandse Hoogte 

In certain sectors and industries there is a current and stable demand for qualified professionals, particularly engineers, ICT specialists, innovative minds in creative industries and health care specialists.

Below you will find descriptions of these sectors and industries, current demand and future career prospects.


ICT specialists

Innovators in creative industries

Health care specialists


Like its neighbour Germany, the Netherlands has a long tradition in high-tech engineering, innovation and science.

A survey by a global talent bureau found that the Netherlands has the second highest demand for engineers globally, with about 13% of all job advertisements in the engineering sector. Whether you are a project, mechanical or technical engineer, your profession is in demand.

If you happen to be a water engineer, the Netherlands is certainly the right place for you to look for jobs. The Netherlands has a long tradition of flood control and protection, dredging technology and river engineering and has become an important player in climate adaptive building, which allows houses to be built in flood-prone areas.

With a strong standing in the areas of renewable energy, energy efficiency and a leading position in offshore wind energy, biomass processing and greenhouse farming, the Dutch have set themselves some ambitious challenges.

It has committed itself to have a reliable, sustainable and affordable energy system in place by 2050 which generate 40% of their electricity from sustainable sources. So the Netherlands is investing heavily in innovation, design and public-private partnerships.

ICT specialists

The Netherlands has a knowledge-driven economy with a strong focus on high-tech industries, technological and social innovations and high labour productivity. Well trained specialists in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) are currently in high demand, with the yearly number of vacancies increasing up to 37,000 until 2020, a 1,2% growth. This sector is one of the fastest growing sectors in the Netherlands.

Employees from the whole range of ICT functions are in demand. If you are able to combine your ICT skills with good social and communication skills then you will be a perfect match for roles in which ICT hardware and applications are 'translated' to the general public.

Basically, any combination of ICT with other skills (e.g. security, health, education) is currently highly sought after. A good example is the relatively new role of electronic interior designer. Nowadays, architects and businesses often hire an external ICT professional for tailored advice on how to implement and use electronic and digital infrastructures in their buildings.

Furthermore, in today's competitive labour market an ICT background is a solid starting point for positions in middle to higher systems management.

Currently, the average job hunt of an ICT graduate in the Netherlands is six weeks, which is a record low. Whether you want to work in government, business or education; a professional degree in ICT will most certainly get you a job in the Netherlands. It is up to you to choose what business you would like to start your career in.

Innovators in creative industries

For centuries, Dutch creativity has inspired and instructed others. Geniuses like Rembrandt and Van Gogh transformed the world around them.

Today’s Dutch masters are icons like fashion designers Viktor & Rolf, architect Rem Koolhaas, designers Marcel Wanders and Adriaan van Hooydonk, Miffy illustrator Dick Bruna and DJ Armin van Buuren. They exemplify the strengths of Dutch design: pragmatic, open-minded, conceptual, out of the box and adhering to the ‘less is more’ principle.

Dutch design also fuses innovation, creativity and business. Dutch creativity proves that creativity makes business more innovative, competitive and prosperous.

The creative industries currently contribute about 3% to Dutch GDP and employ about 170,000 people. More than two thirds of these creative professionals are self-employed. The sector is expected to increase by 0,9 % over the next years.

If you want to start a career in creative industries the Netherlands is thus not a bad place to consider. Besides the many art colleges throughout the country, there is the Design Academy in Brainport Eindhoven, which hosts of the Dutch Design Week and acts as a platform for innovative creative talent.

In 2013, Radboud University Nijmegen launched its first Master in Creative Industries which prepares students for a career in management and/or entrepreneurship in this fast-paced environment.

Health care specialists

Due to population ageing in the Netherlands, there will be a big gap between the demand in the health care sector and the number of qualified employees to fill it. The healthcare sector is one of the largest sectors in the Netherlands and it is expected to grow steadily until 2020.

At the moment, most vacancies are filled within a reasonable period, but it is already becoming increasingly harder to fill positions which require a university (of applied sciences) degree.

As the number of older people (65+) will double by the year 2040, there are prospects for interesting and socially relevant employment possibilities in the Dutch health care sector for at least three decades.

There is a particular demand for professionals in elderly care, dentistry, emergency response and mental health care. Most health care professions in the Netherlands are regulated professions. This means that access to the profession is regulated by law.

You have to apply to the relevant competent authority for admission to professional practice. The authority decides whether you may practise the profession concerned in the Netherlands. Examples of regulated professions in health care are those of nurse, dentist and doctor.

To check which situation applies to you, visit these web pages about professional recognition.