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Tertiary education lifts job prospects

Higher education enhances employment prospects, providing a progressive career path for the youth, Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Steven Joyce has said.

Quoting the latest statistical data that was released as a part of an Education Ministry Report he said that higher qualifications lead to higher employability and higher wages for the younger members of the society.

The Report analyses the significance and value of tertiary education with updated information. It also provides an account of the earnings of students and their destination after six years of their graduation.

Progressive life

According to Mr Joyce, the Report updates the ‘Moving on Up’ – What young people earn after their tertiary education report with new data from the 2011 tax year.

“It is very clear that tertiary study improves career prospects. Young people with tertiary qualifications are more likely to be in employment and are very unlikely to be on a benefit. It is also clear that employment rates increase with the level of qualification gained. For example, in the first year after study, 53% of young bachelor degree graduates who stayed in New Zealand were in employment and 40% were in further study. This compares to 34% in employment for young people who completed a level 1-3 certificate,” he said.

The Report said that income of youngsters increased with their level of tertiary qualification, and that there was a significant improvement in their earnings between non-degree and degree qualifications.

Higher earnings

Quoting an example, Mr Joyce said that the median income of young people with a bachelor’s degree after five years of study would be 48% above the national median earnings for those aged over 15.

“Those with postgraduate qualifications command especially high earnings – with half of young doctoral graduates earning more than twice the national median in their fifth year out of study,” he said.

According to the Report, students pursuing education in demand areas earn the most, with large variation in earning potential for different types of graduates.

For example, five years after study, graduates with Civil Engineering degrees earn about $63,091 a year, 41% more than Language and Literature graduates.

“While the absolute income levels have moderated a little in some cases as a result of the global financial crisis, the relativities between the occupations have not materially changed. Data shows that the top earners with a bachelor’s degree are graduates in medicine, earning $109,318 per year, five years after leaving study. This is more than three times as much as a performing arts graduate,” Mr Joyce said.

He said that the subject of study and the course to follow were important decisions taken by students and their families.

The Government is committed to providing good information to assist people making those choices, for the benefit of students and for the very significant investment taxpayers make in tertiary education, he added.

“Along with this report, students can use the Careers New Zealand website (www.careers.govt.nz) tool to compare qualifications and fields of study. This latest data confirms that tertiary education is a passport to success in modern life. I encourage young people to take every advantage they can of their tertiary study opportunities to obtain the skills to compete in the modern world,” Mr Joyce said.

Indian Students

Speaking at the Diwali lunch hosted by ANZ Bank at Pullman Hotel on October 18, 2013, Mr Joyce said that India had emerged as the second largest market for New Zealand’s education sector.

“From less than 3000 students a few years ago, the number of international students enrolled at various educational institutions in New Zealand is now more than 11,000. They contribute more than $250,000 to the national economy. With increased marketing efforts, the number is set to grow in the coming years,” he said.

Mr Joyce described his first visit to India last year as ‘useful and eventful’ and that the delegation that accompanied him had engaged with a number of Indian institutions for increased cooperation.

“New Zealand is increasingly becoming a favoured destination for student population in India,” he said.

A related report appears under Businesslink.

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