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Decide and Prepare

Understanding tertiary options

Section 1 Decide and Prepare Careers New Zealand April 2012

Understanding tertiary options


qualification types

Levels 7-10

degrees, graduate and postgraduate qualifications

Levels 4-6

advanced trades, technical and business qualifications

Levels 1-3

senior secondary education (eg, NCEA) and basic trades training

qualification names

bachelors, honours, masters, doctorates, PhDs graduate and postgraduate certificates and diplomas certificates, diplomas, national certificates, national diplomas

typical completion times

certificates diplomas general, national, graduate, postgraduate general, national, graduate, postgraduate bachelors degrees, honours degrees masters degrees doctorates, PhDs

for full-time study

a few months, up to 1 year 1 or 2 years, can be more 3 or 4 years, can be 5 2 years 3 years

the meaning of words


When people talk about study they are often talking about learning at an education provider, eg, school or university. But, some study courses include on-the-job training through work placements.


When people talk about training they are often talking about learning on the job. But, many workplace training programmes include off-the-job study.

Understanding tertiary options


tertiary providers

3 8 20 38 +

wānanga universities polytechnics and institutes of technology (ITPs) industry training organisations (ITOs) hundreds of private training establishments(PTEs)

Understanding tertiary options


entry requirements vary

… from course to course and place to place.

– You might need a set number of credits in particular school subjects. – When there are a limited number of places in a course, meeting the minimum entry requirements might not be enough. – Course providers may want to see portfolios, experience in the workplace, evidence of commitment or certain personal qualities.

entry to university

Example: BA in history at Victoria University – Minimum requirement is University Entrance – For guaranteed entry you need a score of 150 points based on up to 80 of your best credits – For example, 10 credits at excellence (40pts), 10 credits at merit (30pts) and 40 credits at achieved (80 pts).

• excellence=4 pts, merit=3 pts, achieved=2 pts

entry to polytech/institute

Examples from Weltec: • • Diploma in Health Psychology Level 5 – NCEA level 2 with 36 credits in three subjects.

National Diploma in Architectural Technology Level 6 – 50 credits at NCEA Level 2, with at least 12 credits in each of Maths, Science and English. Alternatively, applicants 20 years of age or older are welcome to apply.

– Successful completion of selected unit standards is necessary to gain entry into the second year of this programme.

entry to workplace training

Example: Retail modern apprenticeship – You need to find a job in the industry and a boss willing to train you first.

– Requires you to successfully complete 147 credits at Levels 2 and 3 while you are working, so it helps to have NCEA Level 1 plus literacy and numeracy.

flexible options

There are options that allow you to continue to explore what suits you as you go.

– These may be a good idea if you know the broad area you are interested in but aren’t sure what sort of job you’re heading for .

Examples are: a general degree, eg, Bachelor of Arts or Science Pre-trade training, eg, plumbing

what you can do now

Think about …

Start thinking about the way you might want to learn once you finish school. The tertiary study and training options available offer you different ways of learning.

Think ahead …

When you choose your senior school subjects, check out whether your subjects will allow you to get into the tertiary study and training pathways you might want to follow.

Finding your networks

Section 2 Decide and Prepare Careers New Zealand April 2012

Your network is …

The people who know you well parents . sisters brothers . close friends classmates . aunts . uncles cousins . grandparents co-workers . fellow students club or group members The people who sort of know you church group . ministers . boss teachers . coach . team mates neighbours . hairdresser . vet barista . gas station guy doctor . chemist The people you can start a conversation with Often it is these people who give you the best new leads

Networking is …


X person 1 person 2 person 3



Networking example

Jo wants to explore nursing as a career option


minister cousin family friend church member (social worker) doctor colleague (nurse) friend (nursing home manager) aunt colleague (nursing agency) friend (case manager)

Doing it right

Think about how you can make a good first impression

appearance friendliness curiosity honesty

MUST DO #1 Create a positive impression of yourself

Prepare yourself to emphasize your positive qualities

People say I’m … I’ve had good feedback about …

Doing it right

You can tell people about what you are looking for without directly asking for help.

This may lead you to someone who could help you.

MUST DO # 2 Tell people about your interests and goal s

Decide what is reasonable to ask of people.

How strong is your connection?

How willing is the person?

How much hassle is your request?

Career Kete, Decide and Prepare section, April 2012 The information on networks in this presentation is based on ideas in Teaching Networking Skills: Paving a Way to Jobs and Careers, Aug 2008, Institute for Community Inclusion, UMass Boston. Downloaded December 2010 from