What did they do? The field of study of domestic graduates 2011-2014

Publication Details

This report analyses the field of study of domestic graduates from the New Zealand tertiary education system between 2011 and 2014.

Author(s): Warren Smart, Ministry of Education

Date Published: January 2016

The Ministry of Education has revised the method used to derive the predominant field(s) of study since this report was published. To learn more about the revised methodology, read the technical note.

Please consider the environment before printing the contents of this report.

This report is available as a download (please refer to the 'Downloads' inset box).  For links to related publications/ information that may be of interest please refer to the 'Where to Find Out More' inset box.


Our analysis shows that:

  • the distribution of graduates at Level 1 and 2 certificates by field of study showed relative volatility over time, with an increase in graduates in the Mixed field programme field. Changes in the content and provision of this level of qualification, such as an increased focus on foundation-level learning, are likely factors in this pattern
  • graduates with Level 3 to 7 certificates/diplomas showed less variation in the field of study over time, with Society and culture and Management and commerce remaining the largest fields of study at this level
  • at the bachelors or higher level, there was an increase in the proportion of graduates in STEM-related subjects, a trend shared by Australia, but with a faster pace of change in New Zealand
  • at the bachelors level or higher, universities had the highest number of graduates in all fields of study
  • women were more likely to graduate in fields such as nursing and teaching, while men dominated the graduates in areas such as engineering. Māori and Pasifika were relatively less likely to graduate in the STEM-related fields at the bachelors or higher level.

Data on Field of Study


Where to find out more

Contact Us

For more information about the content on this webpage, please email the:  Tertiary Mailbox