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Gettin Paid

Gettin’ Paid – Issue 21

Let’s be clear. Studying can bring you a lot of different opportunities and there are a great many people who do it just to learn some skills, to open their minds, or to get away from kids. But if you are deciding on a course of study, then for at least some of you the question will be, where is this taking me? We asked Alex Nebesky, and Troy Anderson to do some research, ask some faculty advisors and answer the question of where your degree could take you.


What are some of the cool job opportunities studying Science will 

give you?

I think that some of the coolest jobs are in Science Communication, where you get to use your passion and enthusiasm for science to explain what can be really complicated scientific concepts with the general public. With the current COVID-19 situation, we’ve seen the power of great science communication and also the damage that can be done when people spread misinformation.

What are the most common careers?

Many BSc graduates will go on to work as technicians in a variety of different fields. Science underpins a large portion of New Zealand’s economy, including agriculture and food production, so there are a lot of roles in quality assurance and environmental monitoring.

What is the average salary a science degree gives you?

The starting salary for most BSc graduates is around $60,000, but it does vary depending on a student’s major subject.

What are some of the unexpected career opportunities?

There are many science-based jobs that don’t involve working in labs. For example, if you’re a person that loves working outside, there are plenty of roles involving environmental monitoring that allow you to enjoy beautiful Aotearoa.


What are some of the cool job opportunities studying Computing and Mathematical Sciences will give you?

A degree in these areas can take you many of the places that Science and Engineering may take you. You could end up as an engineer at Google, programming the navigation modules at Rocket Labs or tucked in a lab somewhere figuring out the nature of the universe.

What are the most common careers?

A Computing or Mathematical Science student can expect to become a technician, programmer, analyst or assistant across a variety of different fields. The opportunities are incredibly vast from engineering and manufacturing roles, to environmental roles to finance, business and statistics.

What is the average salary Computing and Mathematical Science gives you?

A Computing and Mathematical Science student could expect to earn anywhere between $40,000 and $200,000.  This is due to the incredible range of industries and businesses that rely heavily on these types of skills.

What are some of the unexpected career opportunities?

This type of study can take students into such a huge range of careers, but some of the more obscure and unexpected are in the roles of air traffic control management. Another in finance and banking, being a bank credit manager. Meteorology also has a need for people skilled in mathematics and computing. 



What are some of the cool job opportunities studying Māori and Indigenous Studies will give you?

A major or minor in Māori and Indigenous studies can take a student down any number of career pathways.  Some cool opportunities are working in broadcasting and journalism, Iwi development and Māori creative and performing arts.

What are the most common careers?

Some more common careers for this mode of study are those working in an educationalist role and research consultation. Outside of education, one might also expect to work with Iwi and local councils.

What is the average salary a major or minor in Māori and Indigenous studies gives you?

Māori and Indigenous studies is likely to be supplementary to a career.  It is a means of examining the world through the lens of Māori culture, which means the opportunities and associated salaries are greatly varied. An education focused role will likely bring between $42,000 and $75,000 and a governance and community focused role will likely bring between $40,000 up to as high as $145,000.

What are some unexpected career opportunities?

Some of the interesting and unexpected career opportunities are Government Policy Analyst and International Development Practitioner. These career paths deal with Māori and Indigenous issues at the national and international level. 



What are the most common careers?

– Early Childhood Educator, Primary School Teacher, Secondary School Teacher

– School Principal/ECE Centre Manager

– Community Support Worker

– Counsellor

What is the average salary a degree from Te Kura Toi Tangata School of Education gives you?

– Early Childhood Educator $50k

– Primary Teacher $62k

– Secondary Teacher $69k

– Counsellor $60k

– School Principal $96k

What are some of the unexpected career opportunities?

– Policy Analyst

– Community Leader

– Educational Researcher

– Tertiary Programme Manager

– Learning Application Developer


Pay rates differ wildly, depending on which source you use, so these are estimates only. You might want to do your own research into salaries.

What are some of the cool job opportunities studying Business or Management will give you?

Chartered Accountant  – New Zealand has a shortage of professionally qualified accountants (eg. CAANZ or CPA Australia), which means that graduates can earn a healthy starting salary, particularly once they have passed their CA exams and gained at least three years’ work experience. Accounting provides you with exposure to a wide range of businesses and industries, which keeps the job fresh and interesting, with unlimited potential for career advancement into senior management roles. You could develop specialist skills in auditing, business consulting, taxation advice, financial analysis, and much more. In particular, there is an increasing need for people who can analyse and interpret financial data to help businesses make better decisions. You shouldn’t have any problems finding a job overseas, as your qualifications will be internationally recognised. According to the 2019 CAANZ Remuneration Survey, Chartered Accountants in NZ had median annual earnings of $119,425; about double that of the general population. If you want to earn the big bucks, try to get recruited by a corporate firm such as EY, KPMG, PWC or Deloitte.

Management Consultant  – This job is a good fit for management graduates who would enjoy working with business clients to help them solve problems and recommend strategies to improve business performance. You will be working closely with senior and middle managers from a wide range of industries, so you need to demonstrate strong communication, research and critical thinking skills. You should also be up-to-date with the latest business technology systems, and be comfortable with writing reports and change management. Working hours are long, but the rewards are high. Highly skilled management consultants can earn anywhere from $100,000 to $250,000.

Procurement/supply chain manager 

– Procurement/supply chain/logistics managers are responsible for coordinating the logistics of a company’s supply chain, to maximise efficiency and minimise costs. For example, this may include negotiating contracts with global suppliers to purchase the raw materials needed to create a company’s products, managing the flow of goods to ensure that inventory keeps pace with customer demand, and organising the transportation of finished products to retailers and customers in multiple locations around the world. There is a shortage of supply chain professionals in New Zealand, so you should find it relatively easy to get a job. You will need to demonstrate good organisational, analytical and problem-solving skills, enjoy working under time pressure, and be able to use digital business technologies such as spreadsheets and databases. You can typically expect to earn a good salary starting from $70,000 and ranging up to $120,000 or more, depending on years of experience.


What are some of the cool job opportunities studying health will give you?

A degree in Health and Wellbeing at Waikato combines a variety of disciplines for holistic health qualification. As such, along with post-graduate study for specialisation, health graduates could choose between the academic focus of health data or epidemiology or the more individual-based nursing or Iwi health education.

What are the most common careers?

For a lot of students, a health degree will be a move towards work as a doctor, however nursing, clinical research, and healthcare administration are all options for health graduates.

What is the average salary a health degree gives you?

$40,000 to $85,000

What are some of the unexpected career opportunities?

Potentially less of a focus for students moving into health and wellbeing with a mind to become a practicing doctor, in the current situation, with COVID likely to impact the country for some time to come, a career in public health is an exciting opportunity for health students. It could be a government ministry, or in a local council or community. 


What are some of the cool job opportunities studying Law will give you?

For a lot of law students private practice will be the goal, but there are a lot of opportunities outside of that realm. These include roles in the public sector as a policy adviser to government departments, or in the private sector as an in house consultant counselling on business decisions or contract law.

What are the most common careers?

Perhaps as a law graduate your dream is to bash your fists on a desk and demand the truth in a powerful Tom Cruise in A Few Good Men display, but as every law student knows there are a lot more opportunities out there than courtroom drama. There are numerous opportunities out there for law graduates from work as a solicitor or barrister in a criminal law firm, to legal aid or policy advice. 

What is the average salary a Law degree gives you?

According to Grad New Zealand, $42,000 to $140,000.

What are some of the unexpected career opportunities?

In the current COVID environment where people are consuming more film, music, and current affairs than ever, a prospect for law graduates may be in media law. Covering the rules and regulations of broadcast media, defamation, as well as advice on marketing and advertising, media law is a great option for a world engaging with more media than ever.


What are some of the cool job opportunities studying Arts and Social Sciences will give you?

While arts students are certainly used to being asked what they plan to do with their career, the tradeoff for not having a degree with a clear and obvious career progression is that you get a degree you can apply to an enormous range of career opportunities. Whether you read history or studied psychology, the analysis and critical thinking you learned in class can serve in roles in government, policy, work with organisations in the field of your specific degree, and a variety of private sector jobs that relate to your area of expertise.

What are the most common careers?

Arts and social science students can expect to look for work in business content creation and management, international relations roles, regional or city council positions, or research roles, as well as work at university services. The basis of an arts degree is the skills learned more so than the specific content learned, and those skills can be effectively transferred to a lot of roles.

What is the average salary an Arts, Social Sciences or Psychology degree gives you?

$45,000 starting, up to $70,000 and beyond depending on the roles you might find yourself in.

What are some of the unexpected career opportunities?

With such a broad spectrum of possible employment opportunities, arts graduates could find themselves in plenty of unexpected or uncommon roles. Top jobs in museum and heritage work could see you as a collection manager, you could transfer your skills in research and information presentation to journalism or current affairs media, or you could find yourself as part of a cutting edge research project for an NGO. 

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