International students

Careers help for international students

CDES has a designated International Career Development Consultant who is responsible for providing specialised services tailored to meet International students’ career development needs. These support students so that they can successfully transition into work and life after they have completed their studies. Special events such as career expos, networking opportunities and employer presentations help students to connect and engage with employers.

CDES online tools, workshops, events and personalised services assist students to identify the opportunities available to them while providing them with the knowledge, understandings and skills that can help them to be competitive in the ‘World of Work’.

Login to access CDES services.

Working in New Zealand

What is the employment situation in New Zealand?

New Zealand Treasury website
Find out about how New Zealand's economy is doing compared to other countries on New Zealand Treasury. The section on the New Zealand economy gives an overview and is updated annually.

Careers New Zealand website
Look up specific occupations or industries you are interested in.

Can I get a job with my degree in New Zealand?

Getting a job in New Zealand with your degree depends on a variety of factors. Two of the most important are the labour market and personal factors.

Labour market
If there is a shortage of skill in New Zealand in your occupation, it will be easier to find work as well as the necessary visas. To find out about this, research the labour market.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment produces a series of Labour Market Reports.

Immigration New Zealand publishes information about the skills needed in New Zealand. The Government allows students with a student visa who are completing a degree at this University to work a certain number of hours per week while studying and also to work during holiday periods. This depends on the duration of the course and other factors. Please consult the New Zealand Immigration website for the latest information.

Personal factors
Your chances of getting a job are influenced by:

  • the job search strategy you use
  • what skills you can offer employers
  • the quality of your application
  • language competence
  • how you present yourself.

Remember your degree is not enough! See what other factors employers also consider below.

What do NZ employers look for?

There is no one specific thing employers look for that is more important than another. It depends on the organisation and the particular job. Employers look at all the factors below and make up their minds about the entire "package" (which is you!) as a whole.

English competence refers to proficiency in listening, speaking fluency and accuracy, writing and reading. You need to start early on during your studies to develop the best level of competency you can achieve. Use the specialised English language support services at the University, and create opportunities to practice your English with native speakers. Relevant work experience is an excellent way to pick up language that is more career focused and to get exposure to the New Zealand workplace and culture. When you apply for your first job, the employer may be comparing your levels of English to that of a native speaker. See English language support.

You should be able to describe and talk about the knowledge you gained during your studies. Show how it is relevant to the job and how it will add value to the organisation. Good grades also help! If your qualification was obtained abroad, you may need to get it assessed by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) to verify its equivalence to a NZ qualification.

NZ work experience
Employers like to see some NZ work experience on CVs, especially if it is career related. Many international students find it hard to get work when they have finished their studies because they have no New Zealand work experience. While you are studying, use the opportunity to work part time and during holidays. Start working for a smaller organisation where your ethnicity could be an advantage or get your foot in the door by doing volunteer work. See Internships and voluntary work.