Working in New Zealand
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.
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. For the latest information, consult the Immigration New Zealand website.
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 New Zealand 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. We've described three aspects that New Zealand employers might look for.
- Employers look for English language 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.
For help and support with your English language skills, the University offers several English language support services.
- You should be able to describe and talk about the knowledge you gained during your studies.
- Show how your studies are 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.
To get detailed information about the current employment situation in New Zealand, you can visit the following resources:
- The New Zealand Treasury website shows how New Zealand's economy is doing compared to other countries. The section on the New Zealand economy gives an overview and is updated annually.
- Look up specific occupations or industries you are interested in by visiting Careers New Zealand.
- Visit the Employment New Zealand website for more information on working in New Zealand.
- Access free online modules that will introduce you to your employment rights, pay and wages, employment agreements, working arrangements and other vital topics.
- If you have any issues, you can access Employment New Zealand's Early Resolution and Mediation services.
- Access the Employment Agreement Builder – to help create a tailored employment contract.
- Information on reporting migrant worker exploitation and Migrant Exploitation Protection Visa.