Want to study but not sure what to do?

You may be leaning toward tertiary study, but before investing your time and money, work through all your considerations to make sure it’s what you really want to do.

Why do you want to do tertiary study?

Think about your interest in tertiary study. Is it the only way to get into the career you’re interested in? If you’ve got a particular career in mind, check our jobs database to find out if there are alternative ways to enter the job.

If you like the idea of doing tertiary study, it’s probably not just the qualification that appeals. Are you interested because you:

  • want to experience student life
  • enjoy the academic challenge
  • want to gain a broad range of knowledge (e.g. Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts) and specialise later on?

These are all valid considerations. However, research the costs and then decide if what you'll gain from study is worth the price.

"Although I have been offered full-time jobs, I want to concentrate on completing my education. At the moment, this is more important to me than getting full-time work because I think getting my Level 2 computing certificate means I will have more options to choose from in the long-run."

Jay Dunlop

Jay Dunlop

Mature Student and Part-time Call Centre Worker

Is tertiary study your choice?

Are you considering tertiary study only because you think it's expected of you by others?

If yes, remember that tertiary study isn’t the only way to get a qualification. New Zealand Apprenticeships and industry training are good ways to get a qualification while earning money at the same time.

If you want a particular type of job, find out if there’s an industry training organisation (ITO) covering that work. You can then contact the ITO or employers to ask about apprenticeship opportunities.

How will tertiary study fit in with your life?

Tertiary study may take up a lot of your time and involve moving towns or changing your lifestyle. Are you prepared to make these changes?

Ask yourself:

  • What changes or compromises will you have to make in your life to study successfully? Think about the activities that you enjoy doing and whether you will still have the time and money to do them.
  • What is your financial situation, and how much of a financial commitment are you prepared to make toward your study?
  • Are you comfortable with moving away from home if you have to? Do you have the money you'll need to do this?

Definitely want to study, but can’t pick just one course?

You may have found several courses that interest you and are unable do them all at once. Which one can you do and can you do others later?

Remember, most people have several careers in a lifetime. The decision you make now is not for life.

If you're still unsure about which course to choose, find out what else you should consider:

Find out more

Careers New Zealand website

Updated 11 Jan 2017