NZ Graduate Outcomes

This website provides a view of 2013 Census data. The data is based on a customised request prepared by Statistics New Zealand and represents all 294,160 people aged 30-39 at the time of the most recent Census - run on 5 March 2013.

The Census only allows reporting on jobs, earnings and education as at 5 March 2013 and only supports reporting on earnings in 5 year age bands and in broad income-brackets.

This page provides guidance to understanding the information on the NZ Graduate Outcomes website.

The website only shows;

Level of Study

Standard New Zealand qualification framework levels have been used for this exercise. The ten levels are defined by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority and all qualifications offered by NZ institutions are mapped to the Qualification Framework which associates each with a level.

Subjects studied - NZSCED

All subject areas are from the 'New Zealand Standard Classification of Education' (referred to as NZSCED). NZSCED is used by Statistics NZ and other government agencies to categorise all courses and qualifications into a standard set of subject areas at 'broad', 'narrow' and 'detailed' levels. A 'broad' classification might be; Society and Culture. A 'narrow' classification within Society and Culture would be 'Politic Science and Policy Studies', or 'Language and Literature'. A 'detailed' classification within 'Language and Literature' would be 'English Language', 'Literature', or 'Foreign languages'. Note that there are challenges with NZSCED as many inter-disciplinary and multi-disciplinary subjects have emerged over the past decade that cannot be easily classified under one broad or narrow field of study.

For this exercise, all reporting is at the lowest level available in the Census - which is 'narrow'.

Occupation Titles - ANZSCO

Statistics New Zealand also uses the 'Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations' (ANZSCO) to classify all people in employment into one of a number of standard titles. There are 722 different occupation titles used for Census results - such as Ambulance Officer, or Archivist. These include a number of catch all titles such as Social Professional NEC (Not Elsewhere Classified) where a person's job is matched to a broad area, but there is no ANZSCO job title that matches their actual job title.

Known Issues/Constraints around the Census Data

In reviewing numbers, note that;

The following limitations or issues are known regarding the Census data.

Everyone who completed a Census in 2013 filled out free-text fields on their Census return stating their job title, their highest qualification and the subject they gained their qualification in. The Census process tries to match responses to ANZSCO job titles and NZSCED subjects - first through an automated character recognition process and then through the best judgement of analysts at Statistics New Zealand. Given the size of the task, a few odd things creep through. For example, according to the Census, the public service in 2013 was employing six bed and breakfast operators, six butchers and small goods makers, nine taxi drivers, nine jewellers and 51 baristas.

Census respondents can select more than one ethnicity - for example, both Māori and European NZ. As a consequence, adding the number of people in each ethnicity will result in a total that is greater than the actual number of people aged 30-39 on 5 March 2013.

The Focus on 30-39 year olds

A goal of this website has been to report on outcomes for reasonably recent graduates. Because the Census does not indicate when graduates undertook their studies or how long they took to complete studies, Universities NZ had to apply a reasonableness test to choosing an age range that would (a) include the majority of NZ's tertiary education graduates, (b) would allow at least a few years for them to transition from studies to the workforce noting that a level 10 qualification might take up to 8-9 years overall, (c) was broad enough to get large enough numbers of graduates to support reporting, and (d) aligned to the Census age bands used for reporting.

Universities NZ experimented with a number of different age ranges before settling on 30-39 year olds. There was no particular rationale other than it gave the best balance between the requirements above.