NZ Graduate Outcomes

This website gives a view of 2018 Census data, based on a customised request prepared by Statistics New Zealand. It represents all 612,432 people aged 30-39 at the time of the most recent Census, run on 6 March 2018.

The Census only allows reporting on jobs, earnings and education as at 6 March 2018 and only supports reporting on earnings in 5-year age bands and in broad income brackets.

This page is a guide to understanding the information on the NZ Graduate Outcomes website.

The website shows only:

Level of study

Standard New Zealand Qualification Framework levels have been used for this exercise. The 10 levels are defined by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority and all qualifications offered by NZ institutions are mapped to the Framework.

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 under 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 could be 'Political Science and Policy Studies', or 'Language and Literature'. A 'detailed' classification within 'Language and Literature' could be 'English Language', 'Literature', or 'Foreign languages'. NZSCED poses some challenges 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. For Census results, 722 different occupation titles are used, 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 no ANZSCO job title matches their actual job title.

Known issues/constraints around the Census data

One in six New Zealand residents did not complete a questionnaire for the 2018 New Zealand Census of Population and Dwellings. This was largely due to operational failures by Statistics NZ, which made it difficult for a significant number of individuals and households to access census questionnaires, and to fulfil their statutory duty to participate.

Due to this high level of non-response, Statistics NZ used statistical processes to compensate for missing data. For the first time in New Zealand, alternative sources of administrative data were used to fill in gaps in census responses. So the Census 2018 count includes people who responded to the census, plus people added through administrative data enumeration from the Integrated Data Infrastructure Estimated Resident Population of 2018 (IDIERP).

As a part of quality assurance process, Statistics NZ asked international experts in statistical methodology to review the methods used in the 2018 Census. More information on census 2018 methodology and quality assurance reports can be found on the Statistics NZ website.

In reviewing numbers, note that:

Focus on 30-39 year olds

A goal of this website is 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 New Zealand (UNZ) had to apply a reasonableness test when choosing an age range that (a) would 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.

UNZ experimented with a number of different age ranges before settling on 30-39 year olds, which gave the best balance between the requirements above.