The Tertiary education enrolments 2013 report released today shows there was continued growth in enrolments in higher qualifications by younger students, while enrolments fell for older students as employment prospects improved.
Mr Joyce says demand for tertiary education remains high with 418,000 students enrolled in formal study programmes last year.
“In part, this is due to the improved performance of school students in NCEA, coupled with the Government’s emphasis to have more young people achieve at level 4 or higher on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework,” Mr Joyce says.
People with a bachelors degree or higher qualification on average earn 62 per cent more than those without a qualification. This was reinforced in a second report released today, What Young Graduates Earn When They Leave Study.
“This updated research shows a large jump in earnings between those who hold a degree compared to those with a lower level qualification, and the return for those who study in some particular fields of study is greater,” Mr Joyce says.
“Bachelors-degree graduates who studied medicine earn around $110,000 a year five years after leaving study. That is more than twice the earnings, on average, of other bachelors-degree graduates.”
The new data shows that other fields of study where bachelors graduates earn more than $60,000 after seven years include banking, accountancy, law, information technology, pharmacy, radiography, business and management, mathematics, earth sciences, geomatic engineering, and electrical and electronic engineering technology.
Mr Joyce points out that many of these higher-earning fields involve science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects.
“I would recommend those students who enjoy maths and science study these subjects through to Year 13 at school, and seriously consider studying them at tertiary level.
“The information in this report will be useful for students of all ages when considering their study options and the earning potential of those options.”
Mr Joyce says New Zealand is on track to meet the Government’s Better Public Services target of 55 per cent of the population aged 25 to 34 years with a level 4 or higher qualification by 2017.
“The Government is committed to increasing achievement in the tertiary sector. We will continue to see more enrolments at higher levels while foundation-level learning will be reserved for those that need that second chance to get on the ladder of achievement and higher wages,” Mr Joyce says.
“Having more people studying at higher levels of tertiary education means a more highly skilled labour market. Higher skills mean higher paying jobs for New Zealanders and their families.”
Tertiary education enrolments 2013 is available at: http://www.educationcounts.govt.nz/publications/80898/146820
What Young Graduates Earn When They Leave Study is available at:http://www.educationcounts.govt.nz/publications/80898/146542