22 Jan 2013

Figures show impact of study choices on income

9:22 am on 22 January 2013

A new online tool is being launched to show prospective tertiary students what impact their study choices will have on their future income.

The data is available on the Careers New Zealand website where salaries and employment rates of various study levels and degrees are compared.

The figures from the Ministry of Education show a large variation in the median income of graduates.

The top earners with a bachelors degree work in medicine, earning about $110,000 a year five years after graduating, three times that of a performing arts graduate.

Civil engineering graduates earn about $67,653 a year, 48% more than language and literature or sport and recreation graduates.

Employment rates and income also increase for those studying at higher levels.

However the Union of Students' Associations says people should be wary of making decisions based on this information alone.

Its president, Pete Hodkinson, says there are, for example, many unemployed teachers at the moment showing that skills in high demand now may not be sought after by the time someone graduates.