Careers Pathways


When doing subject selection it is important to consider your future career pathway to ensure you are choosing subjects that will allow you to follow your desired route.  If you do not have any defined ideas regarding your future, prioritise making some time to read, and think through, the following career information to avoid being limited in your choice of careers by the subject choices you make now.  

The information on this page is generalised and it is important you also do your own further research to ensure you are informed and have the knowledge you need to make the best decision for you.  A great starting point is

In Years 10-11 students are encouraged to keep their options open and select subjects from a range of learning areas, especially taking at least one English, Maths, and Science subject. In Years 12-13 and/or as students become more aware of the career pathway they may be focusing on, they could decide to narrow their focus. However, variety does continue to give students options and add interest to their timetable.  


All New Zealand Universities will require NCEA University Entrance (UE) as a minimum.  Some courses will have additional entry requirements, for example, higher NCEA qualifications, specific NCEA Level 3 subjects, portfolios, and selection interviews.   All universities have extensive websites which detail entrance requirements.  Many universities are also interested quality of your credits gained. It is therefore important to gain the highest possible grade for Achievement Standards.

When applying for a course, it is essential to contact the specific training institution to learn current requirements.   Some common requirements to be aware of are:

·       Advanced scientific and technical occupations require Mathematics to at least NCEA Level 2 and often Level 3. You need to continue with Mathematics if you are interested in careers such as Accountancy, Medicine, Physical Education, Psychology, Health and the Sciences.

·       If you want to keep a university engineering degree as a possibility, you will need to take NECA Level 3 Calculus, NCEA Level 3 Physics and some specialities will also require NCEA Level 3 Chemistry.

·       NECA Level 3 Chemistry, Physics and Biology are a solid grounding if you are considering studying Medicine.

·       If you are definitely not interested in any of the above careers, the choice of subjects for you is less critical, although the inclusion of Mathematics in your course significantly increases the range of career opportunities which may be open to you.  

Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology and other polytechnics are another great option for further study.  See their prospectus, or go online for their entry requirements.   Many of their course require NCEA Level 2.

Apprenticeships also have minimum entry requirements but they vary – you will need to research your chosen industry careful.  However, NCEA Level 2 Literacy and Numeracy are often required. For some apprenticeships you need specific NCEA subjects. For example, apprentice electricians may need NCEA Level 2 physics.


The Learning Centre (Q104) has prospectus’ and brochures from many universities and other tertiary providers; students are welcome to call in and read/take these. 


Students are also able to make an appointment with their Academic Dean or the Careers Advisor to discuss future career pathways.  Please keep in mind that demand for these appointments increases significantly at subject selection time so please book early to avoid missing out.   It is unlikely there will be availability the day before subject selection is due! 


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