Massey University CareerplaNZ

Career and student learning issues brought to you by Massey University’s Careers Service – New Zealand

Learn to Earn?

Posted by John Ross on October 1, 2007

I have an awesome job – one that I genuinely don’t think you could ever tire of!  I get to spend my days with people who have stories to tell and goals they’re working towards.  Better still, I get to explore their goals, dreams and stories with them.

Often, I’ll be thinking ‘why are you here’?  I don’t usually use those exact words though – just in case I get the tone wrong and scare off my clients – but why people become students in the first place has always intrigued me.   

There might be a clear-cut career reason – the qualification is needed for the career that they want or will broaden their career choices and boost their earnings potential.  For those of you considering tertiary study in NZ the awesome organisation Career Services Rapuara has a useful ‘Take off to Tertiary’ guide.  For school-leavers, the NZ government’s ‘In Transit’ site is worth a look too.

University can be a chance to pursue subjects liked at school, or to follow a passion for a subject.  Some have a love of learning; a keen sense of the value of a ‘good’ education or a burning desire to meet challenges.  Some crave the independence of student-hood and want to grow in confidence and self-discipline surrounded by like-minded people.  While you’re here, take a few moments out to look at what Massey University has to offer (shameless plug #1)!  

There’s no doubt that – for some – the ‘whole student experience’ is still there for the taking.  The living in Halls or student flats; the clubs and societies from abseiling to zen; the socialising vs studying balancing-act and the ‘budgeting through baked beans’ challenges.  Has this been ‘diluted’ though – with the impact of student debt; the rise in numbers of people studying at tertiary level and the need for many to work while studying? All of the above are influences.  So too are people – parents, partners, peers; family, teachers and the like.  Their influence can be enormous, for good and for bad – I’ve lost count of the number of people I’ve seen who’ve said “I really want to be a …or to study…but my parents want me to become a…or study…

Equally, I’ve been impressed by the number of people influenced by inspirational teachers or other role models.    So feed my intrigue then.  If you’re a student, why did you become one?  What could your university do to make your student experience better?  If you are thinking of going to university what factors are important to you?  If you’ve been a student, what things do you think have changed?

For those of you interested in an in-depth analysis of student decision making by prospective tertiary students check out this research.


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