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Helping young people think about their study choices


7 August 2014

Helping young people think about their study choices

It’s that time of the year where teenagers are making decisions about the subjects they will choose to study next year. For many teenagers, this will be the first big decision that will play a part in shaping their lives beyond school.

“Parents and caregivers are the biggest single influencer on young peoples’ career decisions.” says Ms Jay Lamburn, Careers New Zealand Chief Operating Officer.

“Choosing school subjects can be difficult for teenagers as there are many factors to consider.”

Careers New Zealand encourages parents and families to take some time now to talk with their teenagers about their subjects and helping them consider how their choices will affect their future training or career options.

To help students make informed decisions, Careers New Zealand has online tools and resources to guide young people in the right pathway.

Jay advises that as a start, it’s really important for teenagers to know who they are and what they want - both from work and life. When they know what they would like to pursue as a career, then the subject choices become easier to make.

“For those who want to keep their options wide open, taking English, Maths and Science will be their best choices.”

Parents seeking advice on how they can support their teenagers during subject choice time can call Careers New Zealand’s Advice line on 0800 222 733 or chat online to a Career Advisor at

Careers New Zealand’s website ( has a wealth of information for teenagers wanting to explore the jobs they are interested in and to learn about training options.


Additional information for reporters and editors

Careers New Zealand has a range of tools to support parents and caregivers and their children to make smart decisions about choosing school subjects.

Online tools for parents and caregivers

Helping your child with subject choices provides tips on some things you can help your child to consider when making subject choices.


Career conversations provide tips on when and where is the best time to have career conversations.


Online tools for students

Where to start helps students to reflect on what they want to do in their lives, what they are good at and passionate about, what they believe in and to know where to find help.


Step-by-step guide to choosing school subjects helps students to work out the subjects they enjoy and link them to relevant future careers.


Subject matcher helps students to look at subjects they enjoy and what the study areas could lead to. When they select a subject or combination of subjects, a list of possible careers is provided.


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