Career choices

Career choices often seem endless and hard to understand. Help your child make decisions about their future career by encouraging them to become aware of their strengths and interests.

Explore your career options - future career sheets

Our career sheets cover industry trends, job descriptions and the skills you need for careers related to AUT degrees.
Future career sheets


The Careers NZ CareerQuest is a job matching tool designed to provide career suggestions. You could encourage your teenager to take the quiz and use the results to talk about their career choices.
Careers NZ CareerQuest


What influences your child? Do they get career ideas from TV series? Are they inspired by YouTube videos of famous people? Are they just following their mates?

As a parent you can help expand the influences around your children:

  • Follow up on comments, an interest in a job or environment, or TV programme
  • Use your networks to find people they can talk with or visit at their workplace
  • Ask them if they know how their current hero made it to the top
  • Talk about the careers around their hobbies or strengths
  • Use Google and YouTube to find information that can expand their horizons

Holland’s Theory of Career Choice

This simple career theory helps people think about the type of person they are and the environment they would most enjoy working within. According to this theory, most people fit into six personality types, people are usually a combination of two or three  types. For example, journalists are often investigative and artistic, or social and investigative.

  • Realistic – enjoy practical tasks, hands-on work and working outdoors (eg engineering, sports)
  • Investigative – enjoy discovering and investigating ideas, and experimenting, solving problems and asking questions (computer and information science, mathematical sciences, science)
  • Artistic – enjoy working creatively with music, words, movement, drama to express selves and create (design, communication studies, visual arts, Māori media)
  • Social – enjoy being with people and working with people, teaching, training, informing, healing and curing (health sciences, social sciences, Māori development, tourism and hospitality)
  • Enterprising – enjoy leading, meeting people, influencing and encouraging others and working in business (business, some design majors, some communication majors, some science and mathematical science majors)
  • Conventional – enjoy tasks that involve administration, organising, following procedures, working with numbers (business, but also most other degrees lead to workplaces that require this kind of skillset)

Holland's Theory on the Careers NZ website

Last updated: 17-Oct-2016 8.11am

The information on this page was correct at time of publication. For a comprehensive overview of AUT qualifications, please refer to the Academic Calendar.