What can I do with a degree in Education?

Education library

Education is a multidisciplinary field of study with a focus on the three core areas: learning, child and adolescent development and health, and social and cultural studies. We introduce students to in-depth, discipline-based knowledge of the social world as it applies to education in three broad streams:

  • Learning: This stream uses the findings of behavioural science, cognitive science and new research into how the brain works to address questions such as how we learn, and what the necessary conditions for learning are.
  • Child and Adolescent Development and Health: This stream explores the theory, concepts and processes of infant, child and adolescent development within multiple contexts. It also considers the impact of health on children and adolescents.
  • Social and Cultural Studies in Education: This stream examines the broader social context in which educational systems operate. It explores factors such as history, politics, social class, ethnicity, gender, disability and inequality, and their impact on education.

Through their Education degree, graduates develop a set of skills that are transferable to a range of careers. These skills include:

  • An understanding of human development across the lifespan
  • Knowledge of teaching and learning processes
  • Interpretive and analytical thinking
  • Open-mindedness, tolerance and appreciating different perspectives
  • Developing a commitment to community engagement, responsible citizenship and social justice
  • Problem solving skills
  • Thinking critically and creatively, and challenging ideas
  • Planning and organisation
  • Oral and written communication.

Opportunities to apply your learning are available in this major, through community engagement courses, internships, and international study tours. These experiences deepen your skillset, awareness of others,working knowledge and employability.

Graduates with a major in Education have many and varied career opportunities available to them including work in:

  • Government
  • Special education
  • Social service agencies
  • Health and rehabilitation
  • Advocacy
  • Community development
  • Not-for-profit agencies
  • Business
  • Tertiary sector
  • Career consultancies
  • Libraries
  • Research.

Graduates of this degree are employed in a range of jobs — see some examples below.

Note: Some of the jobs listed may require postgraduate study. See the ‘Further study’ section.

Education advisor / consultant

  • Works with teachers to develop teaching programmes to increase student achievement
  • Designs and creates teaching resources
  • Assists with school implementation of new education priorities and policies

Special education / early intervention teacher

  • Teaches children with diverse learning needs
  • Evaluates special needs, working with whānau and teachers to develop learning plans
  • Recommends and coordinates support services, treatment and therapy

Child advocate, community support officer

  • Promotes well-being and conditions for children
  • Works with children and their families to address education, care or social issues
  • Tackles policies that negatively impact children

Guide / leader / mentor | kaiārahi

  • Supports people to reflect biculturalism
  • Identifies opportunities and reviews processes to achieve organisational Māori aspirations
  • Connects with contributors, leaders and knowledge guardians

Policy analyst / advisor

  • Identifies and investigates issues and opportunities eg, in society, law or governance
  • Interprets existing policies and briefs leaders
  • Prepares reports and recommends changes

Careers counsellor

  • Assists clients in developing career decision making and job search skills
  • Provides information about education and training options
  • Delivers career education seminars

Learning advisor, education platform director

  • Develops learning resources or courses
  • Uses technology to deliver training
  • Advises how to develop skills

Teacher of English for speakers of other languages

  • Assesses a student’s reading, writing, speaking and listening skills and needs
  • Designs and prepares learning materials
  • Presents lessons or tutorials

Counsellor

  • Helps a client to share feelings and experiences
  • Listens to and reflects upon the client’s issues
  • Raises self-awareness and understanding

Project manager / coordinator

  • Manages a project plan, budget and schedule
  • Supervises project progress and manages risks
  • Liaises with project staff and clients

Librarian

  • Categorises and catalogues library materials
  • Selects materials for library use
  • Helps customers find and use materials

Sports coach

  • Assesses a person’s strengths and weaknesses
  • Advises how to optimise performance
  • Inspires confidence, discipline, teamwork

Teacher (primary or secondary)

  • Plans and delivers instructional lessons
  • Evaluates performance and provides feedback
  • Sets and marks assignments and tests

Lecturer

  • Prepares and gives lectures and tutorials
  • Sets and marks assignments and exams
  • Conducts research, writes and publishes articles

Entrepreneur and CEO

  • Develops an idea to form their own business
  • Gets involved in a start-up
  • Offers freelance or consultancy services

Get started with Entrepreneurship here

As they progress, students and graduates often join professional bodies relevant to their area of interest. These organisations can provide regular communications and offer the chance to network with others in the same community.

Social media networks such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter can provide avenues to keep up-to-date with industry knowledge, networking opportunities, events and job vacancies.

Learn from our students' experiences

For more information

see the Education subject page