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University /

Universities, polytechs and other training providers all offer a range of qualifications that give you the knowledge and skills needed for digital technology jobs.  It’s good to know that university isn’t the only option, there are other paths available.

This sort of training is more suited to those who can afford to be out of full-time employment.  Working and studying part time is possible but will extend the time needed to become qualified.


There are different types of tertiary qualification


Degrees, diplomas, and certificates are on offer.  So, what’s the difference?

  • Bachelor degrees take 3-4 years full time.  They provide more in-depth knowledge (compared to diplomas) and will prepare you to take on a wider range of roles and more complex jobs.  You can go on to do a more specialised study with honours, Masters and doctoral degrees.

  • Diplomas usually take 1-2 years full-time.  They sometimes provide more practical, hands-on, and experience-based learning.   They can usually be converted to a degree later with an extra year of study.

  • Certificates take 1-2 years full time.  Certificates tend to provide a broad introduction to an area.  On their own they are not usually enough to start a career in digital tech.  Postgraduate certificates and diplomas are a little different as they allow someone who has already studied the foundations to study a new area of specialisation. 

  • For people who already have a qualification in another area there are also conversion qualifications, such as those offered by the ICT Graduate Schools in some universities.

  • Shorter courses (micro-credentials) are starting to be offered by some providers.  These provide a taste of tech and could later be stacked together to form a qualification if that is on offer.

In the table below we show which sorts of tertiary qualifications may be useful for working in different areas of digital technology. 

You can get information on what may be needed for specific roles on the TechHub website. 

To find out who offers what and where, check out the NZQA website.  If you click the link you will see an example search for computer science.  [Paul shall we say something here about the number of results being bamboozling – but there are often only very small differences between providers?]


NZQA also provides tips on choosing an education provider. 


Some degrees will have a work experience component and teaching from people currently working in the sector.   Organisations such as Summer of Tech and TupuToa help students and graduates find internship opportunities, during and after study. 

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