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Student Careers

Here at the Ministry of Education we have multiple pathways into employment for those early in their careers. Below you will find a summary of the main pathways into our Ministry as a student, intern, or graduate. However, there are often other opportunities that pop up that may be suitable for someone early in their careers. Sign up for our email notifications on our careers center so you are able to keep informed for when these roles come up during the year.

Graduate Policy Analyst Programme 2021-22

Applications for the 2021 programme are now closed!

Every year Te Tāhuhu o te Mātauranga | the Ministry of Education employs up to six Graduate Policy Analyst. This is a permanent role which starts each January with the first 18 months as a development programme.

A career in Policy with Te Tāhuhu o te Mātauranga | the Ministry of Education gives you the opportunity to help shape New Zealand’s education system. Our focus is on delivering excellent and equitable outcomes for our increasingly diverse population.

Te Tāhuhu o te Mātauranga | the Ministry of Education has an extensive policy community with teams, covering areas of education from Pacific Education, Early Childhood, Māori Education, Tertiary, Learning Support, Infrastructure and International to name just a few!

Through working with Te Tāhuhu o te Mātauranga| the Ministry of Education you will have the opportunity to support improved outcomes for ākonga (learners), whānau and families, communities and wider New Zealand.

We're on the lookout for candidates who:

  • have completed within the last two years (or be in the final year of) an undergraduate or postgraduate qualification
  • have a genuine interest in working in policy and making a difference to the New Zealand Education system
  • are creative and flexible and able to work effectively in a fast-paced ambiguous environment,
  • have an understanding of the values of Te Tiriti o Waitangi and how they can be applied to support education success for Māori.

Sign-up for email notifications on our careers centre, and keep an eye on our NxtStep page for more information on early in career opportunities at the Ministry of Education.

See what our past graduates have to say about the programme

Maraea Mullane-Ronaki: Policy Analyst, Māori Education

Adam Carter

Graduate Policy Analyst 2020

I joined the Ministry’s graduate programme in January 2020 after completing an MA in Philosophy at the University of Otago.

Having the chance to apply the critical thinking skills gained from my studies to a field that has had such an impact on my own life has been really rewarding.

The graduate programme strikes a great balance between on the job learning, policy workshops, and opportunities to build relationships with passionate people.

Alex Cliffe: Policy Analyst, Pacific Education Policy

Kathryn Cammell

Graduate Policy Analyst 2020

My undergraduate degree was a Bachelor of Arts in History and Criminology, and I’ve recently completed my Master of Arts in History.

My Arts degree taught me research, writing and critical thinking skills which are all important for policy work.

I’ve always been quite passionate about education and so I was keen to work in this space.

The graduate programme also appealed to me because of the professional development opportunities, including rotations so we can experience different aspects of education policy.

The work I’m doing is interesting and varied, and I’ve been involved on important policy issues from day one.

Summer Internship Programme

About the Programme

We currently offer a paid 12 week internship programme over the summer holidays. This programme is available to all students who have completed at least two years of tertiary study, including those who may have already graduated.

This is an opportunity suited for someone who is beginning their career and is looking for their first step into the professional environment. You’ll be working on real projects with experienced colleagues, who’ll support you to develop your skills and knowledge further, and make the most of your time with us.

Opportunities are available in a range of areas, and can give you a real taste for where your career could take you. Many of our past interns have gone on to be employed with us or with other education sector organisations.

Sign-up for email notifications on our careers centre, and keep an eye on our NxtStep page for more information.

Applications for this programme will open mid-2020

Who are we looking for?

We are looking for resilient and driven people who are motivated to make a difference to our education system. We are looking for effective communicators, who enjoy working as part of a team and collaborating to make a positive contribution to our country’s future.

We welcome applications from students from diverse backgrounds, including Māori, Pacific and Disabled people that will enrich our understanding of the education system. We know there are many different pathways in education. Your academic grades aren’t the be-all and end-all. We’re looking for fresh ideas and diverse perspectives, as well as an ability to learn from your mistakes, take initiative and communicate effectively.

Click here to hear from some of our former interns.

Learning Support Pathways

What is Learning Support?

We deliver policies, resources and services for targeted interventions, specialist support services, funding and other resources for children and young people with learning support needs.

The Learning Support area of the Ministry is charged with leading the Education sector in ensuring that children and young people with additional learning needs are supported to achieve their full potential through education.

Our Learning Support specialists work closely with families, whānau, caregivers, schools and early childhood educators in English and Māori medium settings and other agencies to help maximise learning outcomes and promote social inclusion.

Click here to find out more about Learning Support and the work that our specialists do.

Pathways to Specialist Roles


We are the largest employer of Educational Psychologists and one of the largest employers of Speech Language Therapists (SLT) in New Zealand and supporting pathways into these key positions is an ongoing priority for the Ministry. Scholarships open the door to a diverse and rewarding career where you will deal with a rich variety of cases and interact with schools and early learning services, parents, whānau, children and young people.

We offer internship scholarships for Educational Psychologists, and Child and Family Psychologists. Find out more information here.

We also offer a scholarship for Speech Language Therapists which you find out more information about here.