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Salient. Special Salient Issue. Careers Information Week. 1961

Public Service Offers Wide Range Of Specialist Careers To University Graduates

page 10

Public Service Offers Wide Range Of Specialist Careers To University Graduates

Today there are approximately 2,500 university graduates in the 38 Government Departments that come under the Public Service Commission. One hundred and seventeen hold doctorates conferred by overseas universities or by the University of New Zealand.

The Commission awards each year bursaries for full-time university study in Engineering, Architecture, Science, Arts, Commerce and Accountancy. It also offers post-graduate study bursaries for Masters' Degrees in several disciplines, for the Diploma of Social Science at the School of Social Science, and for the Diploma of Public Administration at the School of Public Administration.

At the technical level awards arealso made for full-time study for diplomas issued by the two Agricultural Colleges.

In addition a great many young public servants attend university lectures as part-time students in one or other of the disciplines.

For the university graduate a career in the Public Service offers the priceless opportunity of specialising in his or her chosen field. Graduates in economics find scope for their talents as research officers, or investigating officers in the Treasury or in the Department of Industries and Commerce. Arts and law graduates for whom international affairs held an attraction, may find an outlet for their ability in the Department of External Affairs. All three Departments frequently send officers to posts overseas. This is also the practice in the Audit Department, where specialists in accountancy learn to become "Watchdogs of the Public Purse".


At the present time few graduates in physics and mathematics are employed in private industry in New Zealand, and the major openings for them are in Government Departments, such as Scientific and Industrial Research, Civil Aviation, Agriculture, or in school teaching.

The demand for technologists graduating in botany, zoology and geology is also mainly confined to Government Departments. The exception is perhaps in geology, where oil companies send graduates to appropriate post-graduates' schools for training in Oil Geology.

The N.Z. Forest Service has its own school for the training of foresters and will take Bachelors or Masters in Botany. Graduates in Zoology arealso taken and given a further training in forest entomology. Technologists in Agriculture are employed in the various research stations of the Department of Agriculture, or on field work.

In the engineering field the Ministry of Works, N.Z. Electricity, and Civil Aviation offer a very wide range of careers in the respective branches of engineering.

Social Sciences

The State today plays an important role in social welfare work. With the changing concept of "welfare" has come an appreciation of the importance of the university trained "counsellor" in welfare.

Post-graduate bursaries are awarded each year for the Diploma in Social Science. The course is a two-year one at the School of Social Science at Victoria University for graduates who wish to specialise in welfare work in the Departments of Justice, Social Security, Maori Affairs, or the Child Welfare Branch of the Department of Education.

There is also a Psychological Service of the Department of Education in which psychologists with teacher training specialise in work with handicapped and gifted children.


Accountants in the Public Service today comprise several distinctive groups.

In most Departments there is a Chief Accountant who is responsible for the accounting management of the Department, and who often advises Government on general financial matters. In the Audit Department accounting men specialise in audit work, and in Inland Revenue in taxation problems. In other Departments they areemployed on investigating work, machine accounting, cost accounting or stores accounting.


Many Government Departments have their own legal sections which deal with legal aspects of the work they undertake. Practically every branch of law is met with in the Public Service, so that any qualified legal man can be assured of interesting and satisfying work.

Vital Statistics

In Government Departments there are:—

103 PHD's
14 D.SC's
252 M.SC's
303 M.A.'s
48 M.COM's
206 B.COM's
363 B.A.'s
352 B.Sc.'s
36 M.Ag.Sc.
97 B.Ag.Sc.
2 D.D.S.
58 B.D.S.
5 M.E.'s
305 B.E.'s
36 LL.M.'s
101 LL.B.'s
1 LL.D.
9 B.Mus.
6 B.H.Sc.
647 Acct Prof.
2 B.Ag.
482 Holders of Diplomas