Preparing your child for university: making subject and career choices

Transitioning from school to university can be overwhelming, both for your child and for you as a parent or supporter. Here are some ways you can help guide them through their final school years and their first year of university study.

Supporting your child before they start university

Some high school students have a clear idea what they want to study at university and do for a career. Others feel very unsure – and that's okay.

Remind your child that they're not choosing a single career when they start at AUT. They're just taking the next step in a career journey that will lead to different opportunities. The key is to find something they will enjoy and do well in.

Choosing high school subjects

If your child is having trouble deciding what they want to study after school, you can offer them support by encouraging them to consider these questions:

  • What subjects at high school do they enjoy the most?
  • What extra-curricular activities do they like to get involved in?
  • What do friends and family say they do well?
  • What are they really interested in?
  • What environments do they enjoy being in?
  • What skills and talents do they have?

Your child also might find our online subject choice tool useful – check under 'Help choosing school subjects' for details.

Thinking about career options

Another way you can help is by getting them to think about the type of workplace they’d enjoy working in. For example:

  • Are they interested in big companies or small businesses? Inside office jobs or outdoor work? Working with their hands or lots of writing?
  • What situations do they thrive in? When they’re making a difference to other people’s lives, creating things, solving difficult problems, leading and motivating others, keeping people fit or trying to understand the world around them?
  • Would they enjoy taking charge and leading people or do they prefer being in the background?

These questions can help your child think about the type of study programme/s that will help them enter a career they’ll both love and excel at. You can also encourage your child to talk to people who are doing jobs your child is interested in.

Your child can find more ideas in our career sheets and by using the job matching site CareerQuest.

Help choosing school subjects

Our subject choice tool asks your child questions about their strengths and interests, and suggests subject areas and career futures for them to explore.

Subject choice tool

Employability and career advice

AUT's Employability Lab helps students to find their career focus and gives advice on CVs, interviewing and networking skills.

Employability and career services