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The Top Skills in New Zealand for Employability

Find out the top skills employers in New Zealand are looking for. We take a look at some of the most in-demand hard and soft skills and how you can improve yours.

Top Skills New Zealand

New Zealand’s job market has been strong over the last few years. With regular annual growth and low unemployment rates, there are plenty of job opportunities in the country for those with the right skills. So what are employers in New Zealand looking for? We take a look at the top skills in New Zealand for employability. 

As well as exploring the hard and soft skills that are currently in demand, we’ll also look at some of the courses and ExpertTracks that can help you master them. 

What skills are employers in New Zealand looking for?

Although the pandemic has slowed the pace of growth in New Zealand, estimates suggest that the country will continue to need around 47,000 more workers each year for the foreseeable future. Many of these positions will be for skilled workers across a diverse range of professions. 

The exact skills that employers in New Zealand look for will, of course, vary between roles and companies. However, there are certainly some skills that are particularly sought after. Often, it’s a mix of job-specific and interpersonal abilities that employers seek out. These hard and soft skills are what makes for a good all-around employee. 

In New Zealand, there is a current skill shortage across various industries. What’s more, there are several sectors with a great deal of projected growth. We’ve looked at this data and more to pick out some of the most in-demand skills in New Zealand at the moment.  

Hard skills

Let’s start with some of the hard skills that employers are looking for. Many of these are based on the skills shortages list released by the New Zealand government. They are in areas where there is high growth and a short supply of workers. 


New Zealand’s construction industry is one of the biggest in the country and contributes significantly to the economy. However, there is also a shortage of skilled professionals in this area. Across the country, this demand is expected to continue rising over the coming years. 

With our Step into Construction course, you can learn about some of the opportunities available to you in this area. Alternatively, you can find out more about sustainable construction and development, a topic that will become increasingly relevant to the industry. 

Business analytics

Another area experiencing a skills shortage in New Zealand is that of business analytics. As we become ever more data-driven, there is a need for businesses to understand the challenges and opportunities available through technology. 

Get started with an introductory course on data analytics for decision making, or explore in more depth business analytics using forecasting

Web development 

You’ll find that web development appears on many of the top skills and top jobs lists at the moment. No matter where in the world you are, there are opportunities for those who can code and program for the web. New Zealand is no exception, with the skill appearing on the skills shortage list. 

We have many opportunities for you to learn web development or improve on your existing skills. Begin your journey with our introduction to web development course or master the fundamentals of programming with our ExpertTrack. 


New Zealand has a shortage of experienced animators and digital artists. This is especially true for those with programming and software development experience, such as game designers. 

You can develop your animation skills with one of our online courses, or work on the skills necessary for video game development


There is a strong demand for nurses in New Zealand, and it’s expected to grow over the coming years. This is in part due to the fact that 50% of current nurses will retire by 2035. Those who develop the necessary skills and qualifications could find a lifelong career in the healthcare industry. 

We have a wide range of online nursing courses available to help you boost your skills. Our ExpertTrack on public health and nursing, for example, looks at how nurses can assess community health needs and lead public health promotion.


Teachers will usually find work just about anywhere in the world. There has been a shortage of teachers in New Zealand for the last few years, meaning there are plenty of jobs for those with the necessary skills. 

Whether you’re a primary or secondary teacher, we have a variety of courses that can help you brush up on some of the essential teaching skills. Whether it’s blended learning or supporting adolescent learners, you can find opportunities to study. 


Engineers, particularly civil engineers, are in high demand in New Zealand. As the government spends more on infrastructure and public works, those with the right skills will find it easy to secure work. 

Those interested in working on their engineering skills will find a variety of courses on FutureLearn. You can improve your technical report writing skills or learn about financial management in the industry

Soft skills 

While hard skills are essential for the technical aspects of a job, soft skills are what make individuals good employees. They are the interpersonal and transferable skills that are harder to teach. However, employers in New Zealand and beyond often look for those who can demonstrate both. 


A key component of just about any job role is communication. The ability to convey ideas, concepts and information to coworkers, customers, patients, and any other people you interact with is essential and sought-after. 

Whether you want to work on your intercultural communication skills or those in an industry-specific setting (such as science and public engagement), you’ll find a variety of free courses available. 


Another quality closely related to communication is the ability to work as part of a team. Whether it’s through supporting your colleagues in their day-to-day role or helping to bring out the best in others, teamwork skills are in high demand in just about every industry. 

Get started by improving your communication and interpersonal skills at work or take a detailed look at leading teams and people


Last on our list of the top skills in New Zealand for employability is problem-solving. The ability to prioritise and creatively approach problems is a rare and desirable skill that employers across all industries are looking for. 

You can work on your creative problem-solving with one of our online courses, or learn about how to work with people to overcome obstacles.

Final thoughts

As you can see, employers in New Zealand look for a diverse range of hard and soft skills. So, no matter what stage of your career you’re at, it can be beneficial to develop your expertise in many of these areas. Whether you’re a current resident of New Zealand or you’re hoping to move there, you’ll find that many skills are in high demand at the moment. 

With the courses, microcredentials, and ExpertTracks we’ve outlined throughout this article, you can work on some of the top skills in New Zealand for employability. 

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