There are question marks about the quality of university education, with a new report showing New Zealand degrees as the least valuable in the developed world.
The OECD report says tertiary study is worth little to a person's earning power.
It says a degree is worth about an extra $1,000 a year in salary - putting New Zealand at the bottom of global league tables.
One expert says much of what passes for university education would be better suited to after-school activities.
There's also concern at the number of students enrolling in expensive creative arts courses, which won't help them get jobs.
Waikato University's Jacqueline Rowarth says a lot of New Zealand students take creative courses, which might not lead them into highly paid jobs.
She says young people should think about where they'll get a job, not necessarily where they want one.
"Think what the world needs and follow that - where can your skills and tendencies be focused on what the world needs - and then you'll have a fantastic career."
She says we should note people without degrees in other countries could be paid less than those in the same situation here.
"Also remember that if you leave school and go into a trade for instance - you've had three or four years of earning and building up your capacity to earn, in comparison with someone who's had three or four years at university and come out fresh."
Jacqueline Rowarth says a lot of it comes down to the types of degrees students here are choosing, with increasing interest in creative courses, that mightn't necessarily lead to higher paid jobs.
Photo: NZ Herald