Recruiting NZDE and BEngTech graduates


What are the benefits of employing NZDE and BEngTech-qualified engineers? We asked four companies why they recruit staff with these qualifications.

It’s good for business

There are good reasons for employing New Zealand Diploma in Engineering (NZDE) and Bachelor of Engineering Technology (BEngTech) graduates. But the bottom line is – it’s good for business.

Their practical and problem-solving skills benefit the organisation and complement the work done by Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) (BE(Hons))-qualified engineers.
Read our guide to engineering qualifications

Many of the bigger engineering employers look for NZDE, BEngTech and BE (Hons) graduates.  We asked Airways New Zealand, Dempsey Wood, Fulton Hogan and Greater Wellington Regional Council why they make a point of employing staff with Level 6 and 7 engineering qualifications.

 “We know that if they can cope with the degree, they can manage anything we throw at them.”

Airways New Zealand employs a large number of BEngTech graduates. Senior Technical Instructor Andrew Ogilvie says the company is keen to recruit at the engineering technologist level.

“We know that if they can cope with the degree, they can manage anything we throw at them. They come in with the qualification, which we adapt to our specialisations. If they’ve succeeded in getting a BEngTech they’ll pretty much succeed in anything we give them.”

“NZDE graduates have those basic engineering skills which they can use straight away.”

Darren Waters, Fulton Hogan drainage manager in Dunedin, says NZDE graduates have basic engineering skills which they can use straight away. “And it immediately tells me something about the person.

“You’re getting a young person who’s shown some dedication to further their knowledge, which culls out lesser candidates. It’s also an opportunity to get an independent assessment of them – we talk to the polytechnic to see who are the better candidates, and find out details such as whether they have a good attendance record.”

Darren went back to study and completed the NZDE which, he says, gave a good insight into the graduates’ knowledge and experience. “Having an NZDE shows they’re capable of learning the other skills that we teach them. We’ve had some good candidates come through who stay with the company or move on within the engineering sector.”

Personal attributes can be more important than qualification

Greater Wellington Regional Council employs civil engineers. In considering the advantages of the NZDE, Jeff Evans, Section Leader Operations Delivery in the Flood Protection Department, says the qualification is generally less important than personal attributes.

“We’ve had some fantastic graduates over the years. We don’t mind what level qualification they have; we prefer to nurture someone with potential.” The council supports staff to further their education, especially for those looking to study skills in demand such as engineering.

There’s a great demand for NZDE and BEngTech students

Dempsey Wood recruits both undergraduates and graduate civil engineers every year. Maurice Deevy, people operations manager, says NZDE and BEngTech-qualified engineers are in great demand due to the number of infrastructure projects on the books.

“We thoroughly enjoy bringing the theory side of their studies to life in the practical world. Our staff take great value in sharing their knowledge, and it’s a perfect fit for our succession planning strategies.”

Raising awareness of engineering in the community

Employing NZDE and BEngTech graduates benefits the profession as a whole, by raising awareness of alternative pathways into engineering. Students, teachers and parents often don’t know much about engineering or think it’s a career for academic high-achievers only.

As people in the community realise that there are rewarding, well-paid jobs for engineers with a two-year diploma or three-year degree, more school students are likely to see engineering as an achievable career. And that potentially means more engineers available for the employer.

Out thanks to Darren, Jeff, Andrew and Maurice for their time and advice. If you have any queries please contact

Photos: engineering graduates (top) and Airways New Zealand employees.

December 2017