Tertiary students studying popular courses are being warned they may be left jobless or working jobs they are over-qualified for but that is not putting students off.
However, a local tertiary provider said students learnt a range of skills in each course.
Career development consultant at Careers New Zealand Nick Ball said while many people studied marine studies and sport and recreation there were not a lot of jobs in those areas when students graduated.
"It can end up as a bit of a dog fight," said Mr Ball.
"With sport and rec you end up with a lot of over-qualified people doing floor work - working in gyms."
Mr Ball said "students needed to recognise what skills they will get from their course and how they are applicable to different jobs".
Transferable skills, such as communication, writing and literacy were helpful, he said.
However, school liaison at Bay of Plenty Polytechnic Ella Dunlop said the polytechnic provided courses that "gear up students for industry needs".
"For a lot of our programmes we have direct contacts in the industry."
Miss Dunlop said sport and recreation students worked with a range of subjects.
"They do a bit of event management, they work in the health sector and with local charities.
"It gives them broader skills so have have more opportunities after completing their qualification."
The polytechnic advised students to choose balanced courses as paying a high fee might not mean the student would get a good job after graduating.
Head boy at Bethlehem College Richard Bos said the prospect of limited job opportunities would not affect his study choice.
"We looked into the idea that there may not be many jobs out there.
"But if we really want to do something then we will do it."
Richard said he would like to study international relations and public policy.
"It's hard to choose what to do when you are banking on your future."
He said he had a lot of support from his school and family.
"People are really encouraging. They may point out that there may not be many jobs but it's nothing negative.
"It's about making a personal conscious decision."