More people are graduating with qualifications in health, engineering and agriculture, an Education Ministry report says.
Graduations in those subjects increased between 2011 and 2014 but fell for management and commerce, education and IT.
The number of graduates in 2014 was nearly 5 percent higher than three years earlier, at 165,000.
Of these, 37,900 had qualifications in society and culture - a grouping that includes subjects like economics, law, and languages.
The next most popular area of study was management and commerce with 30, 500 graduates - slightly fewer than in 2011.
Engineering had 20,600 graduates in 2014 and 17,200 people graduated with health qualifications.