Reasons behind the lure of civil service

By Tang Jun ( China Daily ) Updated: 2014-10-24 08:17:05

In fact, between 20 percent and 35 percent of the candidates are said to have quit the race over the last five years, which shows that more applications do not necessarily mean more candidates taking guokao.

Given their lack of experience, most, if not all, fresh graduates seek stable and secure jobs. Now that private companies as well as some State-owned public enterprises have introduced the "contract system" in employment, an increasing number of graduates looking for permanent employment with good chances of promotions and increments tend to opt for the civil service. Perhaps this explains why women graduates, who face greater pressure and restrictions both at home and workplace, are more inclined to take guokao.

Therefore, the "guokao fever" should not be seen as an abnormal phenomenon directly related to the campaign against corruption. Moreover, a similar craze can be seen in both developed and developing countries, including the United States and India, where many graduates choose to be public servants given the economic slowdown and thus the uncertainty of the employment market. After all, government jobs are only a means for people to earn a living. In this sense, they are no different from other jobs.

The author is a social policy researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

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