Overseas degrees have lost their old cachet
THE MINISTRY OF EDUCATION has refuted a rumor that China will adjust its evaluation systems so that master's degrees of less than two years will not be recognized. China Youth Daily comments:
Despite this, the rumor has caused wide concern among those returning after studying overseas and those intending to study for degrees in other countries.
Like it or not, the value of foreign degrees, unless from the most prestigious universities, have depreciated in the domestic job market in recent years, because more and more Chinese students choose to return to work, and they are competing with about 8 million graduates from domestic universities.
It is also an open secret that some parents, especially those from affluent families, opt to pay for their children to study overseas so their kids do not have to sit the competitive college entrance exam, as they don't think their children can win through in the exam and earn a seat at a Chinese university.
Compared with these returnees, who often have grandiose aims without the corresponding abilities, the domestic graduates are more hardworking and down-to-earth, and thus more popular with employers. Normally, it takes three years to get a master's degree in China, while it can take just one year overseas.
But no matter how long it takes to obtain a degree, what employers value the most is not the degree certificate but how quickly and how well new employees can translate their knowledge, skills and abilities into concrete benefits for the employer.
Even if the Ministry of Education still recognizes the short-term foreign master's degrees, no employer will ignore the difference in the effort and knowledge between a master's degree acquired in a year and one gained after three years' study.
In fact, the difference is some people still lay their hopes in overseas studies stubbornly believing it guarantees career success and an entry ticket to high society.