If a nation's readiness to plug into the global economy is gauged by how many
of its college students are studying international business, China must be the
Next year, there will be more than 100,000 college graduates, or around 2.5
per cent of the nation's total, majoring in business management, international
trade and economics.
But at a time when many new graduates are having a hard time finding jobs in
these fields, some educators are wondering whether it's really necessary to have
so many young people studying international business.
And if not, then what subjects should they choose or, as the practice in most
cases, should parents be choosing for their children?
Chen Xi, 18, is among those who sat for the national college entrance exam in
early June; and her parents want her to major in international trade, even
though she hardly has any idea what it entails.
For years, majors such as international trade, business administration and
economics have been popular among senior middle school graduates and their
Most of them were attracted to those majors based on a vague notion that job
prospects are more lucrative than others, though reality upon graduation can be
vastly different from expectation.
In fact, according to an online survey conducted in June by China Youth Daily
and the Internet portal Sina.com, 4,600 respondents rated Chinese, international
politics, law, business, computer science and economics as the top fields where
graduates face the toughest job market. Quite often, these students end up
getting jobs that have nothing to do with their majors.
When Xu Wenjing entered Xi'an International Studies University to study
international trade, she thought she was lucky. But when she left college in
2001, she could not get a satisfactory job offer that matched her major and
started a career as an English teacher.
"Companies only recruit people with experience," Xu said. "A new college
graduate can hardly be part of that game."
The strange phenomenon is that though parents know there are not enough jobs
for business graduates, they still push their children into those majors.