CHINA> National
Students lower salary expectations amid crisis
By Wang Hongyi (China Daily)
Updated: 2009-01-08 07:37

SHANGHAI: A vast majority of students in higher education have dropped their salary expectations for their first jobs, a survey has found.

Over the past two months, the Shanghai Education Press Group spoke to 2,000 students from 20 colleges and universities, 86 percent of whom said they had lowered their financial expectations as a result of the economic crisis.

Students with higher degrees and those close to graduation were shown to be the most worried about finding a job, with 41 percent saying that they thought the economic and employment downturn would last for at least another two years.

Most undergraduates said an acceptable salary for a first job was between 1,500 and 3,000 yuan a month.

Postgraduates said they expected 3,000 to 4,000 yuan a month, while technology and vocational students are eyeing 1,000 to 2,500 yuan.

The salary expectations are close to the figures issued in April by the Shanghai labor and social security bureau, which said average monthly salaries were currently 1,996 yuan for new vocational graduates, 2,567 yuan for those with bachelor degrees and 4,650 yuan for people holding a master's.

About 6.1 million students are expected to graduate this year, the highest number for three decades. Their chances of finding work have been hard hit by the global slump.

Xiao Wu, a 20-year-old student at the Shanghai International Studies University said she is expecting a tough time in the jobs market.

"Having limited work experience will make my job search even harder," she said.

Xiong Bingqi, who works in education, said: "Because of the discrepancy between the numbers of jobs and the number of graduates, many students will be forced to lower their expectations of the perfect job.

"Rather than setting their hearts on prestigious firms in big cities, they must consider all of their options," he said.

(China Daily 01/08/2009 page4)