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Science grads have best employment prospects

Updated: 2013-12-13 01:02
By ZHAO XINYING ( China Daily)

A white paper released on Thursday said that Chinese college students who major in the sciences have better prospects for quick employment and a higher income after graduation than students majoring in the arts.

Among the top 50 most employable majors in 2012, 41 — 82 percent — were in the sciences, including clinical medicine, nursing and pharmacy. And the top 17 were all in the sciences, the pa-per said.

Water-supply and sewerage infrastructure was ranked first, with 97.5 percent of graduates in this specialty likely to find a job within six months of graduation.

The Japanese language came in last among the top 50, although still with a relatively quick employment rate of 92.4 percent. Japanese is classified in the arts.

The white paper was jointly released by three organizations — MyCOS Research Institute, which conducts research on pressing issues in China’s higher education, Tomorrow Advancing Life, an education and technology group in China and

It was the first white paper on China’s basic science education, and was based on 107,461 questionnaires.

As for money, the paper found 39 science majors in the top 50 highest income prospects in 2012.

Graduates in architecture earned the most money, with an average monthly income of 4,453 yuan ($733), while graduates in human resource management — from the arts field — earned the least of the top 50, with an average monthly salary of 3,374 yuan.

Luo Zengru, a mathematics professor at Shaanxi Normal University, said the positive employment outlook for graduates in the sciences arises from a long-term emphasis placed on those skills by the government.

"The People’s Republic of China has been a science-oriented country since it was founded in 1949, and science is always of great importance to the development of our country — during the period of socialist construction, through earlier reform periods and at present," said Luo, who has been learning and teaching mathematics for decades.

He said that more jobs in the sciences, and more money, are the norm.

Seeing better employment and income prospects, many Chinese high school students chose a science track in high school when presented with a choice between science and arts.

For science, they are required to study math, physics, chemistry and biology, as well as Chinese language and English.

The white paper pointed to a long practice in China under which far more students chose the science track in high school. These students usually continue to follow that same course in college, it said.

Liao Ping, subeditor of Math, physics and chemistry of Senior High School, a magazine under Beijing Normal University for high school teachers and students, said the phenomenon was understandable, considering that there were more majors in sciences offered by colleges, which have recruited an increasing number of students each year.