China / Education

Graduates face jobs headache this summer

By Du Juan in Xi'an (China Daily) Updated: 2016-02-29 08:08

Lu Yuan, a college student majoring in civil engineering at Beijing Jiaotong University, is worried about his employment prospects this summer.

"Location is my priority when looking for jobs," he said. "Considering my major, I would like to work for a State-owned company in Beijing."

Lu expects to be paid an annual salary of 120,000 yuan ($18,370) in his first job, but is likely to struggle as a record 7.7 million young people will leave higher education this summer amid a slowing economy.

Xu Ying, a senior official in the branding department of a State-owned enterprise in Beijing, said Lu's salary expectations were too high.

"Except for skilled jobs, most companies don't expect that graduates can use what they learned from their studies instantly at work," she said. "Passion and attitude are more valued than knowledge."

Xu said many graduates find it difficult to adjust to the world of work, given the gap between their expectations and reality.

Fan Tianyi, 25, is a professional recruiter in Shanghai who left college two years ago. He said Chinese universities do not pay enough attention to student internships, resulting in a lack of knowledge among graduates when planning careers.

"Most colleges also fail to give enough guidance to students seeking employment and help them lower their expectations," Fan said.

He gave the example of Shaanxi province, where the financial services, logistics and e-commerce sectors are welcoming new recruits.

Graduates majoring in software development are also popular in the province's capital, Xi'an, because of its e-commerce boom, Fan said, whereas there are too many sales and marketing graduates.

Lin Boqiang, a professor at Xiamen University, said 90 percent of his doctoral students became instructors at universities.

"The top talents never face employment problems. The question is whether China needs so many graduates with higher education or not," he said. "Isn't it a waste of money and resources to cultivate a student with a master's degree to count money at a bank?"

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