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Job prospects improve for graduates

By Jiang Chenglong | China Daily | Updated: 2018-04-17 16:58

Employment prospects for college graduates are better this year, as employers flock to universities to recruit them, according to university employment officials and local authorities.

"Companies have presented information at our university since September - a much earlier start than in the past," said Liu Rui, deputy director for career development at Beihang University, a prestigious engineering school in Beijing.

"There were more than 200 job fairs held last year - also far more than before," he said. "Our graduates received four offers on average, an increase from three in recent years. The offers' average salary was higher, too."

According to the Ministry of Education, nearly 8.2 million university students will complete their studies at the start of summer. To get first pick of the graduates, most companies in the past have held information sessions or hosted job fairs starting in October or November.

"There were nearly 126,400 graduates seeking jobs at our recruitment service agencies," said Lu Yu, deputy head of Henan province's talent exchange center. The ratio of jobs to students is 1.61 to 1, meaning there are more jobs available per student than last year, Lu said.

As the manufacturing and information technology industries in the nation develop, more graduates majoring in science and engineering are needed.

"Based on our statistics in the first quarter of this year, more than half of the jobs are related to manufacturing, software and information technology," said Xue Yong, an employment official in Jiangsu province's human resources department.

"It's the Internet Plus strategy and the manufacturing industry's upgrade to the high-end level that are driving the trend," he said. "The need for talent in industrial research and robots is growing."

In 2015, the State Council launched the Internet Plus and Made in China 2025 strategies, aiming at combining the internet with the economy deeply and fully enhancing the ability to make equipment at a high technical level.

Data from recent years show that more graduates of Beijing universities are choosing to work outside the city.

"In 2003, nearly 80 percent of graduates took jobs in Beijing. But in the most recent five-year period more than half have taken jobs in other cities," said Wan Yi, deputy head of career development at Tsinghua University.

Renmin University of China has actively helped its graduates find jobs outside Beijing. "Now the proportion of our students who work in other places is 49 percent," said Zhou Rong, the university's top employment official. "We will continue enhancing our career guidance."

Beijing's urban comprehensive plan, released in 2017, required that the capital's regular resident population should be no greater than 23 million in 2020. The number at the end of 2017 was 21.7 million, which was its first drop in 17 years. That means there won't be as many jobs in Beijing for graduates as before.

Wei Boyu, a master's degree candidate in water conservation engineering at China Agricultural University, said he never expected to work in Beijing.

Heavier demand for talent may not be good for graduates who didn't prepare well for the job market. Renmin's Zhou said many students regretted hurriedly signing contacts with thirsty companies last year.

A human resources worker surnamed Wang with New Hope Group, a leading company in the agriculture and food sector, said the company found that many graduates didn't know exactly what they wanted.

"We prefer those with good preparation and who know themselves better," she said.

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