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Good old days gone for grads
( 2004-01-05 10:03) (Xinhua)

China's college graduates are lowering their expectations when they choose their first jobs because of intense competition in a job market saturated with advanced degree holders.

Graduates are settling these days for junior positions in the manufacturing and service sectors where they work until more desirable openings become available.

Gone are the old days, when a college education guaranteed a decent job with good pay.

Zou Guangfeng, a senior student at Lanzhou University in Gansu Province, has decided to work as a shop assistant at a household electrical appliance firm in Lanzhou.

The journalism major said he could have worked at a local bank but only at an entry-level.

"They refused to recruit me even as a teller when I asked for a management position in the very first interview," he said.

Shop assistant was not a desirable job in the traditional sense, Zou admitted. He said most of his peers are in the same boat.

"I'll surely have more chances of promotion as long as I work hard," he said.

Zou's schoolmate, Wu Xiangdong, a telecommunications major, said he is taking the initiative to engage in sales - as his own boss.

"I'd rather gain more experience and lay a better basis for my future career development," he said.

In fact, most recent graduates have chosen to work as shop assistants, salespeople or junior clerks in the service sector, according to sources in Lanzhou.

Li Jing, an associate professor of education with Lanzhou University, believes that it is an "irreversible trend" as higher education has become more accessible to the average Chinese youth.

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