Across China: College graduates embracing diverse job choices

Source: Xinhua| 2019-03-01 19:06:34|Editor: Li Xia
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GUIYANG, March 1 (Xinhua) -- The spring job-hunting season may have begun, but Liu Xiaoqing is in no hurry to find a job.

"It is useless to worry, and we must take our time," said Liu, an undergraduate at Southwest Minzu University in Chengdu, capital of southwest China's Sichuan Province.

In 2019, China expects a record 8.34 million college graduates, 140,000 more than last year and 26 percent higher than a decade ago, data from the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security (MHRSS) showed. However, an increasing number of Chinese graduates are embracing diverse job choices.

Only 45.89 percent of this year's new graduates have participated in more than two on-campus recruiting events, while 70 percent of undergraduates said they have been preparing for the postgraduate admission test, according to the latest survey conducted by, a leading job recruitment platform for new graduates.

Jiang Qing'an, a graduate student from the southwestern municipality of Chongqing, is one of the calm ones.

"I need to consider payment, welfare, career development and personal interest, so I don't expect to find a dream job very soon," said Jiang.

Liu Wenjun, a post-graduate at Anhui University, is also in no hurry to find a job. She has just given up an offer to be a college teacher.

"The salary (of the college teacher position) was not satisfactory, and I plan to keep looking for a job while taking the doctoral examination after finishing my graduation thesis," Liu said.

A total of 2.9 million people have applied for the national entrance examinations for postgraduate studies of 2019, a record high and about 520,000 more than last year, official data showed.

"Most of the graduating students are the only child in their families," said Chen Yi, an instructor at Southwest University of Political Science and Law. "They have good financial conditions and pay more attention to how they feel rather than being pressured to find jobs."

"The situation reflects the fact that more diverse choices are available to the post-1995 generation," Chen said.

Meanwhile, choices of whether to work in first-tier cities or second- and third-tier cities are becoming increasingly difficult to make among the new graduates.

"I used to think that working in my hometown would be much less stressful, but now I face the same fierce competition," said Chen Xiaoli at Sichuan University. Chen hails from the southwestern province of Guizhou, a landlocked area long suffering from talent outflows. But local authorities are attracting job seekers with increasingly improving infrastructure and industrial upgrades.

Many graduates find favorable policies launched by non-first-tier cities very attractive. The policies include home subsidies and the hukou, or resident permits. Meanwhile, first-tier cities offer more opportunities and better career development.

Shang Jiaojiao, a graduate student from the Southwest University of Political Science and Law, is struggling to make a decision about her future workplace.

While finding the talent-attracting policies quite tempting, she still believes that first-tier cities have obvious advantages.

"There are more opportunities in first-tier cities, which is better for long-term development," she said.

China will carry out a series of plans to direct more graduates to less developed areas, Qiu Xiaoping, the MHRSS's vice minister, said in January.

"It's hard for our society to provide enough jobs as we would like to," said Cheng De'an, a professor with Southwest University of Political Science and Law, adding that various statistics show that it would not be easy for graduates to find jobs with a smile in 2019.

Cheng believes that graduates should find the right self-positioning. "Graduates should have a comprehensive judgment of their interests and abilities to enhance their competitiveness in finding jobs," he said.

"Finding a job does not happen overnight, and the process is an opportunity for job hunters to reset their mind," Cheng added.