Graduates face fierce competition to find work

2022-06-21 08:47:10China Daily Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

A harvester cruises in a parade at Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan, capital of Hubei province, on Sunday. The university held the special parade of modern agricultural vehicles to celebrate the graduation season. (Photo/Xinhua)

Jobs hard to land due to COVID-19, huge number of candidates

Every summer when millions of graduates leave university campuses for the last time, employment becomes a hot topic in China.

This year, the job market has attracted more attention due to COVID-19 outbreaks and the huge number of candidates-more than 10 million-seeking employment.

The Ministry of Education predicts there will be 10.76 million graduates this year, a rise of 1.67 million compared with last year.

Faced with more competition, these job seekers are also entering the employment market as many companies are cutting back-especially large internet enterprises that traditionally hire young people.

Zhang Xinya, formerly a senior student at Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, has been looking for work since the summer vacation last year, 12 months before she graduated.

"When I came to the city for a college education, I was planning to stay in Guangzhou after graduation. Three years have now passed, and I realize this idea is now unrealistic," said Zhang, who comes from Yan'an city, Shaanxi province.

Zhang said she might eventually have to return to her hometown due to the high cost of living in Guangzhou.

To find a job after graduation, she started to look for openings in Xi'an, capital of Shaanxi, which is much closer to home than Guangzhou.

Students attend a job fair on the campus of Anhui University in Hefei last month. (XIE CHEN/FOR CHINA DAILY)

"There is no doubt that COVID-19 outbreaks have made it difficult for those seeking work. I lined up for several hours to attend job fairs, but couldn't even get my resume accepted because of the fierce competition," she said.

This summer, students are bracing themselves for even tougher competition in the race to find employment. As a result, many graduates have lowered their salary expectations.

According to a recently released report of the 2022 College Students Employability Survey by the jobs website Zhaopin, the average expected monthly salary among new graduates this year has fallen to 6,295 yuan ($934), the first such decline in recent years. Last year, the comparable figure was 6,711 yuan.

Lin Fan, a newly graduated college student in Beijing, said no matter how difficult it was, he would try his best to remain in the capital to fulfill his dream of becoming an entrepreneur.

"I might start on a low salary at a small company, but I believe things will get better as long as I keep working hard," he said.

Instead of looking for work this year, some young people have turned to postgraduate education, but they also face intense competition.

According to official data, the number of students applying for postgraduate exams this year reached a record high of 4.57 million, meaning that about 3 million students will fail to be enrolled in colleges for postgraduate education.

Those that do not land college places will either have to find work or prepare to take such exams next year.

Many vloggers on the Bilibili short-video platform have told of their disappointment at failing to take postgraduate examinations, with some of the vlogs going viral.

After returning to their hometowns, these students rediscovered cherished family ties that were lost when they became immersed in their studies.

One vlogger said: "New joys and troubles will come with the new phase of life, which may not be as wonderful as expected. When you accept your failure, you start a new journey."


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