Job seekers look for employment at a career fair for graduates unable to land a job in Wuhan, Hubei province, on Thursday. A total of 4,100 positions from 156 enterprises were on offer. (ZHANG CHaNG/CHINA NEWS SERVICE)
Growing number of degree holders choosing jobs away from first-tier cities
More college graduates are choosing to return to their home provinces to work rather than stay in first-tier cities, according to a new report.
The report, released by education consultancy MyCOS, said that 47 percent of respondents who studied outside provincial-level regions returned to their home provinces to work last year, up 4 percentage points from 2018.
Female college graduates were more willing to go home than their male counterparts, with 52 percent of those surveyed saying they had returned home compared with only 40 percent of male students.
The report also found that students from more developed regions were more likely to return to their home provinces.
Fifty-nine percent of students from the more-developed eastern regions said they returned to their home provinces, followed by 44 percent from western regions, 37 percent from central regions and 24 percent from northeastern regions.
Moreover, students who returned to their home provinces last year preferred to work at government institutions (25 percent) and State-owned enterprises (24 percent).
Even though many of the students didn't find high-paying jobs in their home provinces, with monthly average salaries lower than the national average, the job satisfaction rate for these students was higher than the national average, the report added.
Many local authorities have issued favorable policies to attract college graduates back home.
In July, Nanning in the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region hosted its 11th annual event to attract Guangxi students studying in other provincial regions to return home.
Henan province has also encouraged college graduates, businesspeople and retired soldiers to return and start businesses, and is offering loans of up to 3 million yuan ($416,200) for eligible applicants.
Liu Wenqi, who graduated from the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing in 2021, has chosen to become a middle school teacher in her hometown of Zibo, Shandong province, although she was offered work at a primary school in Beijing.
She said she doesn't regret her decision and is very happy working in her hometown and being close to her family and friends, adding that renting a small apartment near her school, costing only 500 yuan per month is better than paying thousands a month in Beijing.
She said as she is not from Beijing, it would be difficult for her to buy an apartment in the capital and settle down, while doing the same in Zibo is much easier.
"Compared with one of my roommates who now works at a primary school in Beijing's Haidian district, we both think I am living the happier life, as she faces much more pressure at her school and living in the capital," she said.
Gao Jie, 23, graduated from Beijing Foreign Studies University in June and returned to her hometown in Shaoxing, Zhejiang province, to teach English at a middle school.
Although she has just started working at the school, she said her colleagues are very friendly and the work environment is good.
"In the first year of college I had already decided to return to Shaoxing to work because I didn't like the intense competition in Beijing. Life in Shaoxing is much slower and more relaxed," she said.
She said she could not get used to Beijing's food and its dry climate. During winter and summer breaks her skin always would improve when she returned home, so she never considered working in the capital.
"I enjoy my life now," she said. "The school is near my home and I have a pet rabbit, so life is good."