Despite the unprecedented growth of China’s economy, the demand for college educated, white-collar professionals fell far below the estimated six million college graduates attempting to enter the workforce last May. The New York Times reports that recent governmental initiatives encouraged Chinese students to pursue higher education with the hope that the professional job market would expand. However, now many of these college graduates are living with their peers in cramped basements, and are working for wages that fall below what some factory laborers in Beijing earn.
Peng Xizhe, dean of social development and public policy at Fudan University in Shanghai says, “China has really improved the quality of its workforce, but on the other hand competition has never been more serious.” As such, many are suggesting that Chinese college students focus their education on practical vocations such as teaching or nursing, or reexamine their expectations to avoid the disappointment associated with underemployment.
This article was featured in the December 15, 2010 issue of Diversity Best Practices’ email newsletter, Diversity in the News. To subscribe to Diversity in the News, register on the newsletter page of this website.