One thing I noticed during China trip is it’s difficult for college graduates to find a decent paid job. This applies to the graduate student too. I don’t have statistics but this is what I heard from friends, relatives, and the media. This reminds me a similar trend in the US, in recent years college graduates here had a hard time to find jobs too. Things improved as the US economy recovered from the recession.
But the overall trend indicates two things: 1) There are fewer entry level jobs in the US, some services jobs such as accounting, IT, customer support etc. have been relocated to developing countries such as India and China. 2) In China because the surge of college graduates, even with some new jobs created by the multinational companies, and other sectors, it’s still very hard to find a good pay job. Untimately the market decides the price, in this case the pay for an entry level job. I heard some students can get CNY 1,500 per month, this is really the minimum a person can survive in large cities like Shanghai.
Looking deeper, I think we can look for the computer, Internet and automation technology for one reason. Technologies make existing employee more productive, in some cases replacing jobs used to be done by human, e.g., the robots in automotive assembly line, the computer program takes care of accounting, etc.
So what should new graduates do?
Just sit at home and wait is not an answer. Technology also creates new opportunities, e.g., eBay and TaoBao. More importantly, many jobs can not simply moved across borders, such as making latte at starbucks, selling shoes at Journeys. There are many opportunites in the consumer spending (food, beverage, apparel etc.), both in the US and China. Just look at people in MengNiu and Yi Li created a “milk” industry in China, this is similar to what Starbucks did in the US (the coffee industry). Of course for most of us, we will do something in much smaller scale, but it should still provide our daily needs.