Elite Chinese Chemistry Grad for Hire at $588 per month
Around 10,000 students and 150 national companies attend the job fair at the Beijing-Haidian Exhibition Hall every year. Wang's done over 100 job applications since December. He's happy to work for $735 per month or $588 per month if you throw in Beijing residency.
Wang is graduating from one of the best universities in China, Renmin University in Beijing. His salary expectations wouldn't have been considered high last year, but are high compared to other job seekers at the Fair this year.
The Fair, which is held in Beijing's university district, targets first degree-holders with at least two years of work experience, masters degree-holders, and young Chinese educated overseas.
Around 6.1m graduates will enter China’s workforce this summer, and around 1m of them will find themselves unemployed as the economy slows to a single digit growth rate of 7.5%, according to the World Bank. By comparison, the number of graduates entering the workforce in the UK this year is about 300,000.
Wang's sales pitch impressed the State Intellectual Property Office enough for their representative to take his CV away, but the firm was offering only three positions. Many Chinese students are turning to local state-owned and private enterprises because they appear more resilient to the downturn than foreign firms in China.
However the limited number of jobs at local firms means that many highly educated students are still jobless. The companies at the Fair each had between three and five openings, most of which were not entry level and had very specific requirements. Haidian is only a medium-sized job fair by Chinese standards. Around 40,000 graduates attended the December job fair in Beijing last year, fighting for roughly 1,000 positions. The Shanghai Career Fair in January attracted over 50,000 students.
Rong Han, a senior year engineering student at Shanghai University of Engineering Science, queued for up to five hours at a time see employers. She managed to get five-minute interviews with four company representatives. “Some recruiters there were not even hiring. They just showed up to look like they were”, she complains. Rong’s friends mostly got their jobs through personal connections.
Engineering student Rong Han: waited five hours for a five-minute interview
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