[photopress:MBA_graduates.jpg,full,alignright]China’s youth are focused on iPods, designer jeans and buying their first car than political reform. Which is first of all a sweeping statement which was written by a journalist (not this writer) looking for a strong lead. So, yes, it is somewhat provocative.
It is suggested that most of all they are worried about getting well paid jobs and a share of the newfound wealth that many Chinese professionals are enjoying as the economy surges ahead with double-digit growth.
Last summer, China had to provide jobs for nearly 5 million college graduates. This summer, 5.6 million more are getting ready to move out of dormitories and into the job market.
Xia Ding, who got his degree last year and, like many of his classmates, decided to apply for a master’s program when a job didn’t come up, said, ‘There’s a saying, “as soon as you graduate, you are unemployed”.’
Which is a bit inaccurate because according to the China Daily, citing Ministry of Education figures, average employment rate of recent graduates was 73% in autumn 2007. Which, in truth, is far from disastrous and not dissimilar to other countries..
Wide-ranging economic reforms in the last 30 years have allowed students to dream of college rather than a factory job.
And that may well be where the problem lies. Students dream of jobs which are, when they leave university, beyond their grasp. There is a thought that learning on the job is not necessary when, in fact, it is normally essential.
Xia Ding’s mother said, ‘There’s a lot of pressure on graduates nowadays.’ She estimated that higher interest rates mean a graduate needs a salary that clears RMB5,000 ($740) a month just to afford a mortgage.
She said, ‘They have to have an apartment and a car, otherwise how on earth are they going to get married?’ Quite so.