New Trends in 2018 Graduate Employment

A number of new employment trends have recently emerged for post ‘90 and ‘95 Chinese graduates.


While Chinese students traditionally have had a strong preference for seeking employment in the city in which they studied, in 2018, over 50% of Beijing university graduates took jobs outside of the city. Notably, the number of Tsinghua University graduates who chose employment outside of Beijing has grown for 6 years straight.


Employment agencies Zhaopin and Boss confirmed that over 64% of graduates from 2nd tier cities have managed to stay in the same city (instead of seeking employment in 1st tier cities), and that both the number of students staying and the number of job opportunities in 2nd tier cities increased by 3.5% and 4.75%, respectively in 2018.


The private sector has clearly become the number 1 area of employment for graduates, and top universities such as Tsinghua, Shanghai Jiaotong and Beihang, found that approximately one-third of graduates have signed employment contracts within the private sector. This compares to only 5-6% who are signing on with multinationals. Zhaopin believes that up to 58% of all graduates in 2018 took their first job in the private sector.


While twice as many graduates believe that “achieving individual value” is more important than the actual monetary package, there is still a significant gap between students’ expected packages compared to what employers are willing to offer.


The total number of tertiary level graduates is expected to reach 8.34m in 2019, a 140,000-increase compared to 2018.

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