Teaching: The Hot Gaokao Career Choice

One obvious trend in 2021’s Gaokao is the enthusiasm students are showing towards pursuing an education degree to become a teacher, despite the incredibly high entry scores for Normal Universities. What factors have triggered this change?

The Tianjin-based China Central Normal University (Huazhong) is neither a 211 nor a 985 university, it has nevertheless set its Gaokao entry score at 692, only 13 points below Peking University. The Changchun based North-Eastern Normal University has a high entry score of 685, higher than any of the 985 universities in the same region. According to China’s National Institute of Education & Sciences (NIES), amongst the top 30% of Gaokao students in 2018, 18.3% applied for education degrees. In 2019 this number jumped to 33.4% while in several provinces it reached 55.3% and 49.8%. After the pay-slip of a Shenzhen high school teacher, earning RMB26,000 (US$4,000) a month, was published online, social media was set alight with envy and admiration (The average monthly income for Chinese graduates in 2021 is US$1,300, according to the survey conducted by NASDAQ listed Chinese internet company 58.COM). It is worth noting that the average teacher’s income level is likely to drop following the implementation of the July policy prohibiting many kinds of after-school training.

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