China’s Elite Graduates Opting to Work in Smaller Cities for Better Quality of Life
Graduates of Renmin University celebrate during their graduation, part of the hordes of new graduates that compete for jobs every year. (Photo : www.english.sina.com)
A growing number of graduates from China’s elite schools and universities are heading toward second-tier or smaller cities to find work and enjoy a better quality of life, the Global Times reported.
According to a 2015 report from headhunting website zhaopin.com, only 34 percent of new job seekers this year want to land a job in the first-tier four cities like Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, home to the several major tech, entertainment and cultural firms. Compared to 48 percent last year, the number is low and it continues to decrease each year.
The report said that top cities have lost their allure to new graduates, as fast-rising second-tier cities like Chengdu, Dalian and Wuhan are now giving graduates more employment opportunities and a promise of a better quality of life.
Ten years ago, graduates of Tsinghua University, one of China's finest schools, stayed in Beijing, but now less than half of them went to other cities and the number is expected to fall again this year.
The second-tier cities of Hangzhou, Kunming and Chengdu are favorite destinations of new graduates, according to a survey of 551,000 graduates in 109 universities.
Zhou Keda, a sociologist, said that many graduates have been dissuaded to stay in traditional powerhouses of graduate employment due to rising costs of living, pollution and traffic problems.
Second-tier cities, however, have to provide better facilities in fields like education and medical care, as more support is given to new businesses and governments have less environmental concerns, Zhou added.
In addition, top cities, like Beijing, are also struggling to curb population growth, the report said.
Beijing, enclosed by Hebei Province and Tianjin, has a development plan to move industrial and human resources out of the crowded capital and into the hinterland. The city has also been asked to reduce the quota of new permanent residence permits, which leads to fewer job opportunities.
Chen Jing, a university graduate who returned to his hometown, Kaixian, a small county in Chongqing, set up an organic food company and now sells honey and nuts via the Internet.
Sociologist Zhou said that the flow of graduates into smaller cities will balance the distribution of human resources and bring growth to less-developed areas as well as relieve the population burden of big cities.
"These graduates will grow into a strong middle class, which will not only be good for the economic structure of smaller cities, but will be good for the whole nation," Zhou added. (yibada.com)
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