According to the 2013 China Occupational School Graduates Employment And Development Report released on 27th Feb 2013, employment rate for the occupational school graduates exceeded 95% for five consecutive years from 2007 to 2011 outperforming the bachelor degree holders (90.3% in 2011) and master degree holders (86.6% in 2011).
Despite the high employment rate, the social and the economic conditions of the occupational school students is still low. Various surveys have shown that occupational school is the least preferred option for Chinese students to continue their education, and the fact that 82% of the students are from the rural areas suggests that the economic conditions of these students are not so good as well. Also the low average income of the vocational school graduates is another major challenge that keeps the talented students away from the vocational school.
On the other hand, difficulties in getting a job among the master degree holders continue to arouse the wide reflections on the current education system and people’s thinking over the initiates of postgraduate studies. In particular, recently a master graduate changed her resume and pretend to be a degree holder in order to get a job in the labor market which received a lot of media attention. There are three major reasons behind this dilemma:
a. The rapid expansion of the higher education results in the oversupply and reduced capabilities of the “high end” talents;
b. Education system does not train the right types and right quantity of talents required by the companies with obvious gap between education and market demand;
C. Parents and students chase good universities, popular but overcrowded majors and high level of degree.
As a matter of fact, positions like lawyers, managers, researchers and professionals required in the market are much fewer than “lower end jobs” in people’s mind such as sale, cashiers, common workers, warehouse keepers. Low skill workers are still the mainstream of demand in the labor market.
While bigger campus and school offices had been built up quickly for the expanded group of students searching for higher education in the past decade, with relatively late paced industrial upgrading, the world factory obviously disappoints many fresh graduates from the ivory tower.