Home   >   Society >   Content

More graduates opt to work in lower-tier cities

Updated:2022-04-14 10:54:35   China Daily

A graduate waits as an employer's representative checks her resume during a job fair earlier this month at Northwest Normal University in Lanzhou, Gansu province. LANG BINGBING/XINHUA

Chinese college graduates are opting to work in lower-tier cities to pursue a less stressful and more stable lifestyle, a new report said.

According to the report, 35 percent of surveyed soon-to-be college graduates would prefer to work in second- and lower-tier cities, 32 percent want to work in "new first-tier cities" such as Hangzhou and Chengdu, and only 26 percent would prefer to work in the first-tier cities of Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen.

New first-tier cities is a term used by the Chinese media for cities with the potential to join the club of first-tier cities, generally including 15 cities such as Chengdu, Hangzhou, Wuhan, Xi'an and Chongqing.

The report, based on a survey of more than 5,000 students, was conducted by China Youth Daily.

It also found that internet companies remain the top choices for college graduates, with the prospects of high salaries and quick promotion opportunities.

More than 67 percent of the respondents believe the IT industry has the best development prospects, followed by the culture, sports and entertainment industries (44 percent), education (40 percent) and health and medicine (18 percent).

Yao Yuwei, a graduate student at Renmin University of China in Beijing, said she will start work at internet giant Baidu after graduating in June, due to its high salary and more relaxed management style.

Internet companies are more generous with their salaries for new graduates, and there are salary pay raises every year, Yao said, adding that she does not mind working overtime on weekdays as long as she has a two-day weekend free from work.

Yao, who has interned at State-owned enterprises and private ones, said she prefers to work at private companies due to their less complicated management style.

However, the 24-year-old from Shandong province said she is considering going to work in a second-tier city after a few years in Beijing due to the very high housing prices in the city.

"I do not think it is worthwhile to spend so much money on an apartment in Beijing, and going to a second-tier city would make my life easier without the burden of worrying about paying the very high down payment and monthly mortgage," she said.

Yang Hui, 24, who is expected to graduate in June from the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing, said she will work at a technology company in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province.

Yang said she has interned at several IT companies in Beijing and that the crowded morning subway commute is so unpleasant she does not want to experience it anymore.

While it is very difficult to obtain hukou, or household registration, in Beijing, Hangzhou's hukou policy is very friendly to college graduates like her and the city also offers employment subsidies to new graduates who chose to work in the city, she said.

Rental costs in Hangzhou are also much lower than in Beijing, and buying an apartment in Hangzhou is also much easier than in the capital, as she does not want to spend all of her and her parents' money on buying an apartment in Beijing, she said.

"I do not want to tie myself and my family to a house in a first-tier city, and I want to spend my money on other leisure activities in order to enjoy life."

Xiao Wenxi, 25, another graduate student at UIBE, said she will return to her home province of Hainan in June to work at a bank.

As the province aims to build itself into a globally influential high-level free trade port by the middle of the century, Xiao said it has great development potential and she wants to contribute her knowledge to its development.

While working in Hainan does not promise the same level of salary as first-tier cities, the living costs and housing prices in the province are also much lower, Xiao said, adding that her salary would still be above the local average.

Hainan also provides new college graduates with subsidies for renting and buying houses and many of her childhood friends are content with their life there, she said.

Liang Xiaoze, who has secured a job offer from ByteDance in Beijing, said he is satisfied with his prospective salary, adding that he chose to work in the IT sector due to the relatively high salaries it offers.

College students now conduct comprehensive research and do several internships before choosing their future employers after graduation, said Liang, 24.

"Most students have a clear understanding of what they want most from a job and we make thorough consideration before arriving at the final decision."

Li Changan, a professor at UIBE's Beijing Open Economy Research Institute, said the increased attractiveness of lower-tier cities is due to their favorable policies introduced in recent years to attract new college graduates.

Moreover, more college students choose second-tier cities due to the less demanding working atmosphere, lower living costs, and better work-life balance, he said.

Keywords:   Graduates Employment