Wages falling for Chinese graduates ... apart from these

PUBLISHED : Monday, 04 December, 2017, 2:08pm
UPDATED : Monday, 04 December, 2017, 3:19pm

China is expected to see another record-breaking number of college graduates in 2018, with wages falling for most but some getting to pick and choose posts amid skills shortages in hi-tech industries.

Job recruitment has already begun to attract next year’s graduates, likely to exceed the 7.95 million university students who graduated in China this summer, state broadcaster CCTV reported on Sunday. That figure is nearly the population of Switzerland.

Winter job fairs have highlighted the strong demand for graduate talent, particularly in fields relating to artificial intelligence, which is estimated to have a personnel shortage of more than 5 million, the report said.

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The global talent pool in the sector is about 300,000 people, but the industry needs millions of personnel, according to a Tencent Research Institute report published last week.

China has only 20 universities conducting research in artificial intelligence.

One is Xian Jiaotong University in Shaanxi province, which recently held a job fair for its 2018 graduates that attracted recruiters representing more than 300 companies trying to fill 14,000 posts, CCTV reported.

About 4,000 university students attended the fair, many vying for artificial intelligence jobs with salaries starting from 300,000 yuan (US$45,000) a year.

Demand for graduates from other specialised industries such as machine manufacturing and new energy vehicles is also on the rise, the report said.

Qi Xingxia, director of human resources for the manufacturer Zenith Steel Company Group, was quoted as saying there was an urgent need for talent in product development, with an increasing demand for doctoral students as well as undergraduates.

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University graduates as a whole, however, are seeing wages continue to fall, with monthly salaries dropping 16 per cent to 4,014 yuan this year, according to the recruitment website Zhaopin.com. Students surveyed by the firm also indicated it was more difficult to find jobs.

There is also regional job competition, with graduates gravitating towards first tier-cities such as Shanghai and Beijing, while smaller cities have to use subsidies and preferential housing policies to lure talent.