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Returning graduates favor education jobs

Zhao Xinying
Updated: Nov 27,2014 2:32 PM     China Daily

Jobs in education are among the favorite choices of Chinese students returning from overseas study, according to a report released on Nov 26.

Even though finance-related jobs continue to attract returnees at a high rate, 31.24 percent, education has gained popularity. Currently, 11.72 percent of those who come back to China with a degree from another country seek work in the sector, according to the Chinese Blue Book on the Employment of Overseas Returnees.

The report, based on polls of hundreds of thousands of Chinese students who returned from overseas in 2013, was released by the Chinese Service Center for Scholarly Exchange, an organization under the Ministry of Education.

From 1978 to 2013, 3.1 million Chinese studied abroad, according to the ministry, and 1.44 million came back after graduating. In 2013, more than 350,000 graduates returned.

The report ranked education second among industries most attractive to the returnees, followed by information and software service (8.13 percent), manufacturing (7.22 percent), culture and sports (5.19 percent) and scientific research (4.29 percent).

Sun Jianming, director of the center, said returnees’ preference for education-related posts partly arose from the internationalization of education at domestic schools.

“We can see that now almost all schools in China, whether universities, secondary schools or primary schools, would like to hire teachers with overseas study experience, which attracts certain numbers of overseas returnees,” he said.

An increasing number of returnees are landing jobs in private education or training organizations — areas that are booming, as people attach greater importance to education and spend more time and money on it, he said.

Private organizations are evolving from simple teaching institutes to comprehensive education agencies that provide a range of services, including consulting on overseas study.

“In these organizations, staff members with overseas study experience are preferred,” he said.

Feng Lijuan, chief consultant at, a major recruitment website in China, agreed with Sun on private education institutions’ desire to seek out overseas returnees.

“Education is one of the areas that received the most investment and capital during the past six seasons, which means a lot of new education companies opened and have offered great numbers of jobs during the past year and a half,” Feng said.

She said returnees, especially those with foreign language skills and an international vision, are favored by the education companies, which usually offer better positions and salaries to those who return from abroad, compared with domestic graduates.

Despite the good situation at present, Feng still expressed concerns. “Most of these education companies are small or medium-sized ones that lack stability, and overseas returnees may not work for a long period at these institutions,” she said.