Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Weekly Education Industry Investment Forum Poll

Escalator broken by job seekers at job fair, Source: Dahe dot com

Today you will notice a poll on the sidebar. The question is:

Is there room for the education industry to assist China's graduates or the job placement services industry in China?

Before you answer that, here's some context:

Recent graduates line up at a China job fair

In 2006, around 4.95 million Chinese students graduated college or a professional school. That number rose by 800,000 from 2005, according to a China Daily report. This is a state sponsored China newspaper. I always take those reports with a grain of salt.

If you listen to the way China Daily spins it, apparently they can't all find or keep jobs.

From that article:
Based on the average employment rate of 70 per cent for university graduates upon graduation, more than 1.49 million of them may become jobless next year.

To address the problem, the ministry has asked universities to give top priority to better employment services for graduates in 2007, the spokesman said.

What is the problem(s), and can school services companies address them?

Is it that there is not a targeted enough way to place students or to keep an eye on what they want during schooling? Are there gaps between exit interviews at the graduation level and their performance in the real world? Does the problem arise before graduation? Is there a mismatch between what courses are offered and what works in the industry? In other words, are the courses the right thing for what is needed in the marketplace? Or, could it be that the brightest, something like 20,000 Chinese a year, are going to the States, and more going to other countries for their post secondary work?

Lots of questions.

Here's another view of the China job situation: China's labor shortages with all those graduates keeps some people wondering.

From the article:
The Good - Educational opportunities in China are at an all time high. Teenagers about to leave school have never had it so good, and somewhere in the region of 30% of high-school leavers in the cities will have the option for further study.

The Bad - At the same time, this year will see 20 million new job seekers in China, among both high school and university graduates. They enter the market at a time when the overall world’s economy is drifting downward and they have gone through a rote learning education system that does not equip them for the workplace. Employers regard professionals with 1-2 years as their starting point, not graduates. Graduate unemployment is as common as multiple job offers for experienced hires.

And there is more:

A slightly slower growth might look like a small price to pay for economic stability. But it might be not be enough to sop up the additional new workers, and those laid-off in the event of an export downturn (which appears to be happening). The stock exchange ‘correction’ we have seen lately, plus the slowdown of housing prices around the country will only exacerbate the problem.

That should mean more Chinese going back to school, right?

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