PhDs, overseas returnees lose their luster in changing job market

Updated: 2016-01-12 14:46


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It's generally assumed that China's job market favors overseas returnees, high academic achievers and single candidates, but the trends are changing. Investigations at job fairs found that some traditional advantages are no longer prized by employers, the Beijing Morning News reported.

Candidates with higher education are not necessarily favored over undergraduates. For example, PhDs don't always beat young undergraduates in terms of quick thinking and physical endurance, according to the newspaper.

An HR representative from an Internet company said they prefer undergraduates for operation and product positions. Only for technical positions that have high requirements would they consider highly certified candidates.

Another reason is that PhDs generally ask for higher salaries. But for some industries and positions, they basically create similar value as undergraduates, so for employers the PhD's halo does not seem so competitive, added the report.

Overseas returnees face a similar dilemma: some companies feel that overseas experience does not necessarily pose a great advantage these days. They cite reasons for being turned down such as lack of local experience and high payment requirements.

Wei Bin, director of the career guidance center at the University of International Relations, said nowadays the number of overseas students is huge, but the student quality is mixed.

Some experts also attribute the decreasing job competitiveness of overseas returnees and PhDs to a growing oversupply of their number. Instead, blue-collar positions which require less education and more technical training are becoming more sought-after.

In addition, female graduates who have already had babies are not discriminated against by some employers. On the contrary, as they do not need to take marriage leave or maternity leave, already having a baby becomes a plus. An HR manager said that he thinks candidates with families are more dependable and stable, and less likely to indulge in frequent job hopping.

The new trends reflect that, with employers becoming more rational and practical, shiny labels no longer hold the same attraction. So students need to exercise good sense when choosing majors and careers. Instead of following hot trends, they should choose the most suitable career path based on accurate self assessment, the report suggested.