Returnees lower income expectations

Updated 2017-03-25 12:31:14 China Daily

Chinese students returning from overseas studies have lowered their expectations of income amid fierce competition, a report has found.

Published on Friday by overseas recruitment company Lockin China, the report said overseas returnees “are becoming more rational” in their income expectations as an estimated 660,000 returnees are going to join a record high 7.95 million domestic college graduates in the job market this year.

According to the report, which surveyed 150,000 Chinese overseas students and professionals as well as thousands of Chinese enterprises, nearly 64 percent of overseas returnee respondents said their expected annual income ranges from 70,000 (,170) to 120,000 yuan.

More than 27 percent of them expect more than 120,000 yuan, “which is much higher than the average level of the market”.

Compared with last year when 23 percent of those surveyed expected an annual income of more than 150,000 yuan, this year the group with such an expectation has decreased to only 10.4 percent of respondents.

“There have been a great number of people returning from overseas, and the number is still on the rise. This makes overseas returnees more rational in their income expectations,” said Ge Wei, a manager with Lockin.

The report said there has been an “obvious” increase of returnees since 2005 and it was “a turning point” in 2015 when the country saw more than half of those who left to study abroad come back. About 450,000 returnees came back to China in 2015.

The tightened immigration policies in foreign countries, especially in the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia, are one of the major reasons for the increase of returnees, according to the report. Another major reason is the “global economic recession”, it said.

While 63.2 percent of returnees chose the tightened policy as one of the reasons to return, more than 54 percent chose China's rapid economic growth.

Ge also said returnees don't have many advantages when competing with their domestic peers for jobs. On average, they could make only about 500 yuan more a month than their peers who study at home.

It's partly because it is difficult for them to show their advantages in interviews, she said, adding that many domestic graduates gain interview skills through training, but there is no such training in foreign universities.

But usually the returnees show their advantages after working for several years and see more possibilities for promotion and salary increases, she added.

Overseas students now start looking for jobs earlier, the report found.

More than 32 percent of overseas students started applying for domestic jobs six months before graduation.

The proportion of those who seek job opportunities only after returning to China has decreased from 64 percent in 2016 to 44.5 percent in 2017, according to the report.

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