Students, some in costume, attend a career fair in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, earlier this month. CUI XIAO/CHINA DAILY
Many students want to learn more about the world first
With the job market becoming increasingly competitive every year, a growing number of fresh university graduates are opting for "delayed employment".
According to a survey released by online recruiter Zhaopin on Tuesday, about 9.8 percent of the 93,420 graduates who participated in a written survey said they would not begin working right after graduation.
Job consultants at Zhaopin explained that there are more choices for young people born after 1995. Jobs related to personal interests have greater attraction, and they are not willing to give in and take a job they don't like.
At the same time, they are also aware of tensions in the job market, and some have opted to delay job hunting to avoid the competition.
According to Beijing-based education consultancy MyCos, the number of students who have opted for delayed employment - or not starting their career in six months' time - has been growing steadily since 2011.
"Delayed employment is not that intimidating. Chinese university students have learned a lot from books but lack practice. Most of the graduates choosing to delay employment are hoping to increase their social experience," said Guo Sheng, chief executive officer of Zhaopin.
"Some young people who are not faced with a heavy economic burden are simply staying at home, relying on parents. But in general, the majority of university graduates are willing to get a job and work toward their goals. They just want to know more about the world first," he said.
Chen Nuan, 23, majors in product design at the Shanghai Institute of Visual Arts and will graduate this summer. While it is easy for students in this major to land a job, Chen said she is not in a hurry. Her first plan after graduation is to tour Europe.
"I will start up my own business after graduation, and life will be extremely busy then. So the ideal plan is to savor my life first. As the old Chinese saying goes, 'traveling thousands of miles is better than reading thousands of books'. It is especially true for students in my major," she said. "We need more input to refresh our minds and to know people better."
In contrast to some graduates' calm attitude is the grim job market. Statistics provided by the Ministry of Education show the number of new university graduates will reach a record 7.95 million in 2017.
According to Zhaopin, 27.7 percent of the new graduates surveyed had not received an offer as of April - up 2.9 percent year-on-year. Half the respondents said they have received one to three offers, down 5.2 percent from 2016. Meanwhile, only 26.7 percent of the new graduates had signed contracts with employers, down 8.7 percent year-on-year.