Does it make sense to send children to study overseas?
The difficulty of finding a job is becoming an ever-more pressing problem. As the pressure increases, it is not uncommon to find students who have come back to China with overseas experience but cannot find jobs, and are trapped in their homes. Some professionals observe that high expectations on the part of the overseas returnees are core to the problem, and only by adjusting themselves to the market can they find better opportunities.
Master’s degree in international finance vs. ordinary accountant
26-year-old Tang Xiaoyun is well-placed to talk. With a Master’s degree in international finance from New York University and several years of overseas experience, Tang considered herself as an eligible candidate for a job with a monthly salary of at least 10,000 RMB(approximately 1634 U.S. dollars). However, things did not go according to plan, and she found herself banging her head against a brick wall in a fruitless search for a job. “In the end, I was exhausted. I don’t know how many copies of resumes I posted, but nothing come back in the way of offers,” she says. At last, she pulled some strings through family connections and finally found herself a post as an accountant in a hospital in Beijing. “But it is so hard to live in Beijing on a salary of only 6,000 RMB before tax,” she says desperately.
It is not unusual to see overseas returnees who cannot find work, she adds. Many of her friends are in the same situation. Since the economic crisis in 2008 it is nearly impossible to stay American after graduation, and many have chosen to come back and look for jobs in China. They are disappointed to find that things are very different from what they expected. Returned overseas Chinese no long carries the status it once did, and reality soon imposes itself.
Research is now being done to establish the full reasons for the fading popularity of overseas returnees. Data shows that in 2012 the total number of Chinese students going abroad for further education was 396,000, while 272,900 chose to come back. At 70% of the outflow, this was the biggest ever “returning tide”. Additionally, the increasing quality of domestic education makes returnees less attractive to employers.