De­mand rises for grad­u­ates

China Daily (USA) - - CHINA - By HAN JUN­HONG in Changchun and HOU LIQIANG in Bei­jing

Do­mes­tic ser­vice ma­jors from the first univer­sity in China to launch the course are so pop­u­lar that many are ap­proached by po­ten­tial em­ploy­ers even be­fore they grad­u­ate.

Jilin Agri­cul­tural Univer­sity in Changchun, the cap­i­tal of the north­east­ern prov­ince, which es­tab­lished the ma­jor in 2003, re­cruits about 60 stu­dents a year.

The em­ploy­ment rate for do­mes­tic ser­vice grad­u­ates has reached al­most 90 per­cent and many earn de­cent money while still stu­dents, ac­cord­ing to Li Lei, di­rec­tor of the univer­sity’s do­mes­tic ser­vice lab­o­ra­tory. “As in­terns in the last se­mes­ter be­fore grad­u­a­tion, many have been able to earn 3,000 to 5,000 yuan ($450 to $750) a month.”

Ac­cord­ing to a re­port pub­lished by MyCOS, an ed­u­ca­tional data and con­sult­ing com­pany, the av­er­age monthly salary for grad­u­ates of the class of 2014 reached 3,487 yuan just six months after grad­u­a­tion.

“There is still a short­age of tal­ent in the boom­ing in­dus­try, so some com­pa­nies come to our univer­sity to re­cruit,” Li said.

How­ever, only about 40 per­cent of grad­u­ates choose to work in the do­mes­tic ser­vice in­dus­try. That’s be­cause many of the orig­i­nal stu­dents were trans­ferred to the ma­jor when they failed to gain en­try to their pre­ferred ma­jor, so they have no in­ter­est in the sec­tor. How­ever, the pro­por­tion has de­clined and the ma­jor is now the first choice of 50 to 60 per­cent of the stu­dents, Li said.

There is still a short­age of tal­ent in the boom­ing in­dus­try, so some com­pa­nies come to our univer­sity to re­cruit.” Li Lei, di­rec­tor of the do­mes­tic ser­vice lab­o­ra­tory at Jilin Agri­cul­tural Univer­sity

The univer­sity’s do­mes­tic ser­vice de­part­ment em­ploys 13 teach­ers who are ex­perts in a range of fields, in­clud­ing so­ci­ol­ogy, med­i­cal science, nutri­tion and man­age­ment science. Half of them hold doc­tor­ates. About 60 per­cent of cour­ses on the ma­jor are prac­ti­cal sub­jects, in­clud­ing de­sign­ing and mak­ing clothes.

The univer­sity re­ceives many vis­i­tors from other uni­ver­si­ties, and at least one univer­sity in Guang­dong prov­ince and an­other in Hu­nan prov­ince have also es­tab­lished the ma­jor, Li said.

Li Juan­hui, a ju­nior stu­dent, said she chose the course be­cause it is “a dis­tinc­tive ma­jor — new, but promis­ing” and there is “a short­age of tal­ent in the in­dus­try”.

She said many peo­ple still make “in­cor­rect as­sump­tions”, and “it will re­quire the ef­forts of sev­eral gen­er­a­tions of teach­ers and stu­dents to over­come prej­u­dice against the ma­jor”.

The 21-year-old said she may be­gin pre­par­ing for ex­ams for post­grad­u­ate study or to be­come a civil ser­vant in the sec­ond se­mes­ter.

Fel­low stu­dent Dong Jian said he has come to en­joy the ma­jor, even though it was not his first choice.

How­ever, the 21-year-old said he is con­fi­dent about the sec­tor’s fu­ture so he may un­der­take post­grad­u­ate study or look for work at a pri­mary or ju­nior school as a teacher of cour­ses re­lated to fam­ily life.

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