In Tune With the Times China’s economic, technological and social evolution sparks rise of new professions
Tian Junzhang never thought he would get the chance to enter an emerging profession. He had always wanted to become a flight attendant, but life had other plans for the young man. A few years ago, Tian found himself drawn to livestreaming on an e-commerce platform as an online sales host. He found this new job so fascinating that in 2019 Tian and his friends decided to launch their own company in this booming field.
This year, he graduated from a university in north China’s Hebei Province and his business couldn’t be better. “Many of the former students from my class now work for an airline. But I decided to work in a job that challenges me more. I am delighted to be able to ride the wave of livestreaming sales. It has changed my life,” he told Hebei Daily.
Much to his surprise, Tian found his new line of work is classified as a “new profession,” in China. In July, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security (MOHRSS) identified nine new professions, including the most popular of its kind currently in China: livestreaming host.
As a direct result of China’s latest socio-economic development, these new professions have emerged and brought more opportunities for young people and those seeking jobs. Like Tian, many prefer to acquire new skills to strengthen their competitiveness in an already crowded labor market.
In the last two years, a total of 38 new professions have been officially identified by the MOHRSS. This year emerging professions that include blockchain application operator,
e-learning content provider, online order deliverer and geriatrician were given the official green light.
According to the MOHRSS, companies should standardize the recruitment of positions for these new professions, and provide relevant training. For employees, they will now be able to better direct and plan their careers. For new professionals, the state recognition brings a definite sense of stability and hope. Some new professions have found it difficult to obtain an official title, which has therefore negatively affected the way they are seen by public opinion, which often remains very traditional. More often than not, these new professions are seen as “useless” by the older generation. Granting them a clear and official recognition is therefore a way of promoting equality and open-mindedness in an ever-changing society.
Zhang Jing, 28, is a good example of this emerging trend. Having worked as a geriatrician for five years, she confessed that there were many times when she wanted to quit. Even her own parents did not understand what her job was about. This year’s official recognition of her profession confirmed that she did well to persevere. “We have turned a corner. The elderly care sector will be more standardized in the future,” she told Jinan Daily.
The rising prospect of these new professions will also play a role in helping to relieve the pressure on the job market. This year, 8.47 million young graduates will compete for a place in a weakened labor market, which was recently affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the recruitment platform qlrc.com, 42.25 percent of graduates in east China’s Shandong Province intend to join new and emerging professions.
Faced with the difficulty of finding a job in his field, Yang Jian, an architecture graduate, finally decided to turn to short video content creation. He now works 12 hours a day and earns an average of 10,000 yuan ($1,441) a month, which is more than the average salary of other young graduates. “By working hard, I will [eventually] be able to earn a good salary, as much as if I were working in a more traditional sector,” he told Qilu Evening News.
According to a report of Meituan, an online platform, 24.6 percent of workers who have found employment in emerging professions earn more than 10,000 yuan ($1,441) per month and 5.64 percent have an income of more than 25,000 yuan ($3,603) per month.
In fact, there are many more new professions than the 38 officially recognized categories. Other alternative careers that are gaining in popularity include storage consultant and pet photographer.
Employment acts as the “barometer” of an economy. On the one hand, new jobs are meeting the demands of the booming market. On the other hand, they themselves create new demands for different professional skills.
In recent years, new digital technologies, such as cloud computing, Big Data, the Internet of Things (IOT) and artificial intelligence (AI), have developed rapidly in China. According to the China Internet Information Center, China’s digital economy accounts for more than one-third of its current GDP and this share is bound to increase exponentially in the future. Moreover, new digital technologies have been successfully integrated into traditional sectors. This combination has given rise to new business models, which have generated a large number of jobs, Pan Helin, Executive Director of the Academy of Digital Economy at the Zhongnan University of Economics and Law, in central China’s Hubei Province, told 21st Century Business Herald.
On July 15, China’s National Development and Reform Commission and 12 other central departments jointly issued a directive to support the development of 15 new business models, such as distance learning, automated economy, sharing economy and telemedicine in the country.
Currently, the development of digital technologies has influenced all aspects of modern life, even traditional sectors such as marketing and sales. According to the MOHRSS, the growth of e-marketing sectors such as short video production and livestreaming has attracted more than 800 million regular users. As a result, the number of e-marketing experts has grown rapidly in China, at a rate of 8.8 percent per month. Many SMES and microenterprises have been revitalized by launching online sales channels, generating sales of 100 billion yuan ($14.41 billion).
New digital technologies have been successfully integrated into traditional sectors. This combination has given rise to new business models, which have generated a large number of jobs. PAN HELIN Executive Director of the Academy of Digital Economy at the Zhongnan University of Economics and Law