Christian Living

chinaconnection 03/02/09

Will Plastic Surgery Help You Get a Job?

This year a record 6.1 million students will graduate from Chinese universities.  In most years, this number would represent a sign of China's educational progress over the past few decades.  In the 1980s, only about 3% of Chinese students attended college, versus about 20% today.

But the current financial landscape has definitely cast a dark shadow over what should be a graduation celebration.  According to a recent survey by the Social Survey Institute of China, about 65% of those who graduated from college in 2008 are out of work. 

Prospects don't look too much better for upcoming 2009 graduates, either.  Multiple companies nationwide have been laying off workers, and few are actively recruiting right now.  At a January job fair for college graduates in Hangzhou, 150,000 applicants were competing for only about 12,000 jobs offered by 700 companies. 

Government jobs are no less competitive, as 770,000 students took the December civil service exam, in hopes of getting one of only 13,500 jobs.

So what's an aspiring employee to do?

Various government agencies are trying to encourage students to broaden their career horizons and move west.  The Ministry of Education will hire 30,000 recent grads to teach in rural schools.  It's also providing incentives for graduates to join the army, and later return to school to further their education.

While these options might appeal to some, the thought of living in a remote village could be a complete contrast from the ideals of several young students who were intent on working for a multinational corporation and climbing the corporate ladder.    

Launching a new business could be another promising option, but securing the resources in the current environment can present a formidable challenge. 

Some are even turning to plastic surgery to stand out from the over seven million recent grads who will be searching for work this year.  Dr. Zhao Yu of the No. 1 Hospital affiliated with Anhui University told Xinhua News that between four and five recent college graduates come into the hospital for plastic surgery every day, which makes up half of the total number of patients.

Wealthy parents are willing to pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars to help their children gain any type of competitive advantage in the job market.  Of course, there's no guarantee they'll ever see a return on that investment. 

While the state of China's economy and job market remains less than promising, not everyone is suffering.  With millions of talented Chinese graduates willing to work, employers looking to hire are in great shape.

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