Survey on Delayed Employment of College Graduates

August 27, 2018
Editor: Xie Wen

China Youth Daily and jointly conducted a social investigation among 2,009 respondents to learn about the phenomenon of delayed employment among graduate students and the reasons concerned.

The survey showed that 72.9 percent of the respondents were surrounded by unemployed college graduates; 62.4 percent believed that graduates were unemployed because they have not planned for the future.

Referring to the employment of college students, 73.9 percent of the respondents suggested they should establish career ideals as soon as possible, and clearly define their career plans, whilst 57.8 percent expected colleges to provide more help concerning students' internships.

According to a counselor from the School of Chinese Classics of Renmin University of China (RUC), many graduates were eager to find a job in the past. Now, some students choose to teach in rural areas for the qualification of postgraduate recommendation, some even hold an indifferent attitude towards work and internships, as the previously sought-after secure jobs are no longer desirable to them.

A fresh graduate student from RUC believed that college students who choose delayed employment generally face less stress in life; moreover, their parents are usually open-minded and will not be anxious because their children are not working. Some students are very capable and smart, thus they are not afraid of getting a job; but some of them may be afraid of a heavy workload and fear taking on responsibility.

The survey also showed that not having their future well planned out is considered to be the most common reason for college students to choose delayed employment, accounting for 62.4 percent. Other major reasons include a lack of choice, looking forward to self-improvement, investigating the market environment and adapting to role-changing, accounted for 42.7, 34.3, 28, and 27.8 percent respectively.

According to Wang Ting, a professor at the China University of Political Science and Law, delayed employment is a new employment feature that has been gradually revealed by the new generation of college graduates who were born in the 1990s.

He believes that it is difficult for students to fully understand themselves during school, and many students are confused about their future lifestyle and career path. At present, society has been more tolerant and people's living conditions have improved, so college students are endowed with more opportunities and possibilities and parents are more respectful of their children's wishes.

Wang suggested that graduates must formulate a detailed and sufficient plan for themselves if they choose delayed employment, such as how long to prepare and what kind of pattern they would like to use. In this way, their time during the delay can be meaningful and will be helpful when making career choices in the future.

Xia Qingyun, an associate researcher at the China Institute for Employment Research, said that delayed employment for college students is gradually being accepted and practiced and has become a new employment concept.

According to Xia, for some college graduates, it is difficult to find a job they like and that can support their living. In addition, there are many new occupations in the workplace, such as WeChat-based businesses, live-streaming host, etc., which are not ideal work in the view of the public, and they provide students with new employment channels.

Xia pointed out that delayed employment seems to be related to the improvement of economic conditions of families and social environment, but it also reflects the lack of career education. He suggested to strengthen students' understanding of their careers since junior and senior high school.

In addition, the relevant government employment service departments should introduce policies, pay attention to the role of small and medium-sized enterprises and private enterprises in absorbing employment.

Meanwhile, they can incorporate campus recruitment into the scope of special activities for public employment services, encourage qualified enterprises to offer more internships and formulate policies and measures to support the whole process of business startup to enhance the success rate of entrepreneurship.

Among the respondents who participated in the survey, 28.4 percent lived in first-tier cities, 45.3 percent in second-tier cities; respondents still in school accounted for 57.5 percent, fresh graduates accounted for 9.6 percent, and 31.6 percent have worked.

(Source: and edited by Women of China)

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