CHINA / National

Business studies a 'major' problem
By Zhao Ziran (China Daily)
Updated: 2006-07-24 05:53

If a nation's readiness to plug into the global economy is gauged by how many of its college students are studying international business, China must be the world champion.

Next year, there will be more than 100,000 college graduates, or around 2.5 per cent of the nation's total, majoring in business management, international trade and economics.

But at a time when many new graduates are having a hard time finding jobs in these fields, some educators are wondering whether it's really necessary to have so many young people studying international business.

And if not, then what subjects should they choose or, as the practice in most cases, should parents be choosing for their children?

Chen Xi, 18, is among those who sat for the national college entrance exam in early June; and her parents want her to major in international trade, even though she hardly has any idea what it entails.

For years, majors such as international trade, business administration and economics have been popular among senior middle school graduates and their parents.

Most of them were attracted to those majors based on a vague notion that job prospects are more lucrative than others, though reality upon graduation can be vastly different from expectation.

In fact, according to an online survey conducted in June by China Youth Daily and the Internet portal, 4,600 respondents rated Chinese, international politics, law, business, computer science and economics as the top fields where graduates face the toughest job market. Quite often, these students end up getting jobs that have nothing to do with their majors.

When Xu Wenjing entered Xi'an International Studies University to study international trade, she thought she was lucky. But when she left college in 2001, she could not get a satisfactory job offer that matched her major and started a career as an English teacher.

"Companies only recruit people with experience," Xu said. "A new college graduate can hardly be part of that game."

The strange phenomenon is that though parents know there are not enough jobs for business graduates, they still push their children into those majors.
Page: 12