Saturday, 22 December 2007

Problem of "Over education" in China

There are numerous studies in the UK and the West looking at the problem of over education - that is, having a higher level of educational qualification than is required for current employment.

This problem is often associated with recent immigrants and University graduates. Crucially for UK Universities the supply of Chinese postgraduate and undergraduate students brings in large amounts of money.

More recently there have been less Chinese coming despite an growing middle class in China. We have discussed many of the reasons on this blog before (better Universities in China, visa costs, exchange rates, low wages in China, high cost of fees in the UK, lack of jobs in China etc.).

The relatively low wages, especially in relation to the cost of education, is a primary reason.

This post from Silk Road Blog provides an excellent real world insight.

Think of the economics behind this post.

Shanghai'd! [The Silk Road Blog]

I always learn new things on business trips, and this trip to Shanghai has been no different.

First, after a day at a tradeshow I love to break the bank and fork over the big money and have a $10 two-hour foot massage. But this time I got more than the foot massage, I got an education. The 24-year-old girl that massaged my feet was a recent college graduate. She had a degree in Computer Science and had very very good English—good enough that for the entire two hours we could talk about everything: politics, economics, Shanghai pop culture and why she was rubbing feet instead of working elsewhere. Why? She explained that she can get 3x the money every month doing massages (even with no “special” services for customers) than she could working for a computer company, doing retail sales or even selling real-estate; all of which she’s done in the two years since graduation. The glut of (sometimes unqualified) college graduates and the uncontrolled migration into Shanghai have, predictably, made a buyers market for college graduates here. The going monthly rate in Shanghai is somewhere around $250 for someone with a college degree, decent English and some specialized skills (accounting, computers, etc.)

This should be a warning for America! How long do you think that 1-2 million college grads each year are going to be satisfied rubbing feet? Even with good money my bet is not for long. Due to this glut, there is a huge opportunity for entrepreneurialism in China’s immediate future. This has been one of the biggest critiques of China “they just aren’t creative or independent thinkers.” And I agree. But as an American I also believe that necessity is the mother of invention. There just aren’t going to be millions and millions of satisfied college educated graduates every year, year on year. Is not going to happen. You’re been warned.



cheapflightsbeijing said...

Education should be free in the country,

Pauline said...

Better than the anecdotal "foreigner in the East" story: Esquire published a story two years ago about outsourcing administrative professionals to highly competent Indians for $1000 a month. It's a great article.

...I'm not totally sure my Chinese colleagues have such a mastery of Excel though.

Mike said...

Nice blog !!!!! .I am interest to post comment in this blog about my china trip last year .me and my family member enjoyed lot . Hukou Waterfalls (Kettle Spout Falls) is very beautiful waterfall in china .
The Yellow River is the mother river of the Chinese nation. In its basin, there is a tourist attraction that visitors should not miss. That is Hukou Waterfalls, a glistening pearl in the middle reaches of the Yellow River. It is located in Yichuan County in Yan'an City, Shaanxi Province. It is the only magnificent yellow waterfall in the world and the second biggest waterfall in China after Huangguoshu Waterfall .
When the mighty Yellow River flows through mountains and gorges to Hukou, the billowy water streams narrow suddenly, falling 30 meters (33 yards) into a deep riverbed like a herd of galloping horses, transforming the quiet river into a turbulent one. The thundering sound can be heard from quite a distance. The tremendous mass of water strikes the rocks, creating piles of foam and huge water poles. It is an amazing view with mist all around. The riverbed here is like an enormous teapot absorbing all the rushing water, so the waterfall is named Hukou Waterfalls (Kettle Spout Falls). No matter its rumbling sound, its grand vigor or its marvelous scenery can make you exclaim that the nature is really incredible.
The power of the yellow water of Hukou Waterfalls is tremendous when falling down to the pond, so it is hard for you to get close to the main waterfall. Looking from a distance, you still can enjoy the vast and gorgeous yellow ocean of mist-covered water. The big waves and foam, like angry beasts, are running and roaring. The beauty and vigor of the waterfalls are indeed beyond words. You cannot know unless you visit it in person.
There are many wonders at Hukou Waterfalls, such as smoke from the river, boats on land, rainbows in the sunshine, and so on. In Hukou the water falls to the deep pond from a relatively high place, stirring the mist which rises high into the air like surging heavy smoke coming out of the river. You can see various shapes of rainbows formed by the rising mist, refracted by the sunshine from different angles. Sometimes rainbows are arched, cutting into the river from the sky like a dragon playing with water; sometimes they are colored ribbons lying across the river; sometimes they become colorful masses which change second by second. The water in Hukou is very much torrential, so all the boats from the upper reaches must be pulled out of the river onto to the bank when they arrive. These boats will have to detour around this section, carried by a group of boatmen or shipped by truck before they can be put in the river again.
The view of Hukou Waterfalls changes according to the seasons. In spring the frozen ground thaws and the stalactites of snow fall into the pond like the mountains collapsing and the earth cracking up. In summer and autumn there is much rainfall. With the rains, the river rushes and the yellow waves seem to reach the sky. In winter Hukou Waterfalls gives the visitors another new look. On the surface of the silvery ice waterfalls, cool water flows down. Little silver icicles hang on the cliffs around the waterfalls. It presents you a distinctive natural landscape of the northern region of China.
The Hukou Waterfalls has for years attracted visitors from all over the world. You can have a better understanding of natural wonder if you come here in person. The Hukou Waterfalls will give you a warm welcome with its thrilling sound, rolling golden waves, changing scenery and majestic vigor.
Transportation: You can take number 4, 6, 16, or 19 bus to the bus station in Yanan City and then taking the regular buses to Hukou Waterfalls. The buses to Hukou Waterfalls will be delivered every 30 minutes and the whole journey will take you about four hours.