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Homemade graduates getting the edge in the job market

2013-11-29 15:37:36Source:Global TimesAuthor:

Shanghai media recently carried a story about a Chinese graduate who had studied abroad but had had to lower his salary expectations after being unable to find a decent offer at a job fair in Shanghai.

The graduate majored in biology in the US but found that his overseas education didn't give him any advantages over local graduates. He had to lower his monthly salary expectations to 5,000 yuan ($820) - the same as local graduates.

Overseas returnees are reportedly no longer getting paid as much as before because they have few advantages over local graduates, who can speak foreign languages and are more familiar with the domestic market.

What do Shanghai expats think about the local job market? What experiences do they have looking for work in Shanghai?

Stacey Swanson, from the US, PR manager

"I first moved to Shanghai to study at university and after I graduated I decided to stay and look for a job. When I first started to look for a job I expected to receive a monthly salary of about 10,000 to 12,000 yuan because I knew that was what my expat friends were making. I was lucky enough to find a job within a month and one that I really liked but that was three years ago. I know that now it's getting much harder for recent graduates to find a job here. The number of expats seeking jobs in Shanghai has grown rapidly since the economic crisis struck the US and Europe and more and more foreigners are coming to China seeking new opportunities. But job opportunities for expats are getting harder and harder every year. Foreigners don't seem to be as wanted by Chinese employers anymore. Many Chinese go to study abroad now and come back home with the same degrees that the expats that live here have. Plus they speak Putonghua while many expats working here don't."

Clara Noble, from Canada, teacher

"I moved to Shanghai over a year ago. I wasn't happy with my job back home and my friend who lives here told me so many great things about life in Shanghai that I decided to take a chance and move. I didn't have a job set up before moving but I heard from my friend that it was fairly easy to get a teaching job here. And it was really easy. I found an English teaching job within few weeks of moving and I couldn't be happier with it. It's well-paid and I really enjoy it.

In the last few months I have noticed that it is getting harder and harder for foreign teachers to get a teaching job in Shanghai. More language schools are looking for experienced and qualified teachers whereas before you didn't even need to have any teaching experience to land a teaching job. There are more and more expats moving here and the job opportunities are not that great anymore. A lot of my expat friends have decided to move back home in recent months as the salaries are not as attractive as they used to be."

Nicholas Jones, from the UK, project manager

"I decided to move to Shanghai over two years ago after I received a very attractive job offer. The salary was great and living in Shanghai sounded really exotic to me. I'd never been to Asia before I moved here. The job is great and I have no plans to leave. But I know I am one of the lucky few expats who was able to secure a job before moving here.

I know a lot of my friends are struggling to find jobs in Shanghai. As the job prospects in Europe and the US are getting weaker and weaker, more foreigners are deciding to look for job opportunities in China. That's why it's not that easy to find a job in Shanghai anymore. Local graduates are as qualified as foreigners are. Many of them have overseas degrees and speak many languages while many expats are still struggling to learn Chinese so local employers don't see the point in hiring foreign talent anymore. They have no advantage over locals and they expect to be paid higher salaries. Language skills are definitely important. I feel that foreigners will slowly get fazed out of the Chinese job market."