Higher education brings few guarantees

When Sam Gu was admitted to college four years ago, his parents were ecstatic. His father, an electric welder, and his mother, a cleaner at a hotel in Gu’s hometown of Wuxi, a small city near Shanghai, hoped that their son would vault into the middle class, writes Gu Yongqiang for TIME.

But the family’s first college graduate is facing a grim job market in a country that desperately needs to employ its best and brightest in order to avoid social instability and trigger a further economic slowdown.

This year almost seven million graduates will pour into China’s job market, the highest number ever recorded in the People’s Republic’s history. By the end of April, only 35% of soon-to-be college graduates had found jobs, according to a survey by MyCOS, a data firm in Beijing. Postgraduates were faring even worse, with merely 26% having signed an employment contract.
Full report on the TIME site