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Adapting to the Challenging Job Market: Chinese University Students Opt for Graduation Postponement

Chinese college students have manifested a growing trend of  opting to delay their graduation in response to the country’s economic downturn and rising youth unemployment rates. These students are facing difficulties in finding jobs and are choosing to extend their education in order to enhance their employment prospects. While delaying graduation was previously stigmatized, the current job market conditions have made this decision more acceptable.

The reasons behind the decision to delay graduation include the challenging job search process, prompting students to engage in additional internships and bolster their resumes to become more competitive. Some students opt for a delay because they did not gain admission to graduate school and decided to pursue stable jobs before attempting to enter the system as fresh graduates. Others seek an extra year to accommodate time constraints or personal circumstances, utilizing this period to apply for doctoral programs.

The Taiwan based Central News Agency report highlights the case of a journalism graduate student named Xiao Le, who believes that delaying graduation was the right choice due to the demanding curriculum and the university’s internship requirements. Xiao Le encountered health issues and anxiety related to a previous internship, leading her to seek advice from mentors, senior students, and friends. They advised her to take an additional year to prioritize her well-being.

According to Xiao Le, many students in her class have also decided to delay graduation. Some aim to reapply as fresh graduates after being rejected by their desired companies, while others pursue internships in Internet companies to increase their chances of securing employment in the challenging job market.

Given the intense competition in the current Chinese job market, many students are engaging in extensive internships alongside their heavy academic workload. Students are realizing that pursuing higher education does not guarantee a smooth transition into the job market, resulting in increased exhaustion and stress.

Source: Central News Agency (Taiwan), June 21, 2023