Not all is rosy in the world of Chinese graduates. Job fairs around the country see tens of thousands lining up to look for better opportunities.

More than 15% of graduates were unemployed 2 months after graduation in 2013. And when they do find a job, it is often not what they had prepared or hoped for. Instead, it is often a fairly prospect-less role in a call center, as a sales agent, or as a receptionist.

To pile misery on misery, wages for graduates have been essentially flat in real terms since 2006, during which the average per square foot price of an apartment, the prerequisite of a middle class lifestyle, has risen 6% in real terms per annum, leaving new graduates with diminished prospects of getting on the real estate ladder.

The relative return of a degree is diminishing as urban salaries of those without university education converge with those that do – the former rising from 40% of the latter in 2006, to over 80% in 2012.

Chinese students must be asking themselves the question: Is university worth it?

 
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