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Apr 26, 2023

Professional Post-pandemic Employment Insights For Overseas Returnee

On February 10th, Ms. Li Yijing, a partner of MentorX Education, was invited to participate in the “Duo Jing Three People Travel” live broadcast to discuss the hot topic of “Employment Opportunities for Returnees After Three Years of Epidemic.” Based on years of experience at MentorX Education, Ms. Li offered unique insights and pointed out new ways of thinking about post-epidemic job hunting for the audience and parents of students.

The employment prospects for international students in both domestic and foreign markets are facing challenges.

In 2022, with the improvement of the domestic epidemic situation, overseas study has shown signs of recovery. With the resumption of relevant exams and students returning to offline classrooms, policies favorable to overseas students have reduced the negative impact of the epidemic on overseas studies, and overseas students now face more opportunities and choices.

However, the recovery of the domestic and foreign job markets is not as optimistic as that of the overseas study market. On the one hand, due to the impact of the epidemic or self-development limitations, many companies have stopped recruiting fresh graduates for cost-saving reasons. Some even broke their contracts with new hires, including those from the world’s top 500 enterprises. On the other hand, according to data released by the Ministry of Education, the scale of graduates from ordinary colleges and universities in China is expected to reach 11.58 million in 2023, leading to unprecedented competition for employment.

At the same time, news about large-scale layoffs in companies in countries such as the UK and the US has dominated headlines for months, making it equally challenging for Chinese students studying overseas to find jobs abroad.

Ms. Li Yijing mentioned that, taking the US job market as an example, five years ago, among all international students who drew US H1B work visas, Indian students accounted for 70%, while Chinese students only accounted for 9.7%. However, the number of Chinese students studying abroad is twice that of Indian students (Chinese students account for 32%, and Indians 16%), which means that the proportion of Chinese students finding jobs in the US is not high, only about one-tenth of that of Indian students.

The reasons for this are twofold. First, Indian students are more pragmatic and tend to focus on the end goal when planning their studies. They are more likely to choose STEM majors with a higher chance of staying in the US (3 years of OPT) in areas with more H1B quotas or higher employment rates, while Chinese students tend to prioritize school rankings and may not prioritize employment as the first factor. They are more likely to choose business majors (1 year of OPT), which, combined with other factors, leads to a lower probability of being selected for H1B visas.

Second, Indian students abroad have formed a strong community and have created a “mentoring” effect, with Indian executives, middle managers, and employees being employed in large numbers in Fortune 500 companies, second only to local whites in terms of CEO representation.

However, it is reassuring that the proportion of Chinese students who draw US H1B work visas has increased to 15%, indicating that domestic students are paying more attention to overseas work and internship experiences, and proving that their abilities meet the standards of corporate employers.

Internship and practical experience have become the “golden key” to domestic and foreign employment.

According to the “2022 China Overseas Returnees Employment Survey Report” released by Zhaopin Recruitment, the number of returning students seeking employment in 2022 increased by 8.6% year-on-year. With the increasing demand for overseas talent by companies, combined with favorable policies such as regional settlement, the employment prospects for overseas students are expected to gradually improve.

Although currently some American universities have simply and rudely banned students from using ChatGPT, in the future they may gradually adjust the rules for evaluating students, such as reducing the proportion of evaluations based on written assignments or homework, and increasing the proportion of evaluations based on practical skills or classroom discussions. The changes that ChatGPT will bring about still need time to be verified.

Founded in 2015, MentorX Education mainly provides two types of business and products: pre-study abroad background enhancement projects, and overseas internship and employment projects after studying abroad. MentorX Education does not directly provide overseas internships or jobs, but teaches overseas students how to find work overseas. MentorX Education currently has 2,000 mentors from Fortune 500 companies and 4,000 cooperating companies and other overseas resources to provide job-seeking skills guidance for Chinese overseas students and provide mentor recommendations, corporate internships, and full-time job opportunities for overseas students.

Global environment is always changing, but what remains unchanged is that “opportunities are reserved for the prepared.” Taking the flagship products of MentorX Education, the US and UK products, for example, the success of Chinese students’ employment in the US and the UK depends not only on their own qualifications but also on two aspects: whether they have made career planning in advance and whether they have sought the assistance of professional companies. According to Ms. Li Yijing, currently, the employment success rate of MentorX Education’s students is relatively high. If Chinese students want to succeed in overseas employment, they need to make career planning in advance, improve their employment abilities, and timely seek professional institutions to gain more guidance and referral opportunities. Additionally, Chinese students can learn from Indian students, work together more closely, and share employment information with each other.

Vocational education will be elevated to an increasingly important position.

According to the current scale of over 10 million annual graduates, there will be over 100 million college students entering the Chinese job market in the next decade. Whether domestic or international students, there is a gap from campus to workplace that needs to be filled through the support and services of professional institutions.

As the field of vocational education gradually becomes more specialized, the demand for professional guidance before job hunting continues to grow, and the acceptance of vocational education will also be unprecedentedly improved. For companies providing services, they are still in the process of exploring.

MentorX Education mainly serves the group of Chinese students who study abroad before and after going abroad and has formed a mature methodology and curriculum system. Currently, its main business is in the United States and the United Kingdom, and this year it will expand to Australia and Canada. MentorX Education hopes that more international students will successfully gain overseas workplace experience after completing their studies, comprehensively improve themselves, and truly become international talents.

Ms. Li Yijing pointed out that Chinese international students have gone through a process of narrowing down their choice of majors to a more diverse range in recent years. While business majors were popular a few years ago, now more and more students are choosing majors such as engineering, mathematics, and computer science. To make informed choices about their majors, students need to understand the strong fields in their destination countries, such as the high employment rate of computer science majors in the United States. They also need to identify their own strengths and advantages, such as strong math skills, and consider international development trends.

MentorX Education adheres to the concept of using technology to empower education. Since its establishment, it has built its own internal platform and is currently developing an external platform. The internal platform mainly uses AI technology and system platforms to improve efficiency and customer satisfaction throughout the entire service process for students. The external platform will include information from pre-study abroad, study abroad, to internships and employment, and will be developed for use by industry consultants, students, and parents.

In addition, MentorX Education provides career planning and evaluation services for prospective international students. Through a test of about 10 minutes, they can evaluate the suitable industries based on their personality, interests, and talents, and evaluate the international development index of the industry at the same time, screening out sunrise industries to help students make more scientific major choices.

Chinese families often spare no effort in cultivating their children, and international students carry the hopes of their families. While expanding their international horizons, they also hope to achieve personal growth and demonstrate their own value.

The potential of the vocational education market is enormous, and more talented individuals and companies with a dedication to education are needed to join and work together with an open attitude for mutual benefit. MentorX Education is willing to become a “lifelong university”, building a solid bridge between the academic and employment paths of Chinese international students and helping more students move from “successful study abroad” to “successful post-graduation”.

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