Article in the Times yesterday will no doubt get a lot of play in the expat community. The premise (my comments after the jump):
Shanghai and Beijing are becoming new lands of opportunity for recent American college graduates who face unemployment nearing double digits at home.
Even those with limited or no knowledge of Chinese are heeding the call. They are lured by China’s surging economy, the lower cost of living and a chance to bypass some of the dues-paying that is common to first jobs in the United States. (New York Times)
Right. Well, it may be true that lots of kids are coming over here looking for work, but I think the Times piece was a bit too optimistic. You may notice that all the kids interviewed came here with relatively no skills, language or otherwise, and within two years, they are all speaking fluent Chinese and working in management positions.
Sorry, that is some real skewed bullshit writing there. Sure, you can always find a few success stories. I think, though, that it would have been responsible to interview one of the failure stories. You know, something like:
Billy Bob Ruppert came to Beijing after graduating from the Tulsa School of Performing Math and, even though he spoke no Chinese, he jumped into the job market with a great deal of enthusiasm.
After a stint as an English teacher and an editor with China Daily, Billy Bob is down on his luck, got kicked out of his apartment, and now spends his days picking the pockets of the tourists at the Oriental Plaza and turning tricks outside the South Gate of Ritan Park.
My point: this is a very tough market. One of the first things that companies do when the economy gets nasty is to get rid of the (expensive) foreigners. If you are a kid looking for an internship or entry-level position that pays practically nothing, maybe there are still opportunities, but certainly a lot fewer than the Times article suggests.