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求职专业不对口?专家来支招 Attitudes to majors change completely

For some students, their major may serve as a path to a lifelong career. For others, their major only represents a transient academic interest.


According to a recent career survey released by Beijing Municipal Commission of Education, about 45 percent of graduate students work in an area unrelated to their major.

When they first started university, only 25 percent of them were satisfied with their major, while 17 percent were unsatisfied with their curriculum.

Cao Xuelin, 27, an online game designer at Tencent Technology (Shenzhen) Co Ltd, studied a purely theoretic discipline but now finds himself working in a very pragmatic industry.

“I studied mathematics at university, not computer science, but I began to work as a software designer after my graduation,” said Cao, who initially thought he would become a math teacher or work for a research institute.

It is difficult finding a job relating to a specific major, especially when your major is regarded as highly “impractical”. In fact, many of Cao’s classmates became finance analysts or even work in public relations.

“Assuming a job has to be tied directly to your major is a very old-fashioned way of thinking. Employers’attitudes have changed completely,” said Wang Xiaojun, HR director at General Electric Company.

“Knowledge, adaptability, practical work experience and the ability to analyze from a well-rounded perspective are more important to employers than your major.”

Sometimes, when you engage in a different field of work, you may not even realize how much your college major is helping you. Chen Juan, 24, a psychology major from Beijing Normal University, now works for Ogilvy & Mather Advertising as a project manager.


“Psychology helps a lot at work because my current job involves a lot of consumer strategy. It also requires the ability to do research and data analysis, which I honed during my studies,” she said. As a result, when Chen looks at the resumes of potential hires, she doesn’t restrict herself to looking at those with a major specifically relating to advertising.

“Even if a candidate majored in biology, I would only consider their genuine interest in the advertising and marketing industry.”

So, how should students deal with the potential discord between their major and career? One possibility is to study across a wide range, or to foster interests in different areas.

“If you major in mathematics, you can study finance and computer programming in your spare time,” Cao said. “If you combine them with your strategic thinking or data analysis skills, it can make you more flexible during job-hunting.”

An increasing number of training courses are teaching students skills to start their careers, such as secretaries or accountants. Such training is an opportunity to turn study into a lifelong cause.

Last month, the Chinese University of Hong Kong announced a variety of professional, general and distance learning programs with the School of Continuing and Professional Studies and the Shenzhen Research Institute.

The courses on offer cover a wide range of disciplines, including management, social sciences, information technology and the environment.

“We introduced them with the aim of increasing people’s access to continuing, lifelong education,” said Dr Ella P. O. Chan, director of the School of Continuing and Professional Studies.

Above all, Zhu Hong, director of the Employment Guidance Center at Nankai University, believes that studying one’s major well still matters. “Explore, have fun, and consult your faculty, friends and family when in need of guidance.”

























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