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Chinese students at “disadvantage” in US jobs market

A new white paper has claimed that while an increasing number of Chinese students are taking advantage of opportunities for career development and work experience in the US, they are at a “clear disadvantage” in the jobs market compared to Indian students.

The paper examines how Chinese students fit into foreign workforces. Image: BOSSA

Indian students have a linguistic advantage over Chinese counterparts

Based on industry data and a survey of 35,000 Chinese and US students and parents, the ‘2018 White Paper on Career for Chinese Students in the US’ was jointly published the Beijing Overseas Study Service Association and MentorX among others and provides an analysis of Chinese students’ plans after graduating from US institutions.

“Indian students’ number of H1-B visas is four times that of Chinese students”

Referring to IIE Open Doors data, the paper points out that China accounted for 32.5% of the total of international students in the US in 2017, followed by Indian students (17.3%).

Due to the increasing number of Chinese students studying in the US, the paper explains, more Chinese students are looking towards visa options that allow them to take advantage of post-study work and internship opportunities

Using Department of Homeland Security data around the number of H1-B visas approved in FY2017, the paper revealed that India and China combined accounted for 85% of the H1-B work visa quota.

However, it points out that Indian applicants who successfully applied for H1-B at the first attempt accounted for 62.7% of the total number (about 67,815) compared to just 14% made up by Chinese applicants (about 15,185).

“Although the total number of Indian students is only half that of Chinese students, [their] number of H1-B visas is four times that of Chinese students,” the paper read.

It suggests that this may be due to Indian students having a “strong sense of career planning”, as 80% choose to major in a STEM subject.

“India’s IT industry is very developed and… Indian students have a clear direction in professional choice,” it added.

By contrast, Chinese students are more dispersed in their professional choices – 44% of Chinese students chose to major in a STEM subject, with the remainder scattered across subjects including business management, social sciences, and art & design.

Additionally, the paper continued, English is one of the official languages of India, which gives Indian graduates a “linguistic advantage” over their Chinese counterparts in the job search process.

BOSSA spokesperson Jon Santangelo told The PIE News that Chinese graduates now actively seek out practical work opportunities to build their competitive advantage in China.

“While enrolled in the US, many overseas students simply want to find temporary or part-time work in the food & beverage or service industries just to make some income or to experience a form of working culture while abroad,” he added.

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