Philosophy major tops graduate earnings
LOCAL college students who graduated this year had an average monthly starting pay of 4,990 yuan (US$735), up 6.8 percent from last year's graduates, according to a report released yesterday.
The employment promotion office in Shanghai said their salaries were expected to rise 20 percent after a year, judging by previous years.
Generally speaking, the higher the educational diplomas graduates have, the higher their salaries will be.
The average starting pay for junior college students and higher vocational school students is 3,729 yuan a month, while it is 4,410 yuan for undergraduates, and 7,389 yuan for postgraduates.
Graduates majoring in management, philosophy and engineering topped other majors, with starting salaries ranging from 5,619 to 6,054 yuan a month, while those majoring in agriculture and literature were at the bottom with 4,403 and 4,590 yuan per month respectively.
Researchers said philosophy students often went on to be postgraduates, which gave them a higher starting salary over other students. "Most of them work in universities and research institutes, and a few worked in companies unrelated to their major, such as consulting or IT enterprises," said Wang Jiawen, one of the report's researchers and an official at the employment promotion office.
Finance and IT were the two industries offering highest pay for graduates, according to the report, both above 6,000 yuan per month.
Community service and the health sector had the fastest increase in jobs for graduates, due to a surging demand for new talent.
Graduates started at 5,186 yuan a month in health and the social service industry, up 21.7 percent from last year, while those in community service, such as repair service, started at 4,766 yuan a month, up 23.9 percent.
Plans to turn Shanghai into a global financial center was expected to see a continuing increase in pay rises for financially trained graduates.
Experts, however, reminded students that they should focus more on the development prospects of companies than just looking at starting pay. Some startup enterprises might offer low pay for its new employees, but would reward them well once they had proved themselves, the experts said.