College Majors and Career Trajectories during China’s Economic Transformation

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James Lee

We request funding for our prospective Suzhou University Alumni Survey. Despite the remarkable recent expansion and re-structuring, Chinese universities have not effectively responded to the transformed economy and the shifting labor market. The proposed survey aims to provide empirical evidence from a provincial elite university, namely Suzhou University in Jiangsu, for better understanding how experience of higher education shapes individuals’ career trajectory and other life outcomes in China. The focus is on the interaction between field of study and major social and economic changes in the history of PRC. It is expected that people from different fields of study not only start career with different industries and follow distinctive career trajectories, but also fare differently during time of changes so as to become "winners" and "losers" in their generations. We plan to interview more than 10,000 Suzhou University alumni who entered Suzhou University from 1952 to 2002.

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