With a population of 1.3 billion, China recently became the second largest economy and is increasingly playing an important and influential role in the global economy.

There are many reasons why Chinese students with an international education are in demand in China. The core advantages of studying abroad are the improved English language skills and the broadening international networks which increase your ability to work with a diverse client base.

However, there can also be a down side to studying abroad. If you’re studying on a one year master’s programme it’s difficult to complete internships, which are a common requirement in the Chinese market. We’ve also had feedback from a number of Chinese recruiters that are concerned returning graduates can be unrealistic regarding salary expectations when in competition with domestic students studying at prestigious universities in China.

Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Guangzhou are still the most popular places for students to find work, however students are starting to consider tier two cities such as Chengdu, Suzhou and Dalian.

Due to the growth in China’s IT and mobile internet services sector there are a number of fantastic opportunities and roles available. Companies such as Tencent, Baidu and Alibaba have a great presence in the market and represent the potential in this sector for increasing graduate opportunities across all service areas. Many Chinese graduates are also looking to start their own businesses due to the increased opportunities available in the consumer market ($4.7 trillion). Young entrepreneurs have multiple choices of financing options at every stage of business development. Plus the opportunities to add value and create scalable businesses in this sector are huge.

Recruitment timelines in China

As the recruitment landscape in China is so diverse, it’s difficult to provide a comprehensive overview. The recruitment timeline in China for foreign investment enterprises or local private enterprises is generally August to October which can make it difficult for one year master’s students to apply. However, many employers are starting to use remote methods of recruitment, such as video interviews, Skype interviews or, if they have a UK office, setting up interviews here. We have also seen an increase in Chinese employers presenting their roles to students here on campus. If this isn’t possible, many employers recruit throughout the year meaning that you should be able to set up interviews when you return from your studies. We also organise careers fairs throughout August in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong each year which many employers attend, keen to attract returning talent, so look out for those.

Developing your network

There are strategies you can use whilst here in the UK to help you prepare for your return. We would strongly advise that you start networking with LSE alumni who have found roles in China. To help you connect you can use platforms such as LinkedIn or the LSE alumni associations in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong. Most companies and organisations in China have official accounts on social media sites and advertise positions through them. The main sites to use are Weibo and WeChat.

You might also be interested in looking at LSE graduate profiles to get an idea of different career paths of LSE alumni.

Searching for opportunities

If you’re keen to start searching for roles in China whilst you’re in the UK, CareerHub currently has 36 live vacancies in China, and this is something we are continually looking to grow. You can also use Chinese job sites to look for roles. We have found the following sites of most use to LSE students:

Chinese language job sites

51 Job
China HR
Student Zhaopin

English language job sites

Gradlink China
XPATjobs China

We also have links to all the sites on the China pages on the LSE Careers website.

Understanding the Chinese market

The last bit of advice from Chinese recruiters is to keep well-informed of market updates in China. If you’re applying for roles in China it’s incredibly important to know what’s going on in the local market and to be clear on why you are looking to return to China to develop your career. To help with this, we will be hosting a Careers in China Breakfast on Friday 10 March. Come along to meet with employers looking to recruit Chinese graduates in China.