White collar workers are thronging to Master of Business Administration (MBA) schools in Shanghai as the current sag in the economy leads to a sluggish job market, Shanghai Morning Post reported on January 6.
According to Shanghai-based China Europe International Business School (CEIBS), the number of applicants in its current enrollment grew 36 percent year on year. Other business schools in the city also registered a yearly increase of 10 to 20 percent in their enrollments.
An anonymous industrial insider said the phenomenon represents an international trend in which many of the white collar workers in America and European countries choose to resume studies when the economy slows down. According to the analyst, the past trend in China was the opposite. "Employees would attend schools when the economy was going well, but were reluctant to pay tuition fees when faced with the risk of recession – they needed to secure their jobs."
However, the situation has changed in recent years. Some MBA students told Shanghai Morning Post
that they plan to improve their qualifications to better their prospects of finding quality jobs in the tough times caused by the financial crisis
According to Lydia J. Price, the associate dean and academic director of MBA Program, CEIBS, the school's enrollment has registered an increase in the current semester and has not been affected by the global financial crisis. Moreover, this year, the school is attracting higher numbers of international students, who now account for about half of the total intake.
But Ms Price also said the financial crisis has impacted on students' employment prospects. This year, the number of job fairs in the school was down compared with the same period last year. According to her, it will take longer for MBA students to find jobs in the period of economic recession.
(China.org.cn by Wu Jin, January 6, 2009)