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INFOGRAPHIC | Where Are You Going after Graduation, Seniors?

11 December 2019 | By Xu Yiwen, Tong Yingying, Liu Keyuan and Zhou Jiawen | Copyedited by Li Lei


here to go after 4 year’s study in college? Go to work? Take a gap year or get a master’s degree? These are the questions faced by every SISUer (students of Shanghai International Studies University). It could be even more complicated when graduates come to consider where to work-- stay in Shanghai, go to other cities or back to hometown-- or where to be further educated--in SISU, other Chinese universities or go abroad. And, after all, why do we make these decisions—in other words, what factors are playing a role in doing so? To answer and dig deeper in all these questions, we did a survey, looked up data and talked with several students and teachers.

Female Students account for 86.4% of our respondents while male constitute 13.6%, which corresponds to SISU’s guy-to-girl ratio to a large extent.


Twenty-nine Shanghai students make up 24.6% of our respondents, followed by students from Jiangsu Province, accounting for 8.5%. Zhejiang, Anhui and Guangdong come out third, respectively holding a share of 6%.



Three major whereabouts for SISU graduates are attending graduate school, starting a business and holding a job.

About two-thirds of our respondents plan to attend graduate school. The other 3% include gap year, not clear, take over family business, etc.



Statistics differ when it comes to areas of expertise between students with distinct choices. But in both categories, over half of the students choose to stay in their own field.




Language studies majors include the School of English Studies, the School of French and Francophone Studies, the School of European and Latin American Studies, the School of Japanese Studies, the School of Asian and African Studies, the School of Russian and Eurasian Studies and the School of Germanic Studies. Others fall into the category of interdisciplinary majors.



Over half students from interdisciplinary majors plan to stick to their own field, 23 percent more than their peers majoring in language studies.



Taking the postgraduate entrance exam is the primary way for the students who plan to pursue postgraduate study.



SISU attracts the most among graduate schools. Other popular choices include Fudan University and Shanghai Jiaotong University. 



As for those who plan to go abroad for further study, the US and the UK are the most popular destinations, followed by France, Germany and Japan.



When it comes to reasons for postgraduate study, they say……



Half are planning to work in private enterprises with another 40 percent scattering in state-owned enterprises and public institutions.



Three quarters are planning to get a job in first-tier cities of China’s Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen.



Over three quarters students from interdisciplinary majors plan to stick to their own field in the workplace, 20 percent more than their peers majoring in language studies.



When it comes to why to get a job, they say……

 Notes: We handed out digital questionnaires in October and November 2019 on So Jump, an online website for questionnaires. The above info-graphs and explanations are based on our 118 valid feedbacks and SISU’s employment quality report for graduates of 2018.

 Start a business— Why? How? And what could we get?

 “Though few graduates choose to set up their own business, the number is growing these years,” said Huang Yuting, adviser at SISU’s Career Center. SISU has been long supporting students from all grades to innovate by holding practice & training projects every year. But it isn’t easy and common for students to start something on their own.

According to Huang, there are some successful case, most of which are in the field of language education, media and advertising. Majors in Journalism, Zhao Heng is a senior student who is considering to set up an educational institution after graduation. “A job or a master’s degree? Neither am I interested in, so doing something on my own became the best choice,” said Zhao. Now he is teaching middle school students at home and plans to apply for an official educational qualification in the fullness of time. This, however, is the biggest problem confronting him. “The criteria is complicated. Besides, education is in fact a quite competitive industry. Getting started is easy, but surviving is the most important and difficult thing.”

Some choose to start from their major while others want to try something different. Qi Xiaoyue, a senior student who majors in Italian, has decided to set up a dance studio with two close friends. “I love dancing, and that’s my hobby since primary school. It is really great to work on what you really like,” said Qi. Speaking of switching from Italian studies to dancing, Qi thought it’s nothing big, “Nobody said one must work on what he/she majors in. I like the Italian language too, but jobs related to it are mostly office work in foreign companies. I don’t like that.”

“SISU is expected to invest more on concerning issues. We hope SISUer could pay more attention on the information we release on our WeChat subscription account SHISU Career,” suggested Huang.


Press Contact

SISU News Center, Office of Communications and Public Affairs

Tel : +86 (21) 3537 2378

Email :

Address :550 Dalian Road (W), Shanghai 200083, China

Further Reading