China’s vocational secondary schools and training programs are unpopular because they are seen as dead-ends, with virtually no chance of moving on to a four-year university. They also suffer from a stigma: they are seen as schools for people from peasant backgrounds, and are seldom chosen by more affluent and better-educated students from towns and cities.
Many youths from rural areas who graduate from college, like Wang, are also hostile to factory jobs.
He is toying with other ideas to earn a living, but learning vocational skills is not one of them. One idea he has is to buy rabbits from wholesalers in the countryside, set out a mat along a Guangzhou street and sell the animals as pets or food.
“I’m not afraid of hard work; it’s the lack of status,” he said. “The more educated people are, the less they want to work in a factory.”