Sat, May 28, 2011 - Page 2 News List

Report paints bleak picture of new graduates’ life

By Lin Hsiao-yun and Hu Ching-hui  /  Staff Reporters

The Ministry of Education yesterday unveiled the results of a report on the work conditions and salaries of 250,000 vocational, college, university and graduate students one year after their 2008 graduation.

The report, produced by National Taiwan Normal University, said the average monthly salary for vocational school and college graduates was about NT$25,000, with more than 97 percent of graduates who needed a student loan for their education still in debt.

About 15 percent, or 37,000, were unemployed at the time of the survey and 10 percent had been without a job for more than a year.

Youth Labor Union 95 executive member Hu Meng-yu (胡孟瑀) said the salary for college graduates was lower than four years ago because of low starting salaries and the relatively low value of education, adding that the “22k” subsidization policy implemented by the government had “twisted the labor market the wrong way.”

The situation for young men living in poverty has become worse, Hu said.

The report found the level of current students who were worried about not finding a job after graduation had dropped to freshman level, adding that they worried most about whether they would be able to find a job, let alone their ideal job.

The No. 2 worry was Taiwan’s development and future, the report said, adding that bad time management and fundamental capabilities, such as Chinese and English-language skills, as well as judgment, ranked high in most freshmen’s minds.

The report also showed that the average sleeping time for freshmen and juniors was less than seven hours per night. Students spent three to four hours per day on the Internet, worked seven to 10 hours per week and the thing that disturbed them most was the amount of material they had to study, which they said they were unable to finish.

Salaries varied between men and women, the report said, with the starting salary for male vocational and college graduates at NT$27,000 compared to NT$24,000 for women. Salaries for graduates with a masters degree averaged about NT$38,000, with men making about NT$2,000 more than women.

Graduates with doctorates on average had a salary of NT$66,000, the report said.

The report found the investment and return rate for further education was at 1.53 times for finishing a masters’ degree. The investment and return rate for doctorates was relatively low, at 1.7 times, it said.

Translated by Jake Chung, staff writer

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