Insights into China’s Post-00s Generation: Almost 50% of Graduates Are Aiming for State-run Employers

SHANGHAI, Sept. 26, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — China’s post-00s – the generation born in the 2000s and growing up with unprecedented material wealth amid the mobile internet boom – have a unique set of values and new ideas, making them the undisputed “generation of the hour”.

Recently, in collaboration with the project The Long Interview, the Just So Soul Institute has conducted a survey on Soul App, an emerging social platform. Surveyed were more than 4,000 post-00s college students, 10% of whom are fresh graduates from the class of 2022, and their individual responses about work, consumption and values revealed their attitudes and opinions about current prevailing trends.

Job security is a major pull, with nearly half of the post-00s graduates preferring public sector jobs

For young people, what does a good job mean?

A public sector job holds a strong appeal for the post-00s generation, as evidenced by the survey data: 46.37% of the 2022 graduates regard positions in government or state-owned enterprises as promising for their future, a figure that eclipses those with a preference for Internet behemoths (19.78%), Fortune 500 companies (9.89%), financial institutions or consulting firms (7.69%). Significantly, flexible and glamorous careers such as starting a business (6.37%) and becoming an Influencer (2.86%) are the least attractive for the younger generation, who has generally been seen as “the champion of individual freedom”.

Apparently, the idea of job security has taken hold. As waves of layoffs at internet firms and age discrimination in the workplace loom large, first-time job-seekers in the post-00s generation are trying to build a sense of certainty out of uncertainty.

With gap years gaining popularity, some post-00s are redefining their “clocks of life”

The next step after graduation can be a puzzling time.

According to the joint survey, entering the workforce (37.3%) and enrolling in a postgraduate program in China (16.7%) are still the most common choices of the 2022 college leavers in the face of the most crowded job market. In addition, some of them choose to become civil servants (9.89%) or start their own business (6.81%). Higher salaries (49.89%), relevance to one’s interests (33.63%) and less overtime (30.33%) matter most to the would-be workforce entrants.

Interestingly, a relatively large share of post-00s graduates would take a gap year (9.23%) to recharge and refocus, gearing themselves up for future job searches or further studies at home and abroad.

The post-00s fight against a toxic work culture – not the whole story

Facing enormous pressure in a taxing workplace, the post-00s generation displays resilience and toughness. The survey shows 51.43% of the post-00s college leavers could accept the “996” work schedule – from 9 AM to 9 PM, 6 days a week – for an enticing compensation package; 29.89% would reluctantly embrace the working hour system until they encounter a better job; a mere 16.26% of the respondents think 996 unacceptable and would rather resign.

Contrary to their stereotype of being naysayers, post-00s graduates are keenly aware of workplace competition and pressure, and demonstrate a mature and proactive attitude.

Digital natives pick social media as their No.1 online destination

Those born in the 2000s have had a different upbringing to their post-80s and post-90s predecessors, and this has shaped their distinctive characteristics.

As a generation growing up with instant access to the mobile Internet, the post-00s are true digital natives, with their lives centered around smart screens and connectivity at their fingertips. They are naturally used to enjoying entertainment and social activities digitally and connecting to the larger world via the web.

The survey shows that short video platforms (43.52%), social media (41.1%) and news apps (32.97%) are the three most popular channels for young people to access information.

In their spare time, post-00s graduates’ main forms of entertainment include surfing social media platforms (60%) such as SOUL and Twitter-like Weibo, listening to music (44.62%) and playing games (43.74%). Such mobile Internet-based forms of leisure are disproportionately more popular than offline sports (24.18%) and physical socializing (20%).

In summary, the report Insights into the Work, Consumption and Values of the Post-00s: The Generation Beyond Their Labels, unveiled by the Just So Soul Institute together with The Long Interview, offers an authentic snapshot of the younger generation.

The Just So Soul Institute, a social science research center set up by Soul App, is committed to faithfully portraying the diverse and interesting profiles of young people and gaining insights into new trends in social development based on surveys of Soul users. Launched in November 2016 and designed to offer a gamified experience, Soul App is an open social network for younger generations to connect with each other over shared interests and to build a social metaverse.