*More and more young Chinese are adjusting themselves to the changing job market, embracing both the challenges and opportunities with a more confident, open, and enterprising mindset.
*To bridge the skills gap between the job market and university graduates, new majors were added to undergraduate programs, and universities giving relevant courses were asked to arrange both theoretical curriculums and social practice.
*More young Chinese are taking their interests into consideration while choosing a career, giving rise to a growing number of freelancers. Changes in policies are made to better protect their rights and interests.
BEIJING, May 4 (Xinhua) -- Yang Chentao, 19, has made up his mind to pursue a career in the domestic services sector.
The choice might not be one that people would expect from a college student. But for Yang, a home economics major, it is an ideal career that he finds promising in China's increasingly diverse job market.
Like Yang, more and more young Chinese are adjusting themselves to the changing job market, embracing both the challenges and opportunities with a more confident, open, and enterprising mindset.
After taking the college entrance examination in 2021, Yang was admitted into Zhejiang Shuren University in east China's Zhejiang Province, the first university to set up a major in home economics for undergraduate programs in the province.
The major was established following a national plan in 2019 to improve the quality and expand the scale of domestic services. The country's education ministry then required each province to have at least one university offering majors related to domestic services for undergraduates.
Out of curiosity about this fresh major and his confidence in the prospect of the household management sector in China, Yang chose home economics.
"Many people hold the stereotype that home economics students will become cleaners or babysitters," said Peng Wei, a home economics lecturer and researcher at the university. "Actually, today's domestic services are paying more attention to people's multifaceted needs, especially psychological needs."
Apart from home services, industries such as nursing, preschool education, and health services are also in demand of professional talents.
To bridge the skills gap between the job market and university graduates, new majors were added to undergraduate programs, and universities giving relevant courses were asked to arrange both theoretical curriculums and social practice.
For Yang, on top of courses like psychology, gerontology, cooking, flower arranging, and others, he also had an internship at a residential community. The experience gave him a better understanding of people's growing needs for a better life at the grassroots level.
All these gains on and off campus have strengthened his determination to pursue a career in the domestic services sector, especially elderly care services.
"I hope to run a business of my own to provide better services for senior residents in the future," said Yang.
For Mewlan Turaq, 29, it is a blessing to be able to fulfill his passion while developing a career.
In 2018, after studying traditional Chinese medicine at a university in east China's Jiangxi Province for six years, Mewlan decided to go back to his hometown in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and open a shop selling traditional artwork, ornaments, and souvenirs.
Born and raised in the ancient city of Kashgar, Mewlan has an immense interest in the traditional culture of the Uygur people, especially clothing and accessories.
It was a rebellious decision, as his family considered it more promising to be a doctor. "My mom even cried for that," he recalled. "But I believe in the charm of traditional culture. Just as the way I'm enchanted, so will others."
What impressed his family was his passion and a clear blueprint for his career. Mewlan has buried himself in books, old photos, and movies to study traditional clothing and aspired to replicate them. The shutterbug then conjured up the idea of a costume rental and photography business.
Over the years, with more exquisite and flamboyant costumes added to his collection piece by piece, a growing number of tourists are attracted to his shop.
In recent years, Mewlan is getting more and more busy as Xinjiang has become a hot tourist destination. Days before the just-concluded May Day holiday, all slots for photography had been fully booked.
Now, there are close to 200 shops providing photography services in the ancient city, most of which were opened by art-loving young people.
Just like Mewlan, more young Chinese are taking their interests into consideration while choosing a career, giving rise to a growing number of freelancers. Changes in policies are made to better protect their rights and interests.
For instance, starting from May 1, people from other places that engage in flexible employment in Shanghai are eligible for endowment and medical insurance for urban workers by the same rules as Shanghai residents.
Tian Shuxian, 34, is a farmer in Anfeng Village, central China's Hubei Province. Starting to raise crayfish only six years ago, she is a newcomer compared with her peers.
Growing up in the countryside, she had been dreaming of owning a modern farm since high school. "Actually, I chose my major as a preparation for farming afterward," she said.
A master of fishery resources, Tian worked for an internet company in a city for two years. However, it did not take her long to realize that her dream could only be realized back home by cultivating farm products with her own hands.
Building a laboratory right next to her field, Tian would work in the field by day and do experiments by night. After years of efforts, she explored new methods of crayfish feeding and later developed a comprehensive model to raise crayfish and ducks together in rice paddies, which has also been applied by other villagers.
Apart from offering technical advice, Tian also helped other farmers develop a more standardized and modern model by establishing a specialized cooperative, which so far has 200 members. The total output value of the cooperative is expected to reach 5 million yuan (about 722,543 U.S. dollars) this year.
She also expanded sales channels through online stores and livestreaming.
Tian considers herself "lucky enough" to be able to come this far, especially with the help from her fellow villagers and the government's support in terms of logistics. "What I have to do now is to work step by step, and eventually, my ideal farm will become a reality," Tian said.
Despite the difference in occupation and age, many young Chinese resonate with Tian, believing hard work is the key.
"No matter what I do, I should keep my feet on the ground," said Yang.
(Video reporters: Yuan Xun, Jiang Zhaochen; Video editors: Jia Xiaotong, Zhao Xiaoqing, Zhu Jianhui, Hong Yan, Wang Han)