A Chinese web user verified to be a fresh master’s graduate from the elite Tsinghua University complained online recently that the monthly salary for a back-end development engineer at ByteDance was as low as 20,000 yuan ($2,947) per month. He wrote that he considered the salary to be “trampling on the country’s academic qualifications system,” spurring heated discussion.
The worker also said that while ByteDance continues claiming that the salary is in line with market trends, he thinks that the sole purpose of the “maliciously low salary” can only be to persuade fresh graduates to give up.
He said he believes that the salary runs contrary to the academic system established by society and hurts students’ hearts. In addition, he pointed out that if this behavior is not punished, other companies will follow suit.
The incident invited heated online discussion. Some commentors said they thought that the monthly salary of 20,000 yuan was not low at all, with one writing, “The blogger obviously hasn’t experienced much,” and another writing sarcastically, “After finishing a master’s degree at Tsinghua University, why did he not get a free suite?” However, other web users made comments such as, “Tsinghua University’s master’s degree. Majoring in computer science. 20,000 yuan is really too low,” and, “I make more than 20,000 yuan per month after graduating from a junior college.”
In response to the matter, a graduate student in applied mathematics at Peking University, another top university in China, said that when he first started the degree, a teacher said that being enrolled at Peking University might be the peak of many students’ lives, and that they may keep going downhill afterwards. The graduate always remembered this statement, and warned himself about thinking that 20,000 yuan per month is low.
The Employment Quality Report of Graduates of Tsinghua University in 2022 released not long ago shows that the IT industry is still the top choice for graduates. There were 8,003 graduates at the university in 2022, an increase compared with previous years. Among them, there were 3,197 undergraduates, 2,657 master students and 2,149 doctoral students.
On the whole, 35.4% of graduates chose to continue their studies, which was roughly the same as 2021 figures. Among them, 566 people went abroad for further study, accounting for 7.1% of the total number of graduates, a slight increase from 2021. Meanwhile, 62.7% of graduates chose to begin employment.
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The industries chosen by graduates mainly include IT and tech, education, public management, social security and public organizations, scientific research, finance and so on. The IT industry still absorbs one third of master’s graduates, while the second-largest destination is the financial industry.
In addition, the reported earnings of college graduates in 2022 provided by the China Salary Network shows that the average monthly wage of Tsinghua University graduates ranks first among the country’s universities, reaching 12,225 yuan. Graduates from Shanghai Jiaotong University ranked second with an average salary of 12,180 yuan.