Young Americans Head to China for Work

By Donald Sears  |  Posted 2009-08-10 Print this article Print

Some recent graduates who can't find work here stateside are looking to China for employment, so says a recent article from the New York Times.

The article profiles some graduates who went to China several years ago, but also a yet-to-be junior at MIT, Mick Zomnir, who is working in China over the summer as an intern. The article quoted Zomnir:

"As things have gotten more difficult in the U.S., I started to think about opportunities elsewhere," he said. He does not speak Chinese but says he will begin studying Mandarin when he returns to M.I.T. in the fall.

A big draw of working in China, many young people say, is that they feel it allows them to skip a rung or two on the career ladder.

Ms. Berman said: "There is no doubt that China is an awesome place to jump-start your career. Back in the U.S., I would be intern No. 3 at some company or selling tickets at Lincoln Center."

For others, like Jason Misium, 23, China has solved the cash flow problem of starting a business. After graduating with a degree in biology from Harvard in 2008, Mr. Misium came to China to study the language. Then he started Sophos Academic Group, an academic consulting firm that works with Chinese students who want to study in the United States.

"It's China's fault that I'm still here," he said. "It's just so cheap to start a business." It cost him the equivalent of $12,000, which he had in savings, he said.

The affordability and opportunities in China seem to fit young workers quite well, though many in the article say they are planning a down-the-road exit strategy.

While getting work experience abroad can be helpful to career, the experience doesn't necessarily assure you a great job when you eventually have to come back to the States. |

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