Private domestic companies became the biggest employers of Chinese graduates in 2007, according to the latest survey released on Monday.
About 34.2 percent of graduates in 2007 got jobs at private companies, up 17.9 percent over that of 2005's figures, said the survey from Peking University.
More than 3.3 million students graduated from Chinese colleges in 2005. The number rocketed to 4.95 million in 2007, according to statistics from the Ministry of Education.
Some 23.5 percent went to state-owned enterprises while 9.5 percent were hired by Sino-foreign joint ventures and foreign companies, both figures higher than 2005.
The number of employment posts that enterprises offered has grown faster, driven by the booming economy, than other sectors such as schools and government departments.
But more graduates entered government departments as well. About 12.7 percent of graduates entered government departments, up3.5 percent from 2005, according to the survey.
This was partly because the administrations were trying to recruit more young talents with higher education. And government jobs also provided the graduates stable income, high social status and good welfare insurance.
In 2007, as many as 42 candidates competed for one post as a civil servant.
On the other hand, the number of college graduates working for schools dropped by 13.9 percent, said the survey.
According to the survey, schools offered lower pay than average.
The monthly salary of 2007 graduates averaged 1,798 yuan (246 U.S. dollars) but primary and middle schools only offered 1,448 yuan a month.
Universities gave better pay, 2,231 yuan a month, but they mostly took in those with master's or doctor's degrees. According to the survey, these graduates earned 3,252 to 3,469 yuan a month in average.
The survey also found that each graduate spent about 1,132 yuan (157 dollars) in job seeking, which might go on an expensive suit or well printed introductions. Some female graduates even had cosmetic surgery.
But the survey result did not link the expense to successful interviews. Those getting jobs spent less than those who did not succeed, said Yue Changjun, associate professor of Peking University who led the survey.
"Excessive spending on job seeking is not bound to increase the chances of getting a job," he said.
The university has done the survey every two years since 2003. In 2007, they sent questionnaires to graduates in 28 universities in 15 provinces and received 16,388 responses.