Domestic service: A waste of talent for prestigious university grads?
  ·  2021-06-07  ·   Source: NO.23 JUNE 10, 2021


Recently, a piece of information posted by a Shanghai-based domestic service agency on a social media platform has garnered much attention. It reads that a Tsinghua University graduate applied for the position of domestic housekeeper with a monthly salary of 35,000 yuan ($5,400). The agency also reveals that it is not a small number of graduates from prestigious universities who have taken on domestic service jobs. 

Traditionally, any occupation within the domestic service field is not considered a decent job, so some people believe that the marriage between prestigious university graduates and domestic service positions is a mismatch and even a waste of talent. However, for the most part, popular opinion holds that domestic service jobs also deserve respect, and, more importantly, some of the jobs in the sector nowadays are much more highflying than most people assume.

Yang Chaoqing (Beijing Youth Daily): There is a rigid traditional view that graduates from prestigious universities should always take on high-level jobs, so the public can't understand why a Tsinghua graduate would take on a domestic service position. Their attitude towards the job market may be a bit outdated. 

Meanwhile, some graduates from prestigious universities choose to work in domestic services not because they can't find a widely recognized well-reputed job, but because they don't like doing monotonous office work. Domestic services, however, will offer them more flexibility both in the job and in their overall career development.

Some clients, who are rich enough not to care about how much they have to pay, hope to find well-educated, superior housekeepers. In this case, those who possess diplomas of prestigious universities can make full use of their educational advantage to acquire a high-paying job.

A vibrant society must allow for all kinds of social mobility, and college graduates should be allowed different ways to live an excellent life. No matter which university they graduate from, their choices deserve respect.

Piao Xueyin ( Most people believe this Tsinghua graduate should take a more significant job. Then, what is a more significant job?

In recent years, a growing number of families have started to hire nannies for the sake of a higher quality of life and child care. In this regard, graduates from good universities will easily make families more satisfied and comfortable. Of course, higher job requirements and standards bring along higher paychecks.

This Shanghai-based domestic service agency has 20 percent of its employees coming in from prestigious universities or having a bachelor's degree or above. Tsinghua graduates are not rare cases, but most of them are governesses, not ordinary domestic service workers.

For a Tsinghua graduate, doing domestic service work is not a shame or a waste of talent. It's stirring up heated discussion online mainly because the public's misunderstanding of this sector.

Wang Shichuan ( As a matter of fact, this Tsinghua graduate is not doing ordinary housework, but she acts more like a governess. To match the high paychecks, such "nannies" or "housekeepers" are required to teach English and tell stories in English to their employers' children. Some job postings explicitly require the housekeeper to be a full-time student enrolled in a prestigious university before graduation, and an overseas educational background will add some points, too, as employers want housekeepers to be fluent in English, for the good of the children's education. Such requirements usually naturally screen off applicants who are not high achievers in the academic realm.

With deepening labor division, demand of common industries and sectors for high-level talents can only increase. The domestic service sector is just one such typical example. The Chinese population's education level keeps rising, which attributes to an increasingly higher overall quality of the population. As a result, every sector is likely to see an influx of graduates from prestigious universities. BR 

Copyedited by Elsbeth van Paridon

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