Over the last decade the number of doctoral graduates, from 1995’s 4,151 to 2008’s 41,460, makes a rapid growth with the annual average growth rate of 19.4%. A survey of "China Doctor Quality Analysis" shows that the doctoral employment in China has diversified development trend. The proportion of the doctors choosing universities, research institutes, or pursuing post-doctoral has been decreasing in recent years, while choosing to enter the state organs, enterprises and institutions of all kinds has been increasing more and more.
From the 1995-2008 overall employment, 43.9% of doctoral graduates choose to enter higher education system, engaged in teaching and research work; together with 10.8% in research institutes as well as 2.9% of post-doctor, it sums up a total of 125,633 people, nearly 60 % of doctoral students who continue in research and teaching, constituting a major component of China’s research team. On the other hand, 11,000 doctors have entered into state organs, accounting for 5.2%; 33,059 people into the work of enterprises, accounting for 15.2%; study abroad and enter the army also occupy a certain proportion of the total number, i.e., 2.9% and 2.3%, respectively.
The proportion of choosing college fellow positions shows a clear downward trend since 2002. After a few years to maintain a relatively stable state, this proportion began to rise in 2006, the highest absolute number of points, and then experienced two years’ decline. According to the experts, with the reduction of the source of the undergraduate students, the growth rate of college scale leveled off, thus affecting the doctoral graduates to acquire the university job opportunities.
Survey shows that more and more doctoral graduates tend to enter the government sector. Despite a steady increase in numbers with the government agencies employment before 2005, starting in 2006, the proportion exhibits an evident growth trend, accounting for 4.9%, 7.2% and 7.5% from 2006 to 2008, respectively. The ratio of choosing the direction of public institutions has been a steady growth for 14 years. More and more hospitals and financial institutions have a greater preference to highly educated people, offering more jobs for the doctoral graduates.
Although the doctors who select post-doctor as their directions account only 2 percent, they are experiencing a decline both in the absolute number and the relative proportion since 2001. In addition, for doctoral graduates, going abroad becomes less attractive. The number of doctors making decision to go abroad has been declining since the start of this century. In 1998, the number still accounted for 6.8% of total doctoral graduates; in 2007 though, this proportion dropped to 1 percent.