Credentialism and career aspirations: How urban Chinese youth chose high school and college majors

Sung Won Kim, Kari Elle Brown, Vanessa L. Fong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Citations (Scopus)


This article explores how graduates of a junior high school in Dalian City, Liaoning Province, China, chose their high school and college major subject of study and the extent to which their majors fit with their work trajectories. We found that most interviewees considered the likelihood of a major and degree leading to better job opportunities more important than how the major fit with their personal interests. However, the unpredictability of the market economy in China made it difficult to anticipate which majors would lead to more lucrative jobs, and many eventually found work that did not match their majors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)271-292
Number of pages22
JournalComparative Education Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2016 May


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education

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