2024 Postgraduate Entrance Exam Registration Amounts to 438 Million, Decreased by 360,000 Compared to Last Year, Reflecting Which Trends?

According to the website of the Ministry of Education, the national postgraduate entrance examination for 2024 will be held from December 23rd to 25th, 2023 According to statistics, there were 438 million applicants for the national postgraduate entrance examination in 2024 The number of applicants in 2023 was 474 million, a decrease of 360,000 compared to last year Ministry of Education 438 million applicants for the national postgraduate entrance examination in 2024 - China News Network

Decrease in postgraduate students, increase in civil service examination.

Solved, the number of candidates for postgraduate entrance examinations has decreased by 360,000, while the number of candidates for national civil service examinations has increased by 360,000, achieving dynamic balance.

Just kidding, I want to say that the civil service exams have indeed diverted some people, in addition to those who choose to study abroad or pursue recommended graduate programs. The number of candidates for postgraduate exams is already very large, and it will eventually reach a peak with annual growth. Applying the brakes this year is also a good thing.

Let me tell you a joke.

It’s like how everyone used to focus on practicing the “Anti-Evil Sword Manual” blindly. It was tiring and harmful to the body.

Later on, there was a guy who somehow got his hands on a “Dugu Nine Swords” sword manual. After mastering it, his martial arts were on par with others, so some people followed him in practice. Some people, on the other hand, realized they were practicing a fake version of the “Anti-Evil Sword Manual,” so they found another path and sought other martial arts. In the end, some people started giving up on practicing the “Anti-Evil Sword Manual.”

In recent years, due to the pandemic, many people were unable to study abroad and could only prepare for exams. Now they can achieve the same results in a much easier way.

Some people also realized that having a master’s degree doesn’t offer much advantage, even the degree from some prestigious universities has lost its value. So those who passed the civil service exam after completing their undergraduate studies just pursued that path directly, leaving the pursuit of a master’s degree to others. I’ll take a step ahead while you continue practicing for your master’s.

Of course, if you have no other options and can only master the “Spiritual Sword Technique,” then you still have to prepare diligently.

Going a bit further, everyone has been under a lot of pressure in recent years.

Whether it’s employment, postgraduate exams, civil service exams, or job searching after completing a master’s degree, I hope society can be more understanding and accommodating towards young people.

Whether you spend years preparing for exams or struggle during your master’s studies, even being exploited, I hope bystanders can try to understand and empathize. And for those deeply immersed in it, please give yourself another chance.

The Risk of Delayed Satisfaction in Choosing a Major

Engineering majors admit around two hundred undergraduate students and one hundred graduate students every year. According to this ratio, it seems that our major doesn’t value graduate students much more than undergraduate students. The papers we write during our postgraduate studies are just for graduation, and they are all about those traditional and outdated projects that are not needed by companies. It feels like the value of pursuing a postgraduate degree is simply to refresh our status as recent graduates. If we fail to pass the civil service exam or secure a position in a state-owned enterprise in our last year of university, we can try again by pursuing a postgraduate degree for three years and then participating in the autumn recruitment.

What’s a bit outrageous is that ten years ago, not pursuing a postgraduate degree was because the economy was developing rapidly with many opportunities, and those who pursued a postgraduate degree might see their undergraduate classmates surpassing them and becoming their superiors in the workplace.

Now, the reason for not pursuing a postgraduate degree is that the speed of career advancement through higher education is slower than the rate at which job requirements are increasing.

Ten years ago, pursuing a postgraduate degree meant sacrificing immediate financial gains, but now it means missing out on opportunities and being left behind. It’s quite lamentable.

One very obvious example is the case of a student who graduated three years ago with a bachelor’s degree and received a free car from BYD (a Chinese automobile manufacturer) as part of a recruitment promotion. This year, those who pursued a postgraduate degree have already been employed by BYD as supervisors. Meanwhile, the student who didn’t pursue a postgraduate degree can no longer secure the same position.

Regarding engineering graduate studies, let me say a bit more. Zhang Xuefeng mentioned before that engineering graduate programs are much easier to get into compared to liberal arts graduate programs. A liberal arts department may only admit around twenty to thirty students, while an engineering discipline may admit over a hundred students. When you add up the various disciplines within an engineering department, the number of students admitted is much higher than in liberal arts.

I have also heard engineering students boasting that pursuing a postgraduate degree in our field is much easier. The ratio for master’s degree admissions is 1:1, and as long as they meet the national exam cutoff score, they can enter graduate school. They would spend half a year preparing for the exam during their final year of undergraduate studies and then spend the next three years playing games while pursuing a postgraduate degree. However, the problem is that while it may be easier now to pursue a postgraduate degree in engineering, the competition for job opportunities three years later is even more intense than in liberal arts.

If pursuing a postgraduate degree is like a reservoir for employment, then the engineering field has more fish compared to liberal arts, but the more fish there are, the worse the quality.

Pursuing a postgraduate degree in liberal arts is very difficult, with a 7:1 or even higher acceptance ratio for law programs. But perhaps it’s precisely because it’s difficult that more liberal arts students consider their career options. If they fail to pass the exam, they start preparing for the civil service exam. On the other hand, it seems that within the engineering field, pursuing a postgraduate degree is the default choice. It feels like there is an information barrier among us, with everyone having faith in the fact that pursuing a postgraduate degree will lead to a better future. However, it seems that pursuing a postgraduate degree doesn’t significantly improve employment prospects. In fact, it may be even more challenging compared to three years ago, creating a sense of disappointment. Pursuing a postgraduate degree in engineering is somewhat like being lured by fish food while being raised as a fish. It can’t provide a better outcome for male engineering students. Nevertheless, they are kept in suspense, nourishing their faith and hope, only to be rejected three years later, shattering their dreams. It would be better to follow the path of liberal arts where the threshold is set high from the beginning, and if they can’t meet the requirements, they are immediately rejected, allowing them to quickly find a suitable job.

Furthermore, engineering and liberal arts have a fundamental difference. Liberal arts bring immediate satisfaction. Once you choose liberal arts, you can enjoy four years of study. Engineering, on the other hand, offers delayed satisfaction. Initially, when we choose engineering, it’s because our parents and elders say it’s easier to find a job in that field. But the catch is that we can only reap the rewards after four years, and it takes seven years after graduating from a postgraduate program. In seven years, things can change significantly. Even game versions change every generation, let alone the changes that can occur in seven years. If the carrot we chase after changes before we can taste it, then all we are left with is several years of hard work, and we will continue to struggle in the future. This is a loss. In contrast, liberal arts allows us to enjoy the benefits from the moment we choose the major, from 18 to 22 years old, the period when we have the most energy and strongest desire to play. Even if we graduate and experience unemployment, at least we have enjoyed the benefits of choosing that major. With engineering, unless we choose a good major, we may still experience unemployment, fearing that we will be struggling all the way.

Delayed satisfaction carries the risk of expiration without redemption. If there is value, it should be cashed in immediately. Only when we have tasted it can we truly gain something.

Many people who choose engineering tend to prefer the path of delayed satisfaction after enduring hardships. Naturally, they are willing to continue pursuing a postgraduate degree and enduring hardships in their final year of undergraduate studies. But they may end up with a smaller piece of the pie, and eventually, it may become a carrot.

One enduring topic on Zhihu (a popular Chinese question-and-answer website) is choosing a major, which has witnessed the transformation from the “computer electronic information era” of the 2000s to the “law and imperial era” of 2021. Nowadays, all fields seem mediocre, and there is no longer any mention of the “god” in each field. It’s all about planning and making better choices when it comes to choosing a career after four years of study. In my opinion, it’s better to choose a major that can bring immediate satisfaction and avoid those majors that require enduring hardships during the study period and promise delayed satisfaction. It’s like having a carrot hanging in front of students, enticing them with the promise of a better future after enduring hardships for a few years. However, that carrot may become out of reach in a few years, especially in a downturn. The carrot will only get smaller and smaller. If we want to pursue it, we should do it as early as possible.

I also tell myself that during a downturn, it’s better to make choices that result in immediate satisfaction and immediate rewards. We shouldn’t fall for the promises of a pie that can be enjoyed a few years later as the pie will only get smaller. The sooner we experience delight, the more profound it will be. When we get older, we won’t have the same mindset for joy. If we can avoid feeling sick, that’s already good enough.

The Decrease in Number of Postgraduate Entrance Exam Candidates: Impact of Increase in Number of Candidates for Graduate Recommendation and Admission

Regarding the reasons for the decrease in the number of postgraduate entrance examination candidates, I won’t discuss it here as other contributors have already provided detailed explanations. However, I would like to talk about the changes in the number of candidates for graduate recommendation and exemption.

While it may seem that the number of postgraduate entrance examination candidates has decreased, we should also consider whether the number of applicants for various majors has increased or decreased compared to previous years.

We should also examine whether there has been an increase or decrease in the number of candidates for graduate recommendation and exemption. This year, the number of candidates for graduate recommendation and exemption has increased by around 10% in many prestigious universities, such as those in the 211 and 985 project. This increase will inevitably limit the opportunities for postgraduate entrance examination candidates.

Compared to last year, Central University for Nationalities has seen a 48.8% increase in the number of candidates for graduate recommendation and exemption, nearly doubling the previous year’s figure.

Beihang University has experienced the largest increase in the number of candidates for graduate recommendation and exemption this year, with an additional 478 candidates compared to previous years.

For example, at Xiamen University, the number of candidates for graduate recommendation reached 1,278 in 2023, an increase of 167 compared to the previous year. In 2024, the number increased to 1,450, an additional 172 compared to 2023.

Originally, many majors were already highly competitive, with a considerable number of applicants vying for limited spots. The increase in candidates for graduate recommendation and exemption has only intensified the competition for postgraduate entrance examination.

With only one month left, for those of you currently preparing for the entrance examination, it is best to avoid focusing on such information. Reading it will not change anything and will only distract you.

Stay focused on your preparation and give it your best! Good luck to all the candidates!

Thank you for reading. If you liked it, please give it a thumbs up. I hope you all excel in your postgraduate studies!

Zhihu @ Le Jie

No evidence for the decrease. No trend. Uncertain about next year!

Just last year’s subtracting this year, resulting in a figure of 360,000, is simply a “decrease”, without any other supporting information, and does not explain any issues.

It’s just one occurrence, not a trend, who knows what will happen next year!

The Path to the System

Should I pursue postgraduate studies or take the civil service examination? These days, it’s basically just a question of giving away points.

Both options are easy to calculate. One requires you to pay, and the other allows you to receive money. Even a fool can make a choice. The significance of educational background has been completely shattered. If you want to secure a position as a recent graduate without much effort, it’s better to leave a blank sheet during the exam and postpone graduation. Why bother going through the arduous process of taking the postgraduate entrance examination when your family has more money than you can spend?

They say that undergraduate studies test your intelligence, master’s studies test your endurance, and doctoral studies test your connections. If you have the money, you can simply spend it to study abroad. If you don’t have any connections or money, then you can just casually pursue undergraduate studies and take the civil service examination to become a public servant. Pursuing a master’s degree is nothing more than a waste of time.

This is the path to entering the system.

The trend is that contemporary college students have more choices in their future plans. The decrease in the number of applicants is not only due to the increased difficulty of the postgraduate entrance examination, but also, it is speculated, because of the following two reasons:

  1. In previous years, due to the outbreak of the pandemic, students were unable to travel as freely as they do now, so there was a rush of graduates taking the postgraduate entrance exam. Now, some of them have diverted to job searching, while others have diverted to civil service exams or overseas studies, resulting in an overall decrease in the total number of applicants.

  2. The issue of the value of pursuing postgraduate studies. The depreciation of academic qualifications has led some candidates to consider whether to find a job directly with their undergraduate degree or to wait until after obtaining a postgraduate degree.

The good news is that the chances of success have increased significantly, but everyone should also maintain a good learning attitude and study habits, striving to achieve even better results in the final month!

Lastly, everyone must remember—one important thing to bear in mind when preparing for the postgraduate entrance examination is to exercise appropriately. This is an experience that everyone agrees with.

The most important thing is to maintain a certain level of physical activity. There is no need to go to the gym or do 800-meter runs.

Set aside about thirty minutes every day after meals or when you feel tired from studying for exercise, such as running or taking a walk. During my postgraduate entrance exam review, I would take a walk when I felt tired.

On one hand, this allows you to relax for a while and makes it easier to enter a state of focused studying after exercising.

On the other hand, regular exercise ensures physical health, greatly reducing the risk of catching a cold, which can be an unstable factor. Especially during the winter when the flu is prevalent, you must not catch a cold near the time of the exam!

Regarding sleep, make sure your phone doesn’t disturb you.

Some students may play with their phones after a day of studying, either to relax or to catch up on the day’s information. After using your phone, be sure to set aside some time away from it, otherwise, the phone will make you understand what “tossing and turning” really means.

Stay steady, we are entering the finals!!!

Reasons for the Decline in the Number of Postgraduate Entrance Examinees

  1. Decreased enrollment quota for centralized exams due to increased proportion of recommended admissions.
  2. Trend of reduced and suspended enrollment in some universities and programs.
  3. Increased restrictions on cross-disciplinary postgraduate exams.
  4. Outflow of candidates due to the relaxation of travel restrictions and increased number of students studying abroad.
  5. Shrinking enrollment of academic master’s programs, with professional master’s programs becoming the mainstream choice.
  6. Deteriorating economic situation and reduced expectations for future prospects.
  7. Rising tuition fees discouraging some prospective candidates.
  8. Graduates opting for civil service exams as a more stable career path. Analysis of 8 Reasons for the Decline in the Number of Postgraduate Candidates

The number of postgraduate candidates for the year 2024 is 4.38 million, lower than that of 2022 and 2023, but higher than that of 2021 and previous years.

Although Zhongnan Finance has not yet announced its enrollment numbers, several universities have already announced the number of candidates for the 2024 postgraduate entrance examination. While some universities have reached a new high in the number of applicants, there are several universities where the number of applicants has been continuously decreasing.

The following 8 reasons are only speculation and are provided for reference.

1. Increased percentage of recommended admissions and reduced number of unified examination quotas

With a fixed number of enrollment quotas, the more students recommended for admission, the fewer opportunities there are for postgraduate candidates. It can be imagined that postgraduate candidates will face greater competition pressure. Conversely, the number of recommended admissions will increase, leading to a possible decrease in the number of postgraduate candidates.

Therefore, among the students who want to pursue postgraduate studies, the first choice will be to pursue recommended admissions. This may result in a decrease in the number of candidates.

2. The trend of reduced enrollment and suspension of admissions

For example, the enrollment brochure of Jiangxi Agricultural University in 2024 shows a significant reduction in the number of admissions compared to 2023.

Not only has there been a reduction, but even suspensions of admissions.

For example, Nanjing University announced that starting from 2024, the Mathematics Department of Nanjing University will no longer admit master’s students, and the School of Earth Sciences and Engineering of Nanjing University will no longer admit master’s students for the “081900 Mineral Engineering” program, only admitting doctoral students.

Xiamen University’s Law School has also suspended the admission of part-time Master of Laws students starting from 2024. Northeast Forestry University has suspended admissions for 3 master’s programs in 2024, and so on.

Not only are professional master’s programs suspending admissions, academic master’s programs are also suspending admissions. Previously, Fudan University, Peking University, Sichuan University, and many other “Double First-Class” universities have announced the suspension of admissions for some professional academic master’s programs.

3. Multiple universities restricting cross-disciplinary postgraduate exams

For example, in recent years, the popular cross-disciplinary major - Education, has been subject to prerequisites for certain universities. Non-related majors are not allowed to apply for the postgraduate entrance examination for the Education major.

For example, Shaanxi University of Technology issued an announcement on September 2nd, explaining the requirements for prerequisite majors for the Master of Education entrance examination for the year 2024.

Jianghan University in Hubei Province, like Zhongnan Finance, also requires that the major studied should be relevant or similar to the field of the Master of Education program being applied for.

This means that the hard requirements for applying for this major have increased, setting a threshold for those who want to switch majors for the postgraduate entrance examination and affecting the number of candidates this year.

4. The easing of the pandemic and increased number of students going abroad

With the easing of the pandemic, the demand for studying abroad has increased, diverting some of the postgraduate candidates.

For example, the total number of international students studying in various schools in the United States has exceeded one million, surpassing the pre-pandemic level of the 2019/2020 academic year.

There has also been a significant increase in the number of students going to the United States for graduate studies. After all, in the case of excessive competition in domestic education, choosing to study abroad for a prestigious degree is also a good choice.

According to the data from the report shown above, after a sharp increase in the number of international students for the 2021-22 academic year, the number of international students continued to rise in the 2022-2023 academic year, reaching 298,523.

5. Narrowing of enrollment for academic master’s programs, and professional master’s programs becoming the mainstream for application

According to the “Development Plan for Professional Master’s Degree Education (2020-2025)” issued by the Ministry of Education, by 2025, the enrollment scale for professional master’s degree candidates will expand to about two-thirds of the total enrollment scale for master’s degree candidates, becoming the mainstream for future postgraduate applications.

While professional master’s programs are expanding, some universities are shrinking their academic master’s programs. Previously, Fudan University, Peking University, Southwest University, Sichuan University, and many other “Double First-Class” universities announced the suspension of admissions for some professional academic master’s programs.

6. The severity of the economic situation and reduced expectations for learning

Although some people believe that the number of postgraduate registrations is negatively correlated with the speed of economic development, there is statistical data from previous years to support this view. The harsh employment situation should also contribute to the enthusiasm for pursuing postgraduate studies.

However, many people have a pessimistic view of the long-term economic situation, making them more inclined to focus on short-term stability rather than investing in the future with the expectation of returns over the next three to four years or even longer. Young graduates who have just graduated need to find a job as soon as possible to support themselves (although it is widely known to be difficult). Working professionals need to work hard to keep their jobs and avoid being optimized or laid off.

7. rising tuition fees have discouraged some candidates

Tuition fees for professional master’s programs have been on the rise.

8. Graduates going directly to civil service exams, as the end of one’s career is “permanent employment”.

The limit of expanding higher education and the pressure on employment

Thank you for the invitation.

A pool created to alleviate employment pressure may be gradually reaching its functional limits.

One of the purposes of expanding enrollment in universities back then was to alleviate employment pressure, and this was made public:

For example, in 1999, while China had not officially joined the World Trade Organization and was still dealing with the aftermath of a major wave of layoffs, 63.4% of the urban unemployment rate consisted of young people aged 16 to 34.

Then came the familiar expansion of enrollment in universities. In 1999 alone, undergraduate enrollment expanded by 43.41%; the following year, it was the turn for postgraduate students, with a 43.25% increase in enrollment.

In 1998, the total number of undergraduate and college students admitted nationwide was only 1.08 million, and the number of graduates was only 820,000.

By 2018, the number of undergraduate and college students admitted increased to 7.9 million, with a total of 38.33 million students in higher education.

From the perspective of relieving youth employment pressure, “attending university” has successfully created a large reservoir.

Moreover, the number of higher education institutions increased from 1,022 in 1998 to 2,940 in 2018. With faculty, land, and equipment, this has also generated millions of jobs.

The three major benefits proposed fifteen years ago have indeed been achieved.

The problem is, there are limits to this approach. The acceptance rate for undergraduate enrollment in the 2021 national college entrance examination has reached 92.89%.

According to the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, the average number of years of education for newly added labor force is 14. In other words, at least seventy percent of college students.

Looking at it from a different angle, among the newly added labor force each year, seventy percent have already spent four years in university.

Are these labor forces well employed?

At least from the perspective of recent college graduates, the situation is not favorable.

The CIER index (number of job offers/number of job seekers) for college graduates during the peak job-hunting season in the third quarter is as follows:

In 2020, it was 1.38; in 2021, it was 1.24.

Last year, it was 0.57.

I couldn’t find the data for this year. However, according to the China Institute for Employment Research, “there has been a slight increase compared to last year, but a decrease compared to the previous year.”

In other words, it is worse than last year.

A reservoir can only slow down the release of water, but if the downstream employment channels have a weaker capacity to absorb water, the reservoir cannot hold up.

The situation is similar for postgraduate students.

From 1999 to 2002, the number of postgraduate students expanded by more than 20% each year, in line with the overall expansion pace.

In 2003, due to the need to accommodate students, the number of postgraduate students increased by 34.02% due to the SARS epidemic.

During the global financial crisis in 2009, the number of postgraduate students also increased by 16.13%.

Afterwards, the expansion pace for postgraduate education slowed down, with only a 22.45% increase occurring in the merger of full-time and non-full-time postgraduate education in 2017.

In 2020, the expansion rate again exceeded 20%.

There is no other way. The expansion of undergraduate enrollment has almost reached its limits, so the next space for reservoirs is postgraduate education.

In the past three years, the number of postgraduate students has increased from 2.67 million to 2.82 million, and then to 3.09 million.

The ratio of postgraduate students to undergraduate students in colleges and universities has doubled in the past twenty years.

By doing so, there is a risk of “downgrading” postgraduate students to the level of university students twenty years ago, causing educational inflation.

In the final analysis, it is all driven by the demand for employment. Even intrinsic competition has become somewhat ineffective.

Twenty years ago, the unemployment rate for the youth was generally around 11%. Now, it is not known exactly how high it is, but it is likely higher than the EU’s rate of 15%.

Let’s take a look at undergraduate students:

Wow, after going through hardships (the percentage of those who successfully pass the graduate entrance exam within the next three years has dropped from 55.4% for the class of 2015 to 43.1% for the class of 2018);

After struggling for another two or three years, they still have to face an extremely uncertain job market?

Then it’s better to directly prepare for civil service exams.

Actually, the real focus is on how much pressure this trend will put on the reservoirs.

Dropping out of higher education is not a new phenomenon. Compared with 2011, the high school graduation rate in the United States has dropped from 70% to 62%, and the number of college freshmen has decreased by 2.5 million.

And the population in the United States has been continuously growing over the past decade.

Their thinking is relatively simple: According to a sample survey by The Wall Street Journal, “the money and time spent on attending university may not be easily recovered, so I might as well learn a trade and work.” This accounts for 56%.

We may be moving toward a similar logic on a macro level, but the specific situation is different:

The cost of attending university here is obviously lower than in the United States, but the golden period for employment is obviously shorter, and the benefits from the service industry (including social status) are not as high for the time being.

If the pool for postgraduate students has reached its limits, then the ability of higher education to delay employment has also reached its peak.

The good news is that from 2000 to 2017, the annual birth rate was approximately 16 million, and the limit for this boom has been reached.

The bad news is that the low return on investment in higher education may continue to spread. Even if the economy resumes moderate growth, unemployment among young people will remain a long-term problem in our country if there is no corresponding improvement in access to the service industry, support for youth entrepreneurship, and social welfare for young people.

In short, the expansion of higher education over the past twenty years has probably reached the tail end of its benefits.

Casual WeChat account: Wang Zijun’s Random Thoughts.

The Best Year to Enroll in an MBA Program?

Under the current economic situation, prospective students are more conservative in investing in themselves, resulting in a significant decline in enrollment. Will this year be the best year to get a job? Let’s not talk about other majors for now. At least for non-full-time candidates like MBA, in the current economic situation, they tend to be more conservative in their investment and many schools have seen a significant decrease in enrollment numbers!

First of all, compared to full-time majors, the tuition fees for non-full-time majors are generally higher. With the bad economic situation, everyone has less money in their hands and they become more conscious of future uncertainties, so they naturally become more cautious about spending money.

Secondly, many companies have been laying off employees and going out of business in the past two years. For people in the workplace, most of them would choose to invest more time and effort in their work to stabilize their current jobs and avoid being optimized out!

There is probably not much time and energy to spend on improving their education, after all, non-full-time graduate students need to work during weekdays and attend classes on weekends, which is not as relaxed as everyone imagines!

Thirdly, after the mask situation is over, the enthusiasm for studying abroad is gradually returning. For those who want to pursue further studies, besides taking domestic postgraduate entrance exams, there is now an option to study abroad, which may have a certain diversion effect!

The latest financial report from New Oriental shows a 52% year-on-year growth in revenue from overseas exam preparation services, and a 6% year-on-year growth in revenue from overseas consulting services.

Under the pressure of these multiple factors, the overall number of full-time candidates may experience a certain decrease, and the number of applicants for non-full-time majors may show a significant decline.

In fact, as early as October, Beihang University released the registration numbers for the 2023 postgraduate entrance exams, and many non-full-time majors saw a significant decline. MPA (Master of Public Administration) in particular had a cliff-like decline of 35.6% in the number of applicants this year.

① MBA (non-full-time) in Business Administration: 889 applicants in 2023, 1072 applicants in 2022, a 17.0% decrease. ② MPAcc (Master of Professional Accounting) non-full-time: 280 applicants in 2023, 370 applicants in 2022, a 24% decrease. ③ MEM (Master of Engineering Management) non-full-time: 667 applicants in 2023, 805 applicants in 2022, a 17.1% decrease. However, the number of full-time applicants in the MEM program with a focus on 03 direction has increased this year compared to last year (this program mainly attracts fresh graduates). ④ MPA (Master of Public Administration) non-full-time: 1326 applicants in 2023, 2059 applicants in 2022, a 35.6% decrease. The number of applicants for MPA alone has decreased by 733 people, which can be described as a cliff-like decline. Author: MBA Master Link: https://zhuanlan.zhihu.com/p/663750423 Source: Zhihu

The number of applicants for non-full-time MBA in Business Administration, MPA in Public Administration, and MEM in Engineering Management at South China Normal University also saw a significant decline.

① MPA (Master of Public Administration) non-full-time: The expected admission ratio in 2023 is greater than 5, and the admission ratio in 2022 is 7, a difference of about 2. ② MBA (non-full-time) in Business Administration (School of Economics): The expected admission ratio in 2023 is less than 2, and the admission ratio in 2022 is 4.1, a difference of at least 2.1. ③ MPAcc (Master of Professional Accounting) non-full-time: The expected admission ratio in 2023 is less than 5, and the admission ratio in 2022 is 9.3, a difference of at least 9.3. ④ MBA (non-full-time) in Business Administration (Hospital Management Research Institute): The expected admission ratio in 2023 is less than 2, and the admission ratio in 2022 is 3.24, a difference of at least 1.24. Author: MBA Master Link: https://zhuanlan.zhihu.com/p/663750423 Source: Zhihu

The same goes for Shenzhen University!

① MPA (Master of Public Administration) non-full-time: The expected admission ratio in 2023 is greater than 5, and the admission ratio in 2022 is 7, a difference of about 2. ② MBA (non-full-time) in Business Administration (School of Economics): The expected admission ratio in 2023 is less than 2, and the admission ratio in 2022 is 4.1, a difference of at least 2.1. ③ MPAcc (Master of Professional Accounting) non-full-time: The expected admission ratio in 2023 is less than 5, and the admission ratio in 2022 is 9.3, a difference of at least 9.3. ④ MBA (non-full-time) in Business Administration (Hospital Management Research Institute): The expected admission ratio in 2023 is less than 2, and the admission ratio in 2022 is 3.24, a difference of at least 1.24. Author: MBA Master Link: https://zhuanlan.zhihu.com/p/663750423 Source: Zhihu

However, it is precisely in this situation that the best way to resist risks is to invest in oneself!

During leisure time, the more the economy is in a downturn, the more attention should be paid to postgraduate entrance exams and investing in education.

Only when the economic situation improves can there be a greater chance of seizing more opportunities.


The Plight of Standard Answers

When I saw some answers saying, “Anyway, after taking the postgraduate exam, I have to take the civil service exam, so it’s better to directly take the civil service exam after graduating from undergraduate,” it is indeed a rough but accurate statement. Following this logic, it would be like saying, “Anyway, I’ll be laid off at the age of 35, so it’s better to just stay at home,” or “Anyway, I’ll eventually become a security guard, so it’s better to directly join the workforce and avoid wasting 40 years on detours.”

In fact, many students choose to take the postgraduate entrance exam not because it really has a high cost-effectiveness, but because “taking the postgraduate exam” has actually occupied the ecological niche of the “standard answer.” After going through the standardized life arrangement of “middle school, high school, and university,” undergraduate students instinctively look for standards. At this point, when you tell them, “Taking the postgraduate exam is not the only way out, you should have your own ideas,” many people feel that they have lost their faith because this goes completely against the concept that has been instilled in them for over twenty years.

Pursuing a master’s degree is simply spending a few more years in school in a dignified manner, and it does not fundamentally solve the problem. However, for the devotees of question-solving, this is also considered legitimate. But life is still long, and when they reach middle age or old age, the standard answer at that time may not be satisfactory.

“We are afraid of living our lives wrong, so we need to recognize a cost-effective life in advance. The further we deviate from this life, the more anxious and restless we become. This is the sentiment of traditional East Asians. If someone does not walk along this path and remains blissfully ignorant, then we must care about them. This is the concern of faithful followers for non-believers. Because the feasibility and even success of one way of life is an offense to other irreplaceable lives.” —Excerpt from an answer: “So, is university life really easier?”

Regarding the worship of solving problems:

How do we view the efforts of dozens of postgraduate students from a university in Henan who gather under street lamps on winter nights to study and keep themselves awake?

The culture of overcompetition will destroy successful individuals:

Why is it that even though my grades are so good, in the end, I become someone useless?