Time people woke up and realized the reality of the service industry
People's Daily

A teacher explains a pupil how to use a smart watch to receive lessons and messages at a primary school in Huaying city, Sichuan province. The school has provided the educational smart watches to its pupils free for cost. (Photo: China Daily)

Recent reports of some people with impressive educational credentials joining the service industry have provoked much discussion online.

Some graduates and postgraduates from Peking University, Fudan University and Beijing Normal University have chosen to become real estate agents while a postgraduate with a good command of English and French and experience of working for a reputable technology company had applied for a babysitter's post.

Generally, jobs in the service industry do not require much skill, so the trend of people with higher qualification applying for such jobs has led to some calling it the "depreciation" of higher education or a waste of education by "overqualified" applicants. However, this only exposes the prejudices and discrimination against some jobs in society.

Many who otherwise swear by the equality of jobs take no time to contradict themselves by regarding some jobs that involve "serving other people" as inferior. This is particularly unfair considering that the service industry accounts for more than 50 percent of China's GDP.

The fact that highly educated people are choosing to work for the service industry also indicates social progress. Individuals have the personal freedom to choose a job to their liking, irrespective of others' opinions. The value of a career should be defined by the people who choose it. Real estate agents' jobs may not seem "decent" to some, but a few real estate agents earn fairly well by virtue of their hard work and skills. With the real estate sector seeing rapid growth in recent years, it is only natural that it should attract more qualified people.

Reports say that till April, more than 10,000 employees of Lianjia, a leading real estate agency, had a bachelor's degree. Also, nowadays, families do not want a babysitter who can just look after their children when they are away, but one who is educated and can teach them a language or two.

It's high time we changed our attitude toward the service industry and people's career choices to keep pace with the times.