Types of Expats Living in China
- Expats who have come to China to teach English. As long as you speak English (and sometimes if you don’t speak English well but have a white face), you can find a teaching job in China.
- Students who have come to China to study Chinese. This is a very small portion of the expat population in Shenzhen.
- Professionals — ie. Engineers or mid-to-high level management in multi-national corporations located within China. Most of these jobs require prior experience, oftentimes lots of it.
- A class of traders / exporters, who act as an intermediary between factories here in China and customers (businesses or individuals) back home.
Also realize that the above refers mainly to mainland (Southern) China. Hong Kong is another story, with a large concentration of job opportunities within the financial services & banking industries. As an expat in China with a good education but a lack of ‘real world’ job experience, my opportunities are limited to the following:
Job Opportunities for Expats in China
- Teaching English
- Getting (more) into exporting
- Various sales positions (especially in Shanghai)
- An investment banking position in Hong Kong
- Getting an appropriate graduate degree
- Getting an entry level job in the states and getting trained in to come back and work in mainland China.
What do you think the best option is? The last two are a little more difficult as it means getting a visa for my girlfriend in China and having enough money to support two people once we are back in the states. Not an easy proposition without a job lined up before getting home (which means flying back for interviews, right?)
Anyway, that’s my view on types of expats in China & the job opportunities available to someone with a degree (but not one in engineering and not someone withsome significant business experience). Of course, speaking Chinese widens the door a bit wider for some expats in China, but as most Chinese people say, language is just a tool.