Joint UB-HIT Master: A Survey of Graduate Students
The joint master program between Harbin Institute of Technology (HIT) in China and University of Bordeaux (UB) in France has lasted for 9 years. More than 100 students have graduated since 2006. This paper tentatively presents a survey of graduate students (98.0 % students covered). The main purpose of this survey is to evaluate the employment situation of those students after graduation, to detect the requirement of the human resource in IT area and provide some trends and reference for the future candidates. The results retrieved are sorted using some criteria and are analysed.
KeywordsJoint master program Graduate students survey Data analysis
University of Bordeaux (UB) and Harbin Institute of Technology (HIT) have launched in 2006 a joint master program on enterprise engineering and software engineering . The objective of this program is to provide for the students all over the world a high level education environment both in the domain of enterprise engineering and software engineering . The duration of this joint master is 2 years. The first year’s courses in HIT put the emphasis on programming language, science and methodology and IT technique related to information system design and implementation, and the second year’s courses in UB focus on enterprise engineering, production management, enterprise modeling, project management and interoperability.
As the crisis of the US subprime mortgage spread widely, the enterprise all over the world faces many economic difficulties. The financial problems in enterprise lead to the pressure of employment. How to solve the problem of the graduate students’ employment becomes more and more urgent and difficult. In general, the government and society need the continuous development and creative enhancement. Moreover, through the analysis of graduate students, students can establish an objective for future employment and this will help to improve the study efficiency and develop a better learning plan in the university.
In this survey, 102 graduate students in total including 71 Chinese students and 31 international students have been taken into account. The main objective is to collect professional information of those graduate students and draw some general conclusions as the reference for the future students. To collect the information of graduate students, several communication techniques such as QQ, e-mail, WeChat, Facebook, LinkedIn and telephone call were used for contacting those students. The contact message sent to the students includes a proposed simple questionnaire.
After this brief introduction in Sect. 1, Sect. 2 will give the main results of this survey. Section 3 points out some limitation of this survey and analysis. Section 4 will discuss about the future trend and perspective of this joint master program. The final conclusion will be presented in Sect. 5.
2 Overview of the Results
Data analysis sorted by nationality
Percentage over total
Other foreign students
PhD study: This category includes the students who choose to study PhD or post Doctor in the colleges and universities.
Colleges and university: This category covers the most of the students after the PhD study. It concerns teacher, manager and secretary working on the education services and academic research in the colleges and universities.
Large companies: This category includes many kinds of the jobs but all focuses on the computer science and technology area. They are engineers, designers, managers and many different kinds of IT specialists in the international and big companies.
SME companies: This category covers the students who join in the small and medium size enterprise and work in the computer science and technology area.
Government employment: This category includes the workers who work for the civil service and it also includes the engineer and researchers who work in the government department.
Entrepreneurship: This category includes the students who create/start a business or other organization under their own responsibilities.
Non-IT companies: This category contains the students who choose a job which has no relationship with the computer science and technology.
Unstable job: This category includes the internship student before becoming the formal employee in the companies and institutes. It also contains the unemployed and home-based students who are still searching for jobs.
Chinese students data analysis
Total in both places
Colleges and university
3 Limitations of the Survey
In this survey, the main problem is how to get precise and latest information from graduate students. The information from LinkedIn is not directly gained from face-to-face communication, the credibility and perceived correctness is sometimes not as high as expected. In order to get the real information we need to privilege direct contact techniques instead of LinkedIn, although this will cost more time to set up.
This survey is just an “instant photo” of the students in January 2015, changes will happen after this survey. A periodical update of the results is needed. As more and more students participate in this joint master program, this survey also needs to be updated regularly.
The survey presented is only a first preliminary investigation; it also needs to be refined. For example it is more interesting to know how many HIT students work at technical level and how many HIT students work at the administration level in the IT Company. The same refinement would be needed on the research area of PhD students (IT related subject or others).
Last but not least, it will be interesting and important to compare the results of the survey with the employment situations of HIT students graduated from HIT master program. The results of this comparison will allow better knowing the advantages or shortcomings of the joint UB-HIT master program, and providing recommendations to strengthen strong points and improve the weaknesses in the future.
The joint master program provides a good opportunity for Chinese students to go abroad to study. The study is not only concerned with scientific and technique aspects, but also cultural and personal enhancement building. Indeed both Chinese and Europeans need to better know and understand each other in order to better develop their professional collaboration based on mutual trust and benefits.
The survey presented in this paper not only provides the places and return of experiences for collaboration education, but also more possibilities of finding international professional job positions. Relatively, this survey shows a big potential requirement for IT business market in China. We are sure that after reading this paper, more and more students will participate in this joint master program. And also the survey would help them to better establish their objective of study, either to continue a PhD study in foreign countries or work in large international companies in computer science area.
In this paper, a preliminary survey on the employment situation of the joint UB-HIT master graduates was presented. Information on 98 % of graduated students is covered by the survey. It has been shown that most of all students found a job after graduation. The survey concludes that continuing a PhD in Europe (and other parts of the world) and working in big companies in China are the two main trends. Although there were some difficulties in getting direct contact with some students, we believe that this limitation doesn’t call in question the credibility of the results obtained.
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