Domestic service majors from the first university in China to launch the course are so popular that many are approached by potential employers even before they graduate.
Jilin Agricultural University in Changchun, the capital of the northeastern province, which established the major in 2003, recruits about 60 students a year.
The employment rate for domestic service graduates has reached almost 90 percent and many earn decent money while still students, according to Li Lei, director of the university's domestic service laboratory. "As interns in the last semester before graduation, many have been able to earn 3,000 to 5,000 yuan ($450 to $750) a month."
According to a report published by MyCOS, an educational data and consulting company, the average monthly salary for graduates of the class of 2014 reached 3,487 yuan just six months after graduation.
"There is still a shortage of talent in the booming industry, so some companies come to our university to recruit," Li said.
However, only about 40 percent of graduates choose to work in the domestic service industry. That's because many of the original students were transferred to the major when they failed to gain entry to their preferred major, so they have no interest in the sector. However, the proportion has declined and the major is now the first choice of 50 to 60 percent of the students, Li said.
The university's domestic service department employs 13 teachers who are experts in a range of fields, including sociology, medical science, nutrition and management science. Half of them hold doctorates. About 60 percent of courses on the major are practical subjects, including designing and making clothes.
The university receives many visitors from other universities, and at least one university in Guangdong province and another in Hunan province have also established the major, Li said.
Li Juanhui, a junior student, said she chose the course because it is "a distinctive major--new, but promising" and there is "a shortage of talent in the industry".
She said many people still make "incorrect assumptions", and "it will require the efforts of several generations of teachers and students to overcome prejudice against the major".
The 21-year-old said she may begin preparing for exams for postgraduate study or to become a civil servant in the second semester.
Fellow student Dong Jian said he has come to enjoy the major, even though it was not his first choice.
However, the 21-year-old said he is confident about the sector's future so he may undertake postgraduate study or look for work at a primary or junior school as a teacher of courses related to family life.
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