Shen Zihao often forgets the names of his major course instructors. This senior student at Shenzhen University originally studied Educational Technology, but he frequently skipped classes in his major to take courses at the College of Computer Science and Software Engineering.
All of this was in pursuit of “coding.” It has become a trend in the past few years for students to self-study computer knowledge and apply for programming positions, especially in big tech companies. During his second year, Shen Zihao even received a monthly intern salary of over ten thousand yuan during the booming period of internet giants.
Shenzhen University embodies the DNA of big tech companies. It is located within a 15-minute walking distance from many major companies such as Baidu, Tencent, ByteDance, and Kuaishou. Students don’t need to squeeze into the subway during rush hour or rent a five-thousand-yuan-per-month apartment in the science and technology park. They only need to wake up at nine o’clock in the morning, leave through the northwest gate, proceed straight, pass through a traffic light, and they will arrive at the company. According to the “2018-2022 Internet Talent Development Report” published by Liepin, Shenzhen University made it into the top 10 internet talent source universities for the first time in 2022, while the others were all prestigious 985 universities in China.
Naturally, there are many students here who are pursuing coding. In June 2022, a student team at the university conducted a survey and found that among 634 surveyed students who had internship experiences in big tech companies, nearly 40% were majoring in fields unrelated to computer science.
However, a year after the survey, many students, including Shen Zihao, felt the change. On February 13, 2023, the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology published the “Internet Investment and Financing Operation Report for the Fourth Quarter of 2022,” which showed a continued decline of 78% in the scale of internet investment and financing compared to the previous year.
Shen Zihao, who had five internships at big tech companies, realized that entering a big tech company after going through twists and turns might not necessarily be the best destination.