Chinese interpreting studies: structural determinants of MA students' career choices

Xu, Z. and Archambault, É.

(2015). Chinese interpreting studies: structural determinants of MA students' career choices. Scientometrics, published online 9 September 2015, pp. 1–18.


During the last 30 years, the growth of the interpreting industry in China has been outstanding. Increasing economic and political collaboration has driven the demand for interpreters to bridge the linguistic and cultural divides that exist between China and the West. With the creation of master’s and bachelor’s degrees in interpreting and translation all over China, hundreds of graduates from various universities have since undertaken distinctly different career paths. Using an exhaustive corpus of Masters’ theses and a combination of logistic regression and Targeted Maximum Likelihood Estimation to establish causalities, this paper focuses on some of the structural determinants of graduate students’ career choices. The paper examines to what extent university affiliations, thesis advisors, research methodology and thesis content influence the choice to pursue an academic career. The research reveals that graduating from a top university makes students less likely to become academics, and studying under a top advisor does not necessarily increase an individual’s chances of securing an academic post. By contrast, writers of empirical theses or ones that are about training are more likely to enter the academic sphere.

Keywords: Scientometrics, Chinese interpreting studies, targeted maximum likelihood estimation, MA theses, career choices, causal inference.

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