Mar. 11 (NBD) -- China's first batch of undergraduates from the "crayfish school" of a vocational college in south-central China's Hubei has got job offers before acquiring degrees, Beijing Youth Daily reported.

Located in Qianjiang, a city known for crayfish farming, the college sets up the School of Gastronomy Culture which has three crayfish related majors: Cooking Skill and Nutrition, Food & Beverage Management and Marketing.

The academic faculty includes not only 60 teachers, but experts with rich experience in the field and celebrated master chefs.

In 2017, the first 86 students enrolled in the two-year programs. The figure rose to over 100 students the next year.

The new established school draws stream of curious comments on the social media.

-"Does the class cook a few pounds of crayfishes and eat them?"

-"This is the way I dream of learning."

According to the school, the curriculum for the students consists of two parts, academic courses and skills operation. For academic courses, besides English and computer, the students will learn nutrition, management and other related professional knowledge. By constant practice, students are trained to make crayfish in various flavors.

"The goal of our school is not to satisfy personal appetite, but to obtain employment," a school staff member said.

A normal chef cooking crayfish earn about 7,000-8,000 yuan (1041.6-1190.4 U.S. dollars) a month. "Our students receive more professional training and they have strong competitiveness," said the person.

"No graduate from crayfish majors can't find a job," Gong Dingrong, deputy of the National People's Congress and mayor of Qianjiang, noted with confidence.

The annual output of crayfish in Hubei topped 631,600 tons in 2017, 55 percent of the total for the country, with the output value of crayfish farming during the year hitting 25.43 billion yuan (3.8 billion U.S. dollars).

In Qianjiang, 130,000 to 150,000 people are engaged in crayfish-related industries, accounting for half of the city's positions, Gong introduced.

The graduation of students enrolled in 2017 is approaching, and all of them and even those entering the school last year and taking internship have been "booked out" by enterprises.

Students majoring in cooking skill and nutrition primarily work as chefs while those in Food & Beverage Management and Marketing mainly take up the post of the manager responsible for restaurant management and sales business.

Since the college has forged collaboration with local catering firms, hotels and resorts involving in crayfish business, the employment prospect is promising, which backs its enrollment expansion.

This year, the college plans to double the enrollment of the school. "We will also add more majors in planting and aquaculture fields, like dual rice-shrimp farming," Gong revealed.

In addition to crayfish-related majors, there have been new majors emerging in recent years, such as Gambling, Internet Celebrity, Equestrian and Brewing. People in China seem not opposed to the setting up of such novel majors, but show a welcoming and supportive attitude. The reason lies in people's understanding of the education, especially vocational education.

Email: zhanglingxiao@nbd.com.cn

Editor: Zhang Lingxiao