In the "old days" in China (up to about even 10 years ago) a good (usually government-appointed) job was known as an "iron rice bowl" because it was basically impossible to be fired and you would always be able to eat if you had such a job. Young university students would compete for these jobs, which guaranteed of a fairly comfprtable life. However, because of the adoption of an open market economy, job security is no longer what it used to be. And the so-called "iron rice bowl" jobs are not in such high demand. College students now compete not for the "iron rice bowl" but for the "gold rice bowl", a lucrative job with a large company or corporation. This is important simply because it is an outward sign of China's modernization and also something that people who go around mistakenly ranting about "communist China" should take into consideration.