SEOUL, Feb.15 (Korea Bizwire) – Research shows that graduates of universities that have a high social status are more satisfied with their lives. Apart from being able to land high-paying jobs, a recent study revealed that those who graduate from good schools have higher self-esteem and a better life at home, proving that happiness does perhaps depend on one’s grades.
Professor Kim Young-chul from the Department of Financial Economics at Sangmyeong University announced the results of his research in a paper entitled ‘Happiness doesn’t depend on grades? The non-economic effects of educational background’.
Professor Kim analyzed the data generated from a survey conducted by the Korea Labor and Income Panel Study (KLIPS) with the participation of 9,997 subjects, to see whether satisfaction with life differed based on educational background.
The respondents were divided into seven groups according to their educational background: high-ranking universities (10 schools), upper-middle rank universities (30 schools), middle rank universities (40 schools), other 4-year-course colleges, 2-year-course colleges, high school graduates and junior high school graduates.
The results showed that individuals with higher education levels were also more satisfied with their lives.
Among the respondents, 30.2 percent (3,095 individuals) answered that they were satisfied with their lives. However, 54 percent of those who graduated from high-ranking universities answered that they were satisfied with their lives.
As education levels decreased, the number of respondents who were satisfied with their lives decreased. The results showed that 46.4 percent of upper-middle rank university graduates, 42.4 percent of middle rank university graduates, and 46.2 percent of other 4-year-course college graduates answered that they were satisfied with their lives, which did not differ much from the high ranking university graduates. However, levels of satisfaction decreased among 2-year-course college graduates (35.1 percent), high school graduates (28.8 percent) and junior high school graduates (23.1 percent).
Under the assumption that monthly income is equivalent to occupational status, the results were similar. Setting the satisfaction levels of 2-year-course college graduates as a standard, the satisfaction levels of high school graduates and junior high school graduates were 11.9 percent point and 6.2 percent point lower respectively, and the satisfaction levels of upper-middle ranking university graduates and high ranking university graduates were 10.6 percent point and 15.5 percent point higher.
Ruling out the relationship between educational background, resulting income disparities, and satisfaction with life, professor Kim suggested that elements such as the quality of one’s work environment, marriage and family life, self-esteem, and discrimination were all included in the effect of educational background.
For instance, those who had higher levels of education turned out to face less discrimination when getting a job or in society in general.
Professor Kim commented that the pursuit of higher education can no longer be seen as being in vain. He pointed out that the social custom of ranking universities should be changed in order to resolve the fierce competition typical of university entrance exams.
The paper will be presented at an economics conference in Seoul on February 17, and published in the March issue of ‘Economics Research’.
By Lina Jang (firstname.lastname@example.org)