SEOUL, July 12 (Korea Bizwire) – A recent study conducted by the Korea Institute for Industrial Economics & Trade revealed that although software developers or software-related personnel tend to work high-intensity hours in their 20s and 30s, they often retire early and end up with almost no work thereafter.
These workers, referred to as ‘software personnel’ by the institute, accounted for 1.4 percent of all workers in Korea last year, and their average age of retirement fell between 45 and 50.
“The software field has relatively fast technological progress,” said the institute. “And although many companies in software-related businesses are newly formed, many also fail, leaving software personnel with shorter careers and years of service.”
The institute also added that there exists a big difference in productivity between top-level and ordinary software personnel, and while there is high demand for these kinds of workers, average or below-average employees are quickly weeded out.
“It’s true that this rapid turnover is the result of the short lifespan of technology. However, a large number of small software businesses offering poor working conditions, and Korea’s distinctive working culture that is age-discriminatory also play a big role.”
The so-called ‘ICT (information communication technology) Revolution’ allowed numerous start-ups to enter the market, resulting in an increased number of independent business owners. However, this has also led to overworked employees, and an increasing number of part-time laborers. Start-up employees usually suffer from long work hours, but when business starts to drop, the demand for their services decreases, and they start working part-time.
“We need to come up with a solution to make use of these highly-skilled workers that are being wasted,” added the institute. “For example, we could use early-retired, high-value software personnel to educate and train students in secondary education and at universities.”
By Joseph Shin (firstname.lastname@example.org)