SEOUL, Jun. 15 (Korea Bizwire) — A new report has revealed an increasing number of South Korean university students feel discouraged about their job prospects before graduating, with fewer students now having a plan set out for employment.
According to the report released on Wednesday by the Korea Research Institute for Vocational Education and Training (KRIVET) with a focus on the change in the lifestyle of university students in the last 10 years, fewer people now prepare for employment than before despite high youth unemployment rates.
Over half of students enrolled in a four-year degree program turned out to have not set a specific employment goal prior to graduation, as the number of students with a plan decreased from 60 percent in 2005 to 48.2 percent in 2014.
The KRIVET defines those with an employment goal as someone who has put forth at least a minimum effort to look into their vocation, such as searching for job information, instead of those who just have a vague idea of what field of work they want to pursue a career in.
“As finding employment becomes more difficult, it’s possible that more students feel discouraged even before they begin the preparation process of employment,” said Yang Jung-seung, the KRIVET researcher who wrote the report.
Over the same period, the number of students who undertook a vocational training course fell 1.9 percent, while those who took a language course abroad that lasted longer than six months also dropped 1.2 percent.
The average length of time spent in university increased however, from 5.4 years in 2005 to 5.7 years in 2005.
Amid worsening employment prospects, the number of students who took a leave of absence rose 13 percent last year compared to the year before.
The trend was more apparent among arts and humanities and social science students, with 25.2 percent and 33.8 percent of students taking a leave of absence in 2014, respectively.
In the meantime, the reliance on student loans increased from 5.1 percent in 2005 to 16.4 percent in 2014 in light of the government’s support for student loan repayment programs.
The KRIVET report was based on statistics gathered from 25,987 university graduates under 35 years of age from 2005 to 2014 by the Korea Employment Information Service.
Hyunsu Yim (firstname.lastname@example.org)