A dark and heavy atmosphere has been building up around campus as most students have been unable to find jobs before their graduation and only a small number of students have found the jobs that they have wanted.
South Korea's National Statistics office released the statistic that economic growth has raised to an annualized rate of 6.1%, however the unemployment rate among college graduates has drastically increased. Statistics show that unemployed college graduates have reached 346,000 people.
This is the highest since South Korea's National Statistics office began tracking the data. In these difficult circumstances university students who are preparing to find jobs need to investigate the causes, problems and solutions.
Experts point out the root cause of joblessness is increased student entrance numbers in college, which means more students for fewer jobs. According to a survey from South Korea's National Statistics office, jobs at public institutions and major companies have shrunk from 4,127,000 to 3,724,000 over the last 13 years, whereas student entrance numbers for college have increased 51.4% for 1995 to 83% for 2008 during that same period.
This all means that university graduates have increased by 70%. Another factor hurting university students’ employment is their excessive expectations wanting way too much too soon. Most potential employers at public institutions and major companies think this attitude is just working as an obstacle to their hiring.
Two students have found jobs. One is Choi Mun-gi, a major in Math Education. Mun-gi will work for Amorepacific. Under regular circumstances, students from the College of Education plan for their teacher certificate, however he found another way to get a job. His story was reported in the magazine 'Young people of Dongguk.' Mun-gi was a member of ‘108 leaders’.
This is the name of a human resources development program. Mun-gi regularly attended lectures related to finding jobs and received job counseling from the employment service center. His double major in math education and English makes him highly qualified for globalization.
Mun-gi answered questions as to why he selected his job. "I traveled abroad to more than ten countries and participated in several programs. This helped me to realize that this job was a better fit for me than being a teacher. My personality is outgoing, dynamic and adventurous. I think I am suitable for sales. I like to meet many new people and enjoy talking with them.” Mun-gi believes that 'Knowing yourself' is the most important thing to consider when looking for a job.
This means knowing your strengths and weaknesses and what you like and do not like. He recommends attending a lot of programs and internships as well as taking “some time for self-examination. Confidence is very important during an oral test. I think confidence comes from a firm sense of self.
Many students are bothered about getting A+ credit rather than actually acquiring the knowledge. They study all night long and then they go abroad to improve their ability to speak English when if they actually just tried to speak in their classes they would be better off."
Another student who has found a job is Kim So-i. So-i majors in the Department of Japanese Language and Literature and will work for Hanwahgalleria. She did not limit herself by only looking for a large company. Small businesses could also match her dreams. So-i said "I received plenty of help from my lectures planned by the employment service center. I always attended and listened to these special lectures. It is odd that only a small minority of students attends them and that is a shame. They are nothing, if not valuable. Hanhwagalleria fits nicely with me because of their management philosophy.
That is why I joined their firm." She passed along additional advice. "Think of all the things you are good at and look for those characteristics that may make you appealing to a company and then find a corporation that needs you." She also emphasizes starting a study group as means to finding a job. “This enables you to get ready for your job interview because of meeting many people. It is also a big advantage to have an excellent command of a foreign language besides English. Hanhwa prefers employees who can speak fluent Chinese.”
The manager of the employment service center said "Students need to establish their own strategy. It can be getting a job in your own major or choosing a job that has no relation what-so-ever. Know what you want to be and what you have to do to prepare for that. Do not wait for your third or fourth year of university. Think ahead and start building your transcript and resume.
Sung Min-kyeong email@example.com
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