Unemployment crisis: Is there no end?
Unemployment crisis: Is there no end?
  • Kim Min-a reporter
  • 승인 2009.03.21 00:29
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When will
the economic recession be over? The Korea Development Institute announced January 21st that this year’s economic growth rate in Korea is forecast at only about 0.7 percent. By early February, many people expected the economic conditions to be improved. But the expectation was completely shattered. And there are growing concerns about the economic recession. Many people protested that our government must seek various alternatives for the prolonged economic slump.
Under these circumstances, many graduating students of universities go to a junior college. It is called ‘U-turn’. They put more importance on employment rate than the level of universities. In Daegu, the highest number of people applied for Daegu Health College in history. Most of applicants were college graduates or higher degree holders and even received doctorate. In particular, a total of 310 applicants competed for 17 positions at the Department of Nursing Science, recording a competition rate of 18.2:1. One-hundred-ninety-two graduates submitted applications for admission to Wonkwang Health Science University. That was a sharp increase of 28 percent from the same period of last year. One-hundred-twenty-three applicants are to four-year colleges. More than half of whole applicants chose the Department of Nursing Science. Also, the departments of radiology, dental hygiene, and physical therapy were very popular because employment is guaranteed if they get the Certificate of National Technician.
One hundred people applied for health care in the case of Hallym College. Without exception, graduates applied for the Department of Nursing Science and Early Childhood Education. It is a well known fact that these departments have high employment rates. As a result, four-year college graduates who applied for the school are more than double compared with last year in nationwide technical colleges. It is all a struggle to get a job.
According to a survey, only about 50 percent of all graduates succeed in finding jobs with the increase in youth unemployment. The result showed only 46.2 percent of those surveyed found jobs. This ratio is 11.7 percent lower than last year and 16.6 percent lower than 2006. 29.7 percent of those people who found jobs were employed for temporary positions. To obtain a job, the employed submitted at least 28 of their resumes to companies. Even 13.1 percent of the employed sent over 50 of their resumes to corporations.
The unemployment crisis is a bad news for undergraduates, too. Most domestic university students are taking off from school. In fact, at least two of ten students are leaving school for a few years in some universities. According to MEST (the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology), the leave-of-absence rate reached 15.13 percent in four-year universities. The reason why students are taking off from school is that large companies prefer candidates for graduation to graduates. Actually, graduates had difficulty applying for Samsung several years ago. This phenomenon spread from 1000 large companies to public enterprise. They don't put an age limit on recruiting but restrict identity as candidates for graduation or fresh from college.
Also, candidate’s situations are bad. To put off the graduation, they request professors to give a low grade such as a grade of F and avoid mandatory classes. So, many universities have allowed students to postpone graduation by attending extra classes. Under the system, seniors can remain as students. They spend a fifth or sixth year at university. They are fifth-year seniors and called NG (No Graduation) people. They think students are better than graduates when they enter the workplace. It is expected that the number of these students will increase more and more.
The number of freshman changes every year according to a decrease in employment rate. Kyungpook National University faced a low rate of application. The school always boasts a high entrance rate and 100% rate of application, so it is very shocking that the number of freshmen failed to meet the capacity. It happened for the first time since establishing the school. According to MEST, 31 national universities are located in the whole country, and 10 out of the schools recruited freshman in addition.
The unemployment crisis eventually made students go abroad. As the unemployment crisis has been magnified significantly, many college students are going abroad. Because domestic corporations expand overseas, students turn their attention to working there. Also, they know job openings in domestic companies are limited, and they think if they can’t speak in English, they don't have an opportunity to interview. So, they want to go abroad and study there. Kim Min-ju, a senior in the Dept. of Mathematics, said, “If I can’t speak English well, I don’t even think about employment. So I’m going to go abroad after taking a leave of absence.”
In spite of a severe unemployment crisis, college students still want to have decent jobs. But it would be a wise way for college students to lower their eye levels under the current situation.

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