THE ASIAN CENTURY
KOREA'S YOUTH EMPLOYMENT. South Korea boasts a population with one of the most highly educated youth in the world. However, with one in ten youth being unemployed, the nation’s youth unemployment rate has also hit its peak in a decade. The significance of education in Korean society has its beginnings in the Joseon dynasty when state examinations were the gates to officialdom. However, now the abundance of degree holders in the market has diluted its worth. What was once considered a golden ticket to success, has now condescended into a must-have minimum qualification. Only a mere 30,000 suitable job openings are available as compared to the 560, 000 students who graduate every year. Consequently, more emphasis is placed on entering one of the top three universities in Korea, to be differentiated from the sea of degree holders. So much so that it has become an obsession. With young graduates having difficulties in finding a full time job, it is no wonder the part time job market is rapidly expanding. It has become almost impossible to distinguish a part-time worker from an undergraduate or postgraduate. But in spite of growing unemployment among young graduates, families still chase the degree, despite some amounting to heavy debt. Among the rest of the world, Korean households spend the most on private education. Will the dreams of the young and educated continue to be shattered? Will over education be the ruin of Korea’s economy?