[Ask Hyojin] Taking a Break from College in Korea

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In Korea, it is very common to see university students take a year or more off and do some other things, and then go back to school. Is it also common in your countries? In this episode of Ask Hyojin, 현우, Terris, and 효진 talk about how “taking a break from college” works in Korea.

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[Ask Hyojin] Taking a Break from College in Korea
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  • Kevin Han

    안녕하세요!

    This was a very good episode, and I learned a lot of interesting facts. I have some questions too regarding the whole topic of education and its effects on job searching.

    1. I know in China, and many other countries, companies look at the ability to speak English fluently and having a degree from an United States University as a huge advantage. Is this the case in the major Korean Corporations as well?

    2. In Korea, how much of a difference does a Ph.D, versus Masters versus Bachelor’s Degree have on your salary and ability to find work? In America, it seems that the value of getting a Ph.D is decreasing more and more compared to the other two degrees. It seems like now it is getting to a point that if you are not interested in being a professor or researcher, there is very little reason to get a Ph.D and you only need a Masters or Bachelors instead.

    3. How is the job market in Korea in terms of degrees? Are there certain degrees that are extremely useful and other degrees pretty useless? How would you rank them? For example, in America, degrees in Medical, Law, Engineering, Business probably make the most money, while History and Art degrees generally make very little. More specifically, how is the market in Korea for Mechanical Engineers :p.

    Since I am seriously considering working and living away from America to gain more diverse experiences, these questions are all very relevant for me. I’m sure it is also really useful information for other’s who wants to move to Korea as well, but are afraid to because of the uncertainty of employment. It will be nice to have an episode targeting the people who are interested in moving to Korea and what we should expect ^^ 감사합니다!!! Keep up the good work, I love your shows!

    -Kevin Han

    • 1. I know in China, and many other countries, companies look at the ability to speak English fluently and having a degree from an United States University as a huge advantage. Is this the case in the major Korean Corporations as well?

      > Yes, some point, if someone has a degree from good university in U.S. and the person can speak English fluently, the person will have much advantage when he/she get a job.

      2. In Korea, how much of a difference does a Ph.D, versus Masters versus Bachelor’s Degree have on your salary and ability to find work? In America, it seems that the value of getting a Ph.D is decreasing more and more compared to the other two degrees. It seems like now it is getting to a point that if you are not interested in being a professor or researcher, there is very little reason to get a Ph.D and you only need a Masters or Bachelors instead.

      > Well, I also think that people won’t get a Ph.D just for getting a job. Most of them must be interested in being a professor or researcher. When it comes to Masters, people need it because they want to keep their career through the job they want. It can be an advantage.

      3. How is the job market in Korea in terms of degrees? Are there certain degrees that are extremely useful and other degrees pretty useless? How would you rank them? For example, in America, degrees in Medical, Law, Engineering, Business probably make the most money, while History and Art degrees generally make very little. More specifically, how is the market in Korea for Mechanical Engineers :p.

      > I don’t know well about this question. Many companies commonly needed TOEIC scores before and they have their own test. However, I don’t know well about the other degrees.

    • Kevin Han

      Ok, 감사합니다 석진씨! All very useful information. I guess for my last question, I was looking more so for an answer for how the job market for engineers is in Korea. Is it in high demand, medium demand, low demand, or almost non-existant? Although I’m going to guess it’s not “Non-Existent” since Hyundai, Kia, Samsung, and LG are huge globally. But outside of those big 4, are there many other companies that have engineering positions?

    • Hi Kevin Han,
      Well, I am sorry. It is hard for me to know the answer you want until I ask to the companies.
      In my opinion, it will be good for you to send some e-mails asking the questions to the companies. 🙂

  • Kevin Han

    Ok, that makes sense, thanks! I should probably wait until I become better at Korean :p

  • Gill Zeng

    I like your video so much, so I made a transcript in Chinese myself
    Hope that will help some Chinese speaker understand the video
    https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B-lQ7ONzDYJ6X1pwZTVJYkNzWDg/edit?usp=sharing

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  • Kim

    I would be graduating college at 23 but wow I thinks it’s amazing they think like 27 is early to graduate or graduate at that age. Usually I just want to get the work over with and start my dream job ahaha.

  • Lily

    After watching this video, I’m really wondering… What the average age of people at university?
    It seems like much older than in my home country… and I already feel so young here compared to other people in university… What would it be if I came to Korea? ^_^

  • SC25

    I think another reason American college students rarely take time off is because of the different perception of “college life.” Many students go to four-year universities, often away from from their hometown, and depending on the university, many live on campus. There is a very strong overall perception that your college years is this set block of time, and people want to graduate with the same friends they met their freshman year. Of course there are a lot of exceptions to this, but at my school this was definitely the case.