According to statistics from the Ministry of Education and Human Resources, the number of students leaving school temporarily in top universities ranged from 23.8 to 31.2 percent of the total number of enrolled students. Totals in universities outside of Seoul have even topped 50 percent. With female students contributing to the ever-growing numbers, more students are leaving school in search of other alternatives. Most opt to retake the National Scholastic Examination and switch over to a more popular major.
"With my major, I have to have at least a master"s degree. Besides, science and engineering is not as popular as other majors, making it more difficult to get the job I want. I plan to leave school for a while to retake the National Scholastic Examination to change my major," says Han Gwan-hee (Sogang University, 2).
According to a survey conducted by the North Cholla Women Workers Association on the employment outlook for female college graduates, about 28.9 percent responded that they felt their current university education did not help them get employed, and 30 percent answered that with their majors, they thought it was hard to find jobs that they wanted. As if to support these results, this year female students like Han, made up 47.7 percent of "ban-soo-seng," the college students who quit school after one semester to retake the National Scholastic Examination.
A staff member of the Ewha Career Center, however, sees this situation from another perspective: "The fact that there are preferred majors in the job market should not be the sole reason for students to change their majors. There are many different kinds of jobs offered that welcome students from all majors.
And while that point of view may be valid, students seem to have other overriding concerns. Hwang Bo-young (Division of International Studies, 2) explains, "It"s not simply what the company wants and who they pick. What"s important is what I want and what I want to become." And that, perhaps, is something statistics often fail to point out.