The share of female students in engineering college in South Korea has exceeded 20% for the first time in almost 40 years. The conventional wisdom on the rarity of females majoring in engineering has now become a thing of the past.
On Monday, Jongro Haneul Academy announced that in 2020, the proportion of women in engineering college stood at 20.1% (115,352) according to statistics of education. It is an almost 20-fold rise from 1980 when the share was only about 1.2% (1,303). The ratio of women in college of engineering jumped to 6.1% in 1990 and was on a steady rise ever since, with 12.7% in 200, 13.8% in 2010, 19.1% in 2018, and 19.7% in 2019.
Among the many majors under engineering, it was fiber engineering that showed the highest share of female students (37.4%), followed by the science of landscape (36.3%) and chemical engineering (36.2%). But the presence of women in other majors remained weak such as auto engineering (5.2%), mechanical engineering (8.3%), and aeronautics (9.5%). “Soft and delicate non-equipment industries were favored by female students,” explained Oh Jong-woon a director at Jongro Haneul Academy. “The proportions of women in engineering will continue to grow thanks to the advancement of IT.”
In 2020, medicine (59.8%), liberal arts (57.8%), and arts and physical education (55.1%) saw some of the strongest presence of female students. Engineering (20.1%) still had one of the lowest female participation rates despite the steady growth of share.
Ye-Na Choi email@example.com