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NIS Job Fervor

Posted February. 17, 2002 11:37,   


`Get a job in the National Intelligence Service.`

On the one hand, most people hate the National Intelligence Service (NIS) due to its involvement in the recent `Gates` but, on the other hand, they regard it as one of the best jobs for the ones who are troubled by the intense job shortage.

Students from high-ranked colleges organize `study groups` in order to prepare for the employment examination for the NIS, and hundreds of applicants are rushing to the lectures provided by private educational institutes which aid in preparing for the NIS employment exam.

On the bulletin board of the economics department in Seoul National University, `notice` appeared which says a study group is open to prepare for the NIS employment exam scheduled in August. The unusual thing is that the criteria for joining the group is to have graduates from high-ranked universities like SNU, Korea University, and Yonsei University.

Mr. Kim, who is in the graduating class of business administration at Yonsei University, said, "A lot of study groups consisting of students from top universities are forming to beat over 60 competitors for a post in the NIS."

Specialized educational institutes that prepare students for the NIS employment exam are flooded with the applicants for NIS. An official of Institute Y in Gyeonji-dong, Jongno-ku, Seoul said, "More and more students are attending lectures, and there are over 10 telephone inquiries a day. When the date for exam draws closer, there will be around 700 to 800 exam takers."

An official of another institute H in Seocho-dong, Seoch-ku, Seoul said, "As the competition gets more intense, many people do not make the first or second cut and prepare for the exam after quitting their jobs."

The enthusiasm for seeking employment in the NIS is spreading even on the web. Hundreds of inquiries about employment a day are flooding the NIS home page (www.nis.go.kr).

Small groups on the web that are preparing for the NIS exam appear one after another, and members of some groups number up to thousand people. They exchange information from time to time, and sometimes visit the NIS building themselves.

A member of a small study group on the Internet, Mr. Yoo (23), who is a junior at Korea University, said, "The charm of a NIS job is that it pays as much as major corporations do, and guarantees employment until retirement age, and has various working fields like diplomacy and economy. Youths prefer working for the NIS since the negative image of NIS from the days of authoritarianism has disappeared."

The NIS thinks that applicants are continuously increasing due to job shortage and the trend of seeking stable job.

An official of the NIS said, "From freshmen or sophomores to highly qualified applicants who have doctoral degree from famous foreign universities come to the office in person and ask about employment in the NIS."

Sang-Ho Yun ysh1005@donga.com