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Survey Results on Korean CEOs’ Level of Satisfaction with College Education

Survey Results on Korean CEOs’ Level of Satisfaction with College Education

Posted January. 06, 2005 22:38,   


It is reported that CEOs of Korean companies consider new college gradate employees to be relatively internationalized and fluent in foreign languages, but lacking in creativity, challenging spirit and sense of responsibility.

That was part of a survey result that the Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development and the Federation of Korean Industries jointly conducted in October and November of last year. The results of the survey, which were released by the Ministry of Education and Human Resources on January 6, came from a poll of 198 CEOs of large conglomerates and small-to-medium-sized companies.

Lack of Creativity and Sense of Responsibility –

The CEOs surveyed gave relatively high scores, 4.14 with 6.00 being a perfect score, to new college graduate employees for their international perspectives (international sense and command of foreign language) and basic abilities (ability to express opinions, ability to implement plans, and basic knowledge of work).

However, the CEOs gave scores of 3.67 and 3.79 for values (creativity and challenging spirit) and character (courtesy, attitude, faithfulness, and sense of responsibility), a far lower grade than expected.

Their satisfaction with major education in college stood at 3.60, a lower score than their satisfaction with humanities education (4.08), which illustrates that colleges may be failing to nurture talents that the business sector wants.

The Level of Satisfaction Has Increased a Bit-

About 56 percent, or 118 of 198 CEOs responded that knowledge and skills that colleges offer meet the demands of the business field.

Analysts say that is a sign of improvement in that respondents said that knowledge and skills learned from college were about no more than 26 percent of what companies demanded back in 2002.

An executive in personnel at a conglomerate said that as competition among job seekers were getting fiercer, colleges and students were trying harder than before to equip themselves with qualities that companies are requesting.

However, there were still negative answers in the survey, such as “The course of study in colleges is irrelevant to demand from companies,” (38 respondents); “Colleges are lacking in education on new knowledge and technologies” (22 respondents); and “The courses of study are much too focused on theory” (18 respondents).

“Application Ability Matters Most”-

CEOs consider application ability (the ability to put one’s major-related knowledge into practice, problem solving skills, the ability to apply one’s knowledge to work, and analysis skills) as the most important ability, giving 5.16 points with 6.00 being a perfect score.

Other important abilities were international perspectives (4.91 points), values (4.77), character (4.73), views on organization (4.77), and basic ability (4.62).

CEOs reportedly value job skills like computer proficiency (4.70 points) in the basic abilities category, fluency in foreign languages (5.08) in the international perspectives category, interpersonal skills (4.71) in the views on organization category, creativity and challenging spirit in the values category (4.94), and pro-activeness in the character category (4.94).

Seong-Chul Hong sungchul@donga.com