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[Opinion] The Secret to Daejon Electronic High School’s Success

[Opinion] The Secret to Daejon Electronic High School’s Success

Posted October. 27, 2005 04:22,   


Graduates of Daejon Electronic Design High School enjoy 100% employment every year. As of October 26, 100 out of 108 seniors of employment classes are hired by large conglomerates. It is an amazing success rate, given that only 60% of college graduates land their first jobs six months after graduation, and 330,000 youths are unemployed nationwide.

Jung Sun-gyu, the school principal, said the secret to its success is to nurture the talent companies want. Teachers visit companies regularly to identify their needs and make sure that they teach students skills needed by businesses at practice classes.

Large conglomerates are voicing complaints that “new recruits are unfamiliar with routines at work” (42%) and “retraining is needed after hiring” (69%). Samsung Electronics is spending more than 80 billion won every year in retraining the 6,000 science and engineering major graduates it hires. But that is not the case for the graduates of Daejon Electronic Design High School. The principal ensures that freshmen learn technology which they may need three years from now. The school’s curriculum embraces the demands of large conglomerates and their product development plans for the next five years. So the graduates equipped with these skills are fully ready for jobs right after graduation.

Collaboration between industry and academia, and customized education on demand are international trends. One example is Hsinchu Science Park in Taiwan, which produces 80% of the nation’s semiconductors exported to Silicon Valley in the U.S.. In every province famous for a great product in Europe, there is a university studying the product. Community colleges in the U.S. also bring changes to their curriculum every year to produce talent that can meet the needs of companies in their regions. Internship courses are also a product of collaboration between industry and academia.

Last month, Kumwang Technical High School in Chungbuk, Juseong University and Hynix Semiconductor signed a customized education agreement. They offered the first example of three-party cooperation among a technical high school, a college and a company. The Samsung Electronics Telecommunications Network division will offer a one-year course called ‘Telecommunication Track’ at 10 universities nationwide, including Korea University and Hanyang University, earlier next year. The company will provide each university with 700 million won for five years to help them to develop talent as it wants. Students who complete the track will enjoy advantages when they apply for a job with the company. Other companies, including LG Electronics and Mando have also set up customized undergraduate and graduate courses. Customized education is now a trendy solution to unemployment in Korea.

Hong Kwon-hee, Editorial Writer, konihong@donga.com