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Firms Promoting Specialized Education

Posted September. 21, 2006 05:59,   


It was in the First Engineering Hall in Sungkyunkwan University at Cheoncheon-dong, Jangan-gu, Suwon, Gyeonggi on September 20. The Freshman Seminar for Semiconductor System majors of the School of Information and Communications Engineering was in full launch. Each slide for the class had the words ‘confidential’ posted.

“According to the corporate brand value assessment conducted by the economics magazine Business Week, Samsung Co. ranked 34th with 8.3 billion dollars in 2002, to 20th this year with 16.2 billion dollars.”

The lecturer who stood in front of the eighty students of the Semiconductor Systems major is Hyun Jong-hoon, manager of Samsung Electronics’ human resources division. The lecture was conducted by 10 employees of Samsung Electronics, and aimed to explain the company and the semiconductor industry to the students.

Freshman Park Min-ju said, “It feels like we’re sharing the secret information of a company which may be our workplace in the future.”

The Semiconductor System major is a new department installed at Sungkyunkwan University by Samsung Electronics to cultivate professionals in the field of semiconductors. Half of the subjects are lectured by doctorate degree holders from Samsung Electronics, and in the junior and senior year the students can also perform internships at Samsung Electronics. The academic courses are different from other theory-centered majors.

Semiconductor, Mechanics Majors Outsourced-

Major domestic companies such as Samsung Electronics focus on installing specialized academic courses in colleges and acquire exemplary human resources. This type of education is lauded by companies in that the students can be applied directly to the field.

Colleges also have the advantage of corporate support and heighten their percentage of employment. Students are supported with scholarships and basic living fees, thereby satisfying all three factors of company-college-students.

Students of Semiconductor Systems major earn their college fees (4 million won per semester) and basic living fees (660,000 won per month), and after passing the Samsung Aptitude Test (SSAT) entry to the company is guaranteed.

Students may continue to research with the support up to the masters and doctorate course. That is why the early admissions competition among science high school students was 6.4 to 1.

Internship centered Education… Fierce Competition-

Along with Samsung Electronics, Hyundai Motors, LG Electronics, Hynix Semiconductor, Mando Corporation, and LG Chem Ltd, major domestic companies are performing select human resource education in science and engineering.

LG Electronics is significant in conducting the ‘LG Track’ and ‘Global LG Track’ course in Korean colleges. This company accepted applicants from Indonesia’s prestigious college Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB) and is having Korea University deliver the lectures.

Assessment of employees who underwent this specialized educational program is favorable. Mando, a motor components company, conducted five courses in early 2004 for the junior level in the school of mechanical engineering at Kyungbook University, including the ‘Course on Motor Chassis and Dynamics’.

Among the fifteen students for this course, nine students that exclude those taking a break or studying abroad entered Mando in January this year. Shin Jong-kuk, department head of the company’s human resource development team, said “they are quick to adjust to the work,” and assessed “because their entry was prepared, their work performance in creating a vision for themselves is not like a novice and is laudable.”

But some worry of the work centered education when students should have access to a broad range of education in college.

Professor Lee Chil-gi of the School of Information and Communications of Sungkyunkwan University said “the Semiconductor System major is different from other engineering course in that the students have access to hands-on professional education since the beginning,” but added, “It’s a pity that students are focused too much on their major and miss out on the humanities courses.”


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