Go to contents

Korean Scientists Dissatisfied With Salary

Posted April. 21, 2008 04:16,   


There is no “carrot” to coax talents into the field of science and technology. Korean scientists and engineers feel relatively deprived in terms of compensation. A survey found that they are most satisfied with their job in the fact that they use their talent (81.5 percent). Eight out of ten scientists answered as expected.

○ Korean Scientists Disgruntled With Working Conditions and Government Policies

Korean scientists and engineers were not satisfied with their working conditions in Korea.

One out of every three scientists or engineers said the research environment in Korea is unfavorable. Only 16 percent of the respondents said the condition is favorable.

However, 49 percent said the level of Korea’s science and technology is around the average of that of OECD member countries. Some 29.5 percent said Korea is in the world’s best or leading group.

Kang Tae-jin, dean of College of Engineering at Seoul National University, said, “The survey results show that scientists and engineers have a strong pride in their research results and the level of science and technology, but they are dissatisfied with the absence of the economic and social assistance they want.”

As for the government’s policy on science and technology, 71.5 percent said it is inefficient. Only three percent said otherwise.

Less than 10 percent said major government policies released after 2000 to discourage the avoidance of science and engineering, including the scholarship for engineers and the expansion of science high schools and education for talents, are helpful.

Kim Ki-wan, a researcher of the Korea Development Institute, said, “We need to have more substantial assistance such as raising the salary of scientists and engineers by introducing performance-based incentives.”

○ Need to Cut Number of Engineering Students and Secure Core Technology

Many people pointed out that there are problems with the supply of science and engineering students by Korean universities.

Among the respondents, 56 percent said there are too many science- and engineering-major students, while 35 percent said the number is appropriate.

And 49.5 percent said there are too many graduate students.

Yim Gyeong-soon, a science history professor at Pohang University of Science and Technology, said, “The current scale and structure of the science and engineering colleges was designed in the 1970s and 80s, so it will likely lead to an excess in supply at a time when things are streamlined into core industries.”

Min Cheol-gu, a fellow researcher at the Science and Technology Policy Institute, said, “We need to cut the number of science and engineering students by 20 to 30 percent and nurture the outstanding few.”

Most scientists and engineers said the government should focus on the research in basic science (39.59 percent) and in applied science (38.71 percent) over the next 10 years.

Jin Mi-seok, human resources research director of the Korea Research Institute for Vocational Education and Training, said, “Since businesses can develop industrial technology, the government should focus on basic and applied science research necessary for securing core technology.”

À̼¼?EÈ«¼ö¿µ ·ù¿ø½Ä