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Job outcomes among Korean graduates with vocational qualifications

Young-Min Lee (Sookmyung Women’s University, Seoul, Korea)
Sung-Eun Cho (Sookmyung Women’s University, Seoul, Korea)

Education + Training

ISSN: 0040-0912

Article publication date: 10 July 2017




The purpose of this paper is to ascertain the status of recent Korean four-year college students’ acquisition of vocational qualification certificates (hereinafter “certificates” or “qualifications”), the factors that influence certificate acquisition, and the resulting employment and wage effects.


Regression analysis was conducted on the data from the Graduates Occupational Mobility Survey.


The results showed that females and medicine and education majors had higher rates of vocational qualifications, as did the students in provincial as compared to metropolitan areas and students with high grades. In terms of effects on labor market outcomes, vocational qualifications exert a moderate degree of positive influence on employment rate, wage at the time of initial employment, and current wage (i.e. there is a persistent wage effect).


This study will provide policy implications to decrease youth unemployment in Korea and worldwide as well as to build employment services supporting the acquisition of vocational qualifications across various disciplines.



This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea Grant funded by the Korean Government (NRF-2016S1A2A2912272).


Lee, Y.-M. and Cho, S.-E. (2017), "Job outcomes among Korean graduates with vocational qualifications", Education + Training, Vol. 59 No. 6, pp. 619-634.



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