As a well-paid salary worker who followed the conventional path of education, Jin believes she was part of a “luckier” generation. She worries constantly about what new competition and challenges her children will face when it’s their turn.
“While I still unconsciously think that becoming a doctor would be splendid and honorable, if my children wish to become something totally different, or even opt to skip college, I would be happy for them as long as they can ensure enough security,” she said. Who knows what new jobs will be created in her 7-year-old’s early adult years, Jin added.
Jin’s concerns illustrate how perceptions of jobs in South Korea have changed in recent years, with more young people being out of work, with more opting to avoid conventional workplaces, and with new jobs being created in step with technological advancements.
Next big thing
By far the hottest trend in career goals for children these days is the rising popularity of content creation.
According to the Ministry of Education, as of end-2019 content creators edged out doctors in the top three on a list of jobs most coveted by grade school children.
When the ministry surveyed 7,500 sixth grade students, 11. 6 percent said they wanted to be athletes, 6.9 percent said they wanted to be teachers and 5.7 percent said they wanted to be content