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ERIC Number: ED557466
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 172
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3211-4805-3
School-to-Work Transition of College Graduates in Korea: The Impact of High School Track on College Performance and Post-College Occupational Outcomes
Kwon, Sung Youn
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, The Pennsylvania State University
This study aimed at examining the impacts of high school track on college performance and subsequent occupational outcomes after college graduation. To this end, the Korean Education and Employment Panel (KEEP) data from 2004 through 2010, including 4,000 samples of 12th graders as of 2004 from vocational and general high schools, were analyzed. The differences in the influence of the two high school tracks were also investigated to identify the effect of secondary vocational education. Regarding college performance, a great gap was found between the two high school track graduates. Even though the majority of the high school graduates advanced to "some college," considerably fewer samples from the vocational track chose two-year colleges rather than four-year colleges. They are significantly affected by their individual and family backgrounds in determining post-secondary education. In contrast, the graduates from general high schools were significantly influenced only by their academic records and educational aspiration when making a decision on college advancement. These results support the findings of previous research, asserting that students in the vocational track demonstrate lower self-efficacy and disadvantageous socio-economic circumstances in comparison with those in the general track. High school track had significant relationships with college performance. The vocational high school graduates were less likely to enroll in four-year colleges, less likely to choose a temporary left during college education, and much less likely to complete four-year colleges than those from general high school. On the other hand, high school track did not influence "job relevance to college major" and "job correspondence to educational level," when those who were in first-paid employment after college graduation were analyzed. These results imply that high school track has short-term effects, but the impact does not last in the middle- or long-term after the cohorts complete their college education. One noticeable finding is that those who desired four-year college graduation, enrolled in four-year colleges, and chose a temporary stop of college attendance are less likely to be satisfied with their first-paid jobs. The finding of this study--no differences in post-college occupational outcomes between the two high school track graduates--may suggest that a fundamental transformation of the policies regarding secondary vocational education is essential. The Korean secondary vocational education needs to change its goal from producing middlelevel skilled labor to preparing a workforce with transferable knowledge and skills for pursuing some college education. This alteration will inevitably require integrating the vocational curriculum with the academic curriculum at the high school level. Further, given that 50% of the vocational high school graduates enrolled in two-year colleges and demonstrated more satisfaction with their jobs than their peers from general high schools, strengthening post-secondary vocational education could facilitate the college-to-work transition, thereby eventually reducing the high unemployment of college graduates. With empirical evidence, this study contributes to a better understanding of the behaviors of the vocational high school graduates, with regard to their in-college and post-college outcomes. This study also suggests that differentiating the competencies of college graduates from both tracks could ensure the identity of secondary vocational education. In addition, the findings of the study support that expediting the college-towork transition should be the goal of the Korean secondary vocational education. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; High Schools; Secondary Education; Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Korea