Career prospects with a degree from Korean universities

Since I will become a senior in the coming fall semester, I guess this is one question I have become more informed about compared to my time as an innocent freshman. I do get quite some questions about this too, so I hope this post can help you a bit more in making your decision to come study in a Korean university.

Some basics you need to know about working in Korea before we start:

Local Korean companies vs Multi-National companies
For local Korean companies, they would definitely require Korean proficiency. And when I say Korean proficiency, it is not 반말 (the form of informal Korean you use with your friends), but formal, business Korean. So if your aim is to work in Korea, in a local company, you definitely have to be able to speak Korean well.
*Note: Korean multinationals like Samsung or LG are not really in this category

The number of multinational companies that choose to locate in Seoul has been increasing over the years, and Korean multinationals such as Samsung are becoming well-known brands worldwide. In this globalizing context, such companies have two tracks of employment. One would be the local track where they are looking for Koreans to work in local branches and contact with local clients, and the international track where they are looking to send employees overseas or back to their home countries, or deal with international clients. For the local track, it is the same as Korean companies – Korean proficiency is needed. Korean proficiency is not always needed for global track.

However the international track is becoming more and more competitive due to its better employee benefits and the opportunities for overseas posting. Also, working in the more global departments in multinationals gives one a higher chance of escaping from the strict hierarchy in local Korean companies, so many overseas Koreans are very interested and definitely well-qualified for this track as well. They are effectively bilingual in English and Korean, so they have an advantage over other applicants who only speak one language. So I cannot begin to stress the importance of Korean proficiency if you intend to work in Korea. Korean proficiency would also be an added bonus if you want to work in Korean multinationals as well, even if your aim is to be posted back to your home country.

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2013 QS Asia University Rankings

Even if I’m busy usually, I will at least post updates on university rankings when I get wind of them!

Results for the annual QS Asia University Rankings~

(I will only talk about Korean universities!)

The top ranked Korean university this year is Seoul National University at #4, followed by KAIST at #6 and POSTECH at #7. SNU remained at #4 position, but KAIST and POSTECH did climb up the rankings by 1 and 2 places respectively. These are the only 3 Korean universities in Top 10.

Yonsei is #16 this year, Korea University at #19 and Sungkyunkwan at #21.Both Korea University and Sungkyunkwan also made improvements in the rankings this year while Yonsei maintained its position.

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2012 Joongang Ilbo Korean University Ranking

Again I’m a few weeks behind on this but whatever! The university rankings this year are out!

The headlines this year: Yonsei > Seoul National > Sungkyunkwan > Korea univ. A huge change in rankings.

(photo source:
Yes the rankings did change a lot this year. And caused a really huge commotion on my facebook that day.

In first place we have KAIST (as usual) with 241 points followed by POSTEC (also the usual) with 233 points.

Rankings 3 to 6 had a huge shift.

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QS Asian University Rankings 2012

I know I’m a little slow on this but it seems like this year’s Asian University Rankings have been released!

That QS Asian University Rankings was first started in 2009, in partnership with Chosun Ilbo in Korea to rank universities in Asia.

I’ll just cover the Korean universities within the top 100^^

Seoul National University (SNU) is ranked at #4, an improvement from the rankings in 2011!

The next Korean university in the list is KAIST, ranked at #7. POSTECH follows closely at #9.

This is followed by Yonsei University in #16 position.

Korea University was ranked at #21 and Sungkyunkwan University at #24.

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