Photograph by SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg
Tip to South Koreans: Skip College
Enrolling in college isn't usually considered irresponsible. Following an abrupt U-turn, South Korea's government now says it is. Sangwon Yoon details how, after years of grueling study in a culturally approved quest for academic perfection, many graduates can't find jobs -- or at least the prestige positions they want at leading industrial groups. Some researchers peg the youth jobless rate as high as 22 percent. President Lee Myung Bak calls South Korea's college enrollment "reckless." His new message: Skip college and go to work. The government now offers tax incentives of up to 20 million won (about $18,500) for each high school grad a company employs.