Socioeconomic Status, Vocational Aspirations, School Tracks, and Occupational Attainment in South Korea

Bora Lee, Soo yong Byun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

Adults’ career choice is not an abrupt event, but an outcome of continuous development throughout childhood and adolescence. In the developmental process of one’s career, personal characteristics and contextual resources come into play. The goal of the present study is to examine how family socioeconomic status, adolescents’ vocational aspirations, and high school contexts affect their occupational attainment in young adulthood, using two cohorts of data from the Korean Education and Employment Panel. Cohort 1 consisted of 1535 individuals (49.3% female), and cohort 2 consisted of 1473 individuals (53.5% female). Both cohorts were surveyed during their senior year of high school (Time 1; Mage = 17.8) and followed up until young adulthood (Time 2; Mage = 25.8). The results reveal that having high vocational aspirations and attending academic high school predict attaining higher-status occupations for both cohorts. Family background has positive direct and indirect effects on occupational attainment for cohort 2, while it only has an indirect effect on occupational attainment via types of high school for cohort 1. Implications in the context of constructing social systems to support adolescents’ career development are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1494-1505
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Youth and Adolescence
Volume48
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
An earlier version of this article was presented at the 2017 Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research on Adolescence. B.L. conceived of the study, participated in its design and coordination, conducted analysis and drafted the manuscript; S.B. conducted analysis and participated in drafting the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript. Soo-yong Byun received support from the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Korea; the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF-2017S1A3A2066878); and the Population Research Institute at Penn State University, which is supported by an infrastructure grant from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (P2CHD041025). The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the granting agencies. Original data are shared online through the website of the Korea Research Institute for Vocational Education and Training (https://www.krivet.re.kr/). Occupational data that were coded in terms of the International Socio-Economic Index of Occupational Status are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.

Funding Information:
Soo-yong Byun received support from the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Korea; the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF-2017S1A3A2066878); and the Population Research Institute at Penn State University, which is supported by an infrastructure grant from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (P2CHD041025). The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the granting agencies.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.

Keywords

  • Cohort
  • Family background
  • Longitudinal study
  • Occupational attainment
  • South Korea
  • Vocational aspirations

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