Friday, September 11, 2009
It pays to teach (in Korea)
I've frequently talked about all the hoops Korean nationals must go through to become teachers (education, tests, training, competitive application process, etc.). Well, according to OECD statistics that are presented by the New York Times, it's paying off.
The hours are low (or lower than other OECD countries):
The pay is high (when calculated against GDP):
And the salary is high in terms of purchasing power:
Much of this benefit comes after you've stayed invested in the system for a while, about fifteen years according to OECD. Of course, I'm also not sure how they're defining some of these things. Since I'm not a teacher, I can only go by the experiences I know of through other teachers, and the newbies put in a lot of hours at low pay. Of course, it would be perfectly in line with Koreans sŏnbae-versus-hubae culture if, despite such low pay and long hours for teachers in their twenties, things were so much better for those in their mid-thirties or older.
And, of course, any lucrative profession (if that's what teaching is in neo-Confucian South Korea) might have a higher percentage of males than females, which the OECD seems to confirm: