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More chat with parents, greater chance of studying medicine, education

Nov. 5, 2023 - 14:32 By Kim So-hyun

A parent speaks to her daughter at the Hankuk University of Foreign Studies campus in Seoul, where admission interviews were held on Oct. 29. (Yonhap)

The more time high school students spent talking with their parents, the more likely they were to study medicine, education, art, music or physical education in college, a study showed.

According to an analysis of a state-funded inquiry that tracked 1,297 students who were in their second year of high school in 2016, the more conversations they had with their parents about school and majors, the higher the probability of them going to college and choosing those majors over humanities, social and natural sciences or engineering.

In their paper, Hwang Young-shik, a senior researcher at Chungnam National University, and Joo Young-hyo, a professor at Gyeongsang National University, looked into annual surveys by the Korean Education & Employment Panel at the state-funded Korea Research Institute for Vocational Education and Training.

The higher the students’ math grades in high school were, the more likely they were to go to college, but their Korean and English grades didn’t have a meaningful correlation with their prospects of pursuing higher education, according to Hwang and Joo.

In the paper on “factors that affect high school students’ decision to go to college and choose majors,” the higher the parents’ wages and financial income were, the more likely their children were to go to college.

Pupils who had frequent chats with their parents on their interests and aptitudes showed a higher tendency to choose majors that require relatively specialized capabilities such as medicine, education, art, music and physical education.

“Talking with parents greatly affected students’ decisions on whether to go to college, and depending on the subject of the conversation, they could have a wide-ranging influence (on their paths) including their choice of majors,” the research team said.

In the past, parents tended to play a passive role in their children’s paths after they entered college, but now, they are getting more involved in making decisions on their children’s career paths, they said.