Written by Young-Yoo Yang, publisher of this magazine/distinguished professor at Dankook University’s Department of Communication, former editorial member of JoongAng Ilbo
Last weekend (October 30), the real estate agent written test was held. It is the 32nd year this year, and a whopping 408,492 people from all over the country gathered. It is the largest scale ever since the introduction of the CPA system in 1983. If this trend continues, some say that the number of test takers this year will soon surpass 510,000.
Noteworthy is the 2030 candidates. Four out of ten test takers (39%) are young people in their 20s and 30s (Human Resources Development Service of Korea). What does this number mean? Doesn’t that mean that young people are jumping into the real estate industry when they can’t find a job? It’s sad.
I went near the test center on the 30th. The 20s and 30s really stood out a lot. It was to the extent that I was mistaken for a graduate school or corporate exam center. The facial expressions of the test takers looked even more miserable than when they took the entrance exam. “Make sure you pass. Fighting!!” were posted everywhere.
It was put up by a large school. The middle-aged or older students with gray hair mixed with the younger ones and entered the exam hall. It is an era in which young people are looking beyond the jobs of the Bokdeokbang generation.
410,000 certified real estate agents, counting over the number of test takers
Most of the 2030 candidates are college students, graduates, job seekers, and the long-term unemployed. As public employment at large corporations has decreased, job difficulties overlap in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, and interest in real estate is rising due to a surge in house prices, young people are starting to get a licensed real estate agent as a breakthrough. It may be an expression of despair and anger that the door won’t open even if you knock on the job, you can’t save a lot of money even if you work part-time, and it’s difficult to buy an apartment even if you save for the rest of your life.
Under the current law, the highest legal rate for brokerage fees is 0.7%. In an area where house prices are high, the calculation that one transaction can earn more than 10 million won in brokerage fees drove young people to the real estate exam center.
This can’t be normal. In the fall of 2021, the reality of Korea in the fall of 2021 is that young people in their 20s and 30s have to open up the future by passionately immersing themselves in creative and enterprising work. Moreover, the structure in which one or two large academies are virtually monopolized for preparing for nationally accredited exams is also a strange reality.
Even if you go to school, you prepare for the entrance exam at a hagwon, you go to college, you go to a job-related hagwon, and if you go to law school, you go to a hagwon. Is it a normal country for only academies that suck young people’s money to prosper? There is a self-help that the real estate agent exam is the second CSAT. Wouldn’t it be necessary to fundamentally review the direction of the questioning, etc.?
39% of young people in their 20s and 30s, most of them go to hagwons
Most young job seekers receive private education. The fact that students who received private education in elementary, middle, and high schools receive private education and prepare for employment even after entering college or graduating from university is not a comedy itself. As a result of a recent private company survey of 1002 job seekers, it was found that one young job seeker spends an average of 350,000 won per month on private education.
The amount includes pure academy expenses, textbooks, study room fees, etc. excluding living expenses and transportation expenses, so you can see how serious the living costs of young people are. In particular, 43 job seekers said they spend an average of 1 million won or more per month. The reality of private education that does not end with the entrance exam.
Then, the government came up with measures to support job preparation, stating that it would ease the burden of ’employment private education’ for young job seekers. The goal is to allow young job seekers to use public institution written test problem-solving lectures and artificial intelligence (AI) and non-face-to-face mock interviews for free.
Considering the tendency to place importance on work experience, internship opportunities for young people are also expanded. There is also information that a non-face-to-face interview space will be provided from next year. The goal is to operate a non-face-to-face video interview center equipped with necessary equipment such as webcams and desktops.
The government’s ’employment private education’ measures… “Idiot, the problem is the job”
Of course, this is better than no support. It may be helpful for young people. But will that decrease young people’s job training privately? Will the number of young people taking the real estate agent exam decrease? Will 2030 depend on real estate? “You idiot, the problem is the job!” This is because there should be more challenging jobs where you risk your future rather than chores like turning off the lights in the classroom or picking up ashtrays.
There is no future for the Republic of Korea only with cash support that drives young people into unemployed young people who have no will to work. It is said that the economic cost of NEET is 62 trillion won, which is more than 3% of the gross domestic product (GDP) (analysis of the Korea Economic Research Institute).
There is a lot of self-help that it is a cost-effective investment to receive youth allowance and prepare for the real estate agent exam rather than working part-time. The achievements of our education, the selfishness of adults, and the ticketing behavior of politicians may be the cause of this self-help.
There is no denying that a real estate agent is a valuable profession. However, the reality that 400,000 people hang on to the real estate agent exam and 2030 account for 39% of the total applicants is frustrating. I hope it was a nonsense I heard in my dream that the prospect that all of the real estate agent test takers would soon surpass the test takers.
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