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Gov’t to spend $341M on IT workforce training

Feb 09,2010
In another bid to enhance the competitiveness of the country’s information and technology sector, the Ministry of Knowledge Economy said yesterday it will spend 400 billion won ($341 million) to fund a four-year program aimed at fostering 41,000 experts in the field.

The ministry said in a release that it will provide 401.1 billion won to help train 35,000 basic IT researchers for the corporate world, 4,000 IT workers for government agencies and 2,000 specialists for the IT convergence sector by 2013. The money will be filtered primarily to universities across Korea to develop training programs and provide students with financial support.

The ministry said the program will focus on enhancing the skills of workers earning their master’s or doctoral degrees. In the past, most state programs centered on cultivating the country’s IT workforce targeted undergraduate programs.

“The local IT industry is flooded with workers who hold bachelor’s degrees, but there aren’t enough workers with graduate degrees,” the ministry said in a statement. “Considering that fact, the portion of support at the undergraduate level will sharply drop from 38 percent to 5 percent of all government support for IT worker development.”

Last year, 34.4 billion won was earmarked for IT workforce development programs at the undergraduate level, while 40.5 billion won was spent on graduate programs. Under the new plan, 4.3 billion won will be spent annually on programs at the undergraduate level and 56.7 billion won will target the graduate level by 2013, the ministry said.

The government regards the IT sector as a major growth engine of the future for the country.

With that in mind, the ministry also plans to create an IT think tank within two local colleges over the next two years and increase the number of college students in a state-sponsored intern program.


By Moon Gwang-lip [joe@joongang.co.kr]





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