Preserve upward mobility

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Preserve upward mobility

A society with dampened upward mobility is a stagnant one. If parents’ wealth leads to their children’s wealth - or vice versa for that matter - one can hardly expect genuine development of society. That’s why we take special note of the findings of a paper entitled “Parents’ income bracket and children’s employment.” The paper has made the conclusion that the more money a parent makes, the more likely their offspring could be hired by big companies in the job market.

The reason for the distressing phenomenon is two-fold. First, large companies tend to take into consideration the scores of applicants’ Toeic tests and their foreign language training overseas. As a result, young job seekers with rich parents are more likely to find better jobs at bigger firms primarily thanks to their parents’ wealth.

Second, as parents with higher incomes have more connections and information in the society than otherwise, that translates into a better opportunity for their children when they enter the job market. The paper also pointed out that large businesses, too, have a high regard for the income level of their applicants’ parents.

As a matter of fact, the study results are nothing new given a number of earlier academic reports which have proved the deterioration of such a phenomenon in our society, not to mention the conventional wisdom which strongly supports the conclusion. But if parents’ material wealth determines their children’s job opportunities, it will only end up severely hurting the aspirations of the underprivileged to go up the social ladder.

A society which deprives its members of a precious opportunity for success is a dreamless one. Before the problem further worsens, the government, civic groups and other leaders of our society should strive to correct the abnormal situation by building pressure on big companies to change the way they hire new recruits.

Instead of selecting new employees based on high-cost specs such as Toeic scores or overseas language training, large companies must recruit them based on their ability to solve problems related to their jobs, communicative competency and ingenuity. To do that, they must devise effective ways to measure such capabilities, which are more useful than linguistic skills.

Though many big businesses are well aware of the need to invent more innovative recruitment methods, they fell short of implementing them for various reasons, including inconvenience and other costs involved.

However, the vicious cycle of parents’ wealth affecting their children’s job opportunities has reached a critical phase. The government and other concerned parties must stop the anachronistic recruiting practice for the future of our young generation. There is no doubt that our country’s future rests on how to overcome the gloomy reality where simply parents’ wealth gap blocks their children’s upward mobility.

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