A Review of Korea Job World
by Dr. Brian Hutchison
The Korea Job World rose on the horizon like a spaceship appearing on scene in a popular science fiction movie. The size and sleek, modern architecture were breathtaking against the backdrop of the Seoul suburb visible outside my car window. If you have ever dreamed about the most comprehensive, wildest systematic career intervention imaginable then your dream may have been about Korea Job World.
I was fortunate enough to tour Korea Job World a few weeks before it opened to the public during a business trip focused on issues of career development in the early part of 2012. The most salient memory from my visit to Job World is of entering the youth (adolescent) experience hall. The entryway flowed right into a set of stairs rising to the door of a life-sized passenger airplane (at least half of one)! The airplane had a flight simulator identical to that used by students training to become airline pilots. This was the first of many realistic exploratory simulation chambers throughout the cavernous section of Job World. The Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) exploration chamber had an actual car turned upside down with life-sized accident victims; the recording studio was state-of-the-art and participants left with a demo compact disc of their own music; and the judicial chamber was as real any courthouse I have ever entered. In all, there must have been more than 100 potential career demonstration/ participation modules throughout this one section of the facility.
By the time I left this first section of Korea Job World, my mind was reeling with excitement over the exploration possibilities. There was little time for me to recover my senses before we entered the children’s exploration section. Inside the door sat an archeology site with authentic instruments and an excavation site where explorers could sift through sand to find fossils on their own. It was with some disappointment that I left this area to explore the two-city block town where each storefront was its own mini-career exploration venue designed for primary aged students. Walking through town there was a police station, mechanics shop, veterinary clinic, convenience store, dentist office, hair salon, bakery, restaurant, and so much more. While walking, one had to pay attention to street crossing signs because the mobile fire truck might be responding to the fire (with real flames!) near the veterinary clinic. Children operating the nozzles set up to extinguish the fire were in clear view of those who might be washing windows on the second story of the building across the street. When filled with children, this facility would have the same hustle and bustle of a walk downtown in New York City, Buenos Aires, or London.
Korea Job World is the most comprehensive and exciting career development intervention my mind could imagine. There are four sections of the massive facility, one each for primary-aged children, adolescents/young adults, and adult explorers and then an assessment center organized around Holland’s RIASEC codes, which includes computer-assisted assessments. Each individual exploration module is designed to have at least two staff persons present to assist explorers as they perform the experiential activities for that area. The quality of materials is high, with most modules using legitimate materials that would be found at the most advanced schools in that particular field. The focus in every area is well dispersed between service, skilled, and high-tech jobs across the spectrum of social classes. Korea Job World is truly a career exploration fantasyland.