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National Career Resilience Program for Marginalized Youth in South Korea

In 2018, the Ministry of Education and Center for Youth Career Development at National Youth Policy Institute (NYPI) in Korea started a career resilience intervention project for marginalized youth in South Korea (Kim & Cho, 2019; Kim and Youn, 2018). Resilience is broadly defined as a capacity to adjust to and flourish from the hardships from academic, emotional, and social development of individuals throughout life span (Kim et al., 2018). Resilience in this project was specifically defined in the context of career development and named as career resilience. The framework of career resilience were built with the five major factors in career development—self-understanding, positive attitude, self-control, adaptability, and interpersonal relationship. The aim of this project is to promote career resilience of different groups of marginalized youth within and outside of public education system in Korea.

Gratefully, I had an opportunity to join the team in the first year of this project. Throughout my experience, I witnessed the collaborative and hardwork of many stakeholders for developing inclusive career education program. This includes effort to use inclusive languages, develop program with contextual sensitivity, and providing community engagement opportunnities. For instance, the word “youth” was consistently used to refer the target population instead of “students”. This is a reflection of the program’s goal on supporting ALL adolescents not only those in schools but also adolescents those outside of school. Multiple groups of marginalized youth such as youth with immigrant backgrounds, youth with disabilities, out-of-school youth, and youth at risk are included under the comprehensive definition of marginalize population in this project.

This project was not only limited to developing the theoretical framework of career resilience for marginalized youth. This project also applied their framework into desining tangible and hands-on resources to reach out to students, teachers, and youth service providers in Korea beyond policymakers and researchers. For instance, a career resilience YouTube channel from this project, “진로탄탄TV (Jin-ro-tan-tan TV)”, provides entertaining and social-media based contents considering their target population who are known as digital natives. Diverse types of content are available in this channel such as web drama explaining what career resilience is and how to apply in the real-life. Another category of videos is filmed by public creators including students and teachers. This shows their effort to invite community into policy implementation. As another example, this project also provide“진로탄탄 카드 (Jin-ro-tan-tan Card)", which is the material for career resilience education and activity. The card provide situational examples where career resilience can be applied in the real life of youth.

As described above, focusing resilience in career development, designing framework and application tailored for marginalized youth, providing tangible resources are unique contribution of this project into Korea career education. This project exemplifies the consistent devotion of Ministry of Education and NYPI to support the future readiness of marginalized youth. Ongoing project will continue to reduce disparities in career development in Korea by promoting youth’s career resilience.

Potential resources (Korean):

  • 진로탄탄TV (Jin-ro-tan-tan TV):

  • 진로탄탄 카드 (Jin-ro-tan-tan Card):

Reference (Korean)

Kim & Cho (2019). Research Report: Career Resilience Program Effectiveness Evaluation Tool Development Report. National Youth Policy Institute, Sejong: South Korea. Available at

Kim, H., Lee, Y., & Han, Y. (2018). The relationship between development trajectories of resilience and social support system among early adolescents: applications of Latent Class Growth Analysis and Multiple-group Growth Mixture Modeling. Korean Journal of Child Studies, 39(5), 1-16.

Kim J. & Youn, B. (2018). Research Report: Career Education Plan For Marginalized Youth. National Youth Policy Institute, Sejong: South Korea.

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