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Taiwan Country Information

Taiwan Country Director:
Dr. Yu-Jen Wang
Assistant Professor
Department of Psychology and Counseling
National Taipei University of Education
Taipei, Taiwan
Taiwan@AsiaPacificCDA.org


Using Taiwan Work Style Career Counseling and Bilateral Selection System by Liang-Chen Lu, Tao-Yuan Yang, and Sy-Feng Wang

In an era of industrial transformation and global economy, the Employment Consultation System of Taiwan Government is faced with the challenge of transformation, and expected to solve the problems: (1) the complication of occupational classification and contents. e.g. occupational categories are extended from 380 in 2002 to 505 nowadays, and occupational function and demands are much more complex; (2) the demand & supply unbalance of the labor market - there are numerous tools to evaluate what kind of work a job seeker suits, but few tools to evaluate it from the angle of talent seekers, which can endanger job seekers.

To solve these problems, the Taiwan workforce development agency entrusted Professor Wang and his team from Fu Jen University to build up a new career counseling and bilateral selecting system. This system is based on Taiwan work style (TWS), the compound personality traits relating with workplace, and connected to 505 occupations within Taiwan Standard Classification of Occupations. When job seekers use the finding-fit-job function, they can find the most congruent job. If job seekers and talent seekers use the bilateral first selection function, they can develop congruence between the needs of human practice of a company and the adaptation and development of a job seeker.

To develop TWS using the new system, we interviewed representative companies within every industry, collecting thoughts and suggestions of experts from I/O psychology, management, and statistics, and then developing the TWS scale. TWS was assessed with 59 items, containing 13 sub-scales, ? ranging from .72 to .85 (Md=.80). TWS is framed by Five-Factor Model and adopted the concept of Criterion-Focused Compound Traits (Ones et al., 2005) to link up practice with theory. The scales also showed a comparable pattern of construct validity with other similar measures and a great expert validity.

With regard to the concept of Criterion-Focused Compound Traits, TWS exhibited more reasonable or substantial prediction. The system is very easy-to-test. Each user can understand what job they suit and what work style is significant. Users also can discuss their output with a counselor.

Career development typically contains several career choices. The more a conscious selected work is suitable for a job seeker, the easier he or she will develop the talents and gain the sense of satisfaction and fulfillment. The job seeker also will remain in their job longer. For enterprises, conscious selected work will not only improve performance of staff, but also produce synergies in their company if the employee can develop their talents in the suitable position or company. Understanding the work style is both conducive to handling one’s own career direction by connecting to their own personality, and assisting an individual to develop functional dominance or right habits by corresponding to related workplace behaviors.

Through the new system in government or personal counseling, the kind of work suited to an individual, an individual’s style in workplace, and/or whether an individual needs to adjust self or work style can be evaluated.?https://exam2.taiwanjobs.gov.tw/Onet/TWS_Explanation /?For the Business Guidance Application in an organization, besides assisting an individual to understand the organization and handle its work, it can also be used in the aspects of department communication and employer-employee mutual understanding, thus adjusting talent demand, etc. ?https://exam2.taiwanjobs.gov.tw/Onet/TWS_Explanation/? We hope this new career counseling and selecting system can help both job seekers and talent seekers find what they want; leading to a greater match between supply and demand in the labor market.

  1. Ones D.S., Viswesvaran C., & Dilchert S. (2005).Personality at work: Raising awareness and correcting misconceptions. Human Performance, 18, 389-404.
  2. Muchinsky, P. M., & Monahan, C. J. (1987). What is person-environment congruence? Supplementary versus complementary models of fit. Journal of vocational behavior, 31(3), 268-277.

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Liang-Chen Lu, Ph.D., CDFI (stevenlu@tsquare.cc) received his I/O Psychology doctorate degree from Fu-Jen University. He is the Cofounder and CEO of TSquare system design Co., Ltd. in Taiwan. TSquare is a unique company provides O2O customized career design solutions for the coming unpredictable world.


Tao-Yuan Yang, Ph.D. student, (hearbug@gmail.com) in I/O Psychology at Fu-Jen University. He is the assistant of Research Center of Occupational Asessment, Development & Health (ADHC), and RD of TSquare system design Co.



Sy-Feng Wang (sfwang817@gmail.com), a professor in the Department of Psychology, and a director of the Research Center of Occupational Assessment, Development & Health, in Fu-Jen Catholic University, Taiwan. He is also one of major researchers & developers of CVHS, which is a career information system developed by Fu-Jen University and shared and used by other 15 universities in Taiwan.

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Taiwan Facing Life Span Career Changes and Opportunities by Anne Rouh-Ling Chen

1. Changes and Challenges in Taiwan

1.1. Facing up to Fewer Young People and Aging Population
With low birth rate and life expectancy increasing, the aging of Taiwan population has raised important issues and resulted in business opportunities. As of November 2015, 12.5 % of the 21 million population was 65 or above. The average life expectancy of Taiwanese was 79.8 years in 2014 based on the data from Ministry of the Interior. The World Health Organization already classified Taiwan as a society with an aging population. When we see our parents, we can see their declining energy and slowing footsteps. However, the ways to deal with the aging process is much different nowadays. Many elderly people are not willing to go to the elder institutes. The government and society need to offer other alternatives such as providing health care at home and in community centers.

1.2. Change of Manpower Structure
The labor participation rate in Taiwan, aged 15 and older who work, was 58.81 % in 2015. Growth of elder population was 12%. The unemployment rate was 3.95% as of Oct. 2016. There were about 10 wage earners in Taiwan for every senior citizen in 1993. But the ratio will flatten out to about 2-3 wage earners for every senior in 2033. The younger generations will face the burden of aging family members. The shift in the age structure of Taiwan’s population has enormous implications for the labor force, the education system and the quality of life for the elderly. Moreover, with only one or two or perhaps no children in families, the future generations will have fewer siblings. They are more educated and receive more support from their parents. They are inclined to have less patience to face work frustrations and need more help in social interpersonal relationships and teamwork. Nevertheless, the young people have innovative ideas, learn fast and possess strong energy.

1.3. Challenges of Current Educational System
Last December, Mr. Wu, Minister of Education in Taiwan, pointed out that fewer new born, globalization and digitalization are the three major challenges faced by higher education. Resources for students to gain knowledge which are not limited to classroom teaching, textbook and teachers can help. Learning innovation, professionalism, regional innovative integration and joining with industry for more research, innovation and international alliances are some of the multiple developments currently in the works. The merging or integration of 159 colleges and universities into 100 schools across the next five years is also being implemented.

2. Looking Beyond for Future Career

Below are the four major business trends in Taiwan and their implication for new career services:

2.1 Aging population with low retirement rate:
Health care services including career counseling for elders, re-construction of family relationships, medical care and home care systems etc. will be increasing. More companies will be encouraging employees to have more babies and offering maternity leave. Many retired people have started their new career as entrepreneurs and consultants. They are sharing their wisdom and profound work experience with young people to start-up or develop new business models especially in innovative products, culture, design and agriculture.

*Implication for career services:
In the recent past, work, learning and leisure were three independent career paths. Nowadays, work, learning and leisure have been interwoven into a continuous life cycle. In order words, people need to keep a life-long career concept in mind and be prepared for ongoing change. Employee Assistance Programs should not only provide welfare and leisure programs, but also employee counseling for work and life balance. Each city and/or community may need to consider providing career counseling service to assist senior citizens with developing 2nd or 3rd careers.

2.2 More internet population:
More than 20 billion people use internet and smart phones, as reported by the Computer Industry Almanac. More than 42% of Taiwanese use internet, at least 2 hours per day. Mobile offices will be replacing brick and mortar ones.

*Implication to career services
Virtual office and team members are increasing. Flatter organizational structure, cooperative culture and work ethics need to be re-shaped for different generations – baby boomers, X generation and digital generation.

2.3. High work mobility
International companies prefer to hire middle management and young people with high mobility. People will have more business trips or work as expatriates, especially in China and South East Asian countries.

*Implication to career services:
Cross-cultural counseling service and career shifting programs will enhance their performance and improve teamwork.

2.4. Change of business model and career services
Innovation of young start-ups are on the rise. iKeybo is the world’s first virtual projection multilingual (English, Chinese, Spanish, and Arabic) keyboard & piano. It was developed by Serafim by eight young experts in 2010. They have great passion to reach their profession to offer affordable, useful and cool consumer electronics for a better computing experience. Another unique design “Hear Me”, developed for blind people, won the world class Red Dot Award in 2014. This special product was created by two young compassionate students, Miss Lin Ei-Chin, student of Industrial Design Department at National Taiwan University Science and Technology, and Miss I-Shuan Tsai, student of Digital Content Master Program of National Chengchi University. “Hear Me” is now available at APP stores for those who need to record their life or thoughts.

*Implication to career services:
People are always watching mobile devices; continually responding to friends and/or office messages. Because digital information is faster paced and demands quick response, this leads to increasing anxiety and stress. On-line career consultation and or counseling can be another good source to help handle stress as well as facilitate better interpersonal interactions. Inter-disciplinary studies and cross boundary cooperation will play important roles in new products and job opportunities.

Finally, it is time for us do more in-depth reflections, especially with respect to our Chinese career model and study. Taiwan has her own unique historical background and blends of traditional Chinese culture, Confucianist beliefs and some western values. Nowadays, Taiwan has a highly industrialized and export-driven economy. Blending western career theories with Chinese philosophy to develop suitable local career professional paths is one of the future challenges for career professionals in Taiwan.

Anne Rouh-Ling Chen is a Board member of Taiwan Career Development and Consulting Association and Senior Consultant, Aspire Academy, Taiwan. She can be reached at annerl.chen@gmail.com

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The Challenges of Implementing Career Development in Elementary Schools in Taiwan by Yu-Chen Wang

In Taiwan, career practice was implemented first in junior and senior high school, then in universities. Recently, it has been added at the elementary school level. While a number of career courses and activities have been specifically designed for the junior and senior high school levels, career development at the elementary level has not been easy to implement.

There have been three main challenges in implementing career development at the elementary level. The first challenge has been getting enough teachers to buy into the method completely. One of the reasons for their hesitancy is that many did not receive adequate training in career development when they were trained to be elementary school teachers, since career development is an elective, and few teachers have elected to take it (Hu & Chen, 2011, p.101).

The second challenge is the longstanding view of teachers, administrative staff, and parents that it is not necessary to implement career development in elementary school since there is a lack of immediate relevancy (Tien, 2011). Since all elementary students will eventually progress to junior high school, they can receive career planning there.

The third challenge has been collecting enough data to evaluate the efficacy of career development practice. One reason for this is that the government has integrated career development into every subject at the elementary school level, so career education is not a specific stand-alone subject (Hu & Chen, 2011). While there are general goals for students at the elementary school level (Taiwan Elementary and Secondary Education Community, 2009), there are no clearly defined goals or standards at each specific grade level of elementary school. As a result, there are no textbooks or specifically-designed materials, and teachers do not have enough motivation or sufficient background to create materials.

Fortunately, there are solutions to the above-mentioned challenges facing the adoption of career development practice in elementary schools. The first solution is to make career education required in elementary teacher training programs. This will help teachers learn the importance of career development as well as how to implement it. Ultimately, this may lead to less resistance and increase buy-in.

The second solution is to incorporate discrete career exploration classes into the elementary school curriculum. The content of these classes should focus on allowing students to explore professions, offer hands-on experiential learning opportunities, and provide a forum to discuss students’ individual work-related preferences. Such classes will enable students to gain better self-awareness and understanding of their interests.

The third solution is to increase parents’ buy-in. Some school activities such as volunteering to go on field trips or speaking to classes about their own careers are designed to get parents involved in career education. The benefits of getting parents to buy-in are that parents will learn the value of career education, and potentially serve as additional resources to educate students about various career paths.

In summary, implementing career development programs at the elementary school level in Taiwan has been met with three main challenges. These challenges include inadequate teacher training, the lack of buy-in from teachers, parents and administrators and lack of data related to program efficacy. As a result of not being exposed to career development in elementary schools, many students are at a disadvantage. However, if we make career training required in teacher training programs, incorporate career exploration classes into the curriculum at the elementary school level, and obtain parents’ buy in, we can overcome the main barriers and ensure that students gain exposure to career knowledge and increase their own self-awareness.

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The Difficulties of Career Guidance for Junior High School in Taiwan by Hui-Chuang Chu

In recent years, Taiwan’s government passed the law - Student Guidance and Counseling Act. There were some guidelines in the law for school administrators to offer some career guidance service for students. Initially, the goal of the law was to facilitate junior high school students developing better future careers. However, there were some difficulties with project implementation.

First, not all teachers were experienced with the concept of career guidance. Second, the limitation of the school schedule left little room for an in depth career course. Third, the textbook being used for the course provided only surface information to the students. Fourth, parents were not supportive of the career course. They mistakenly believed a career course would cause their sons and daughters to skip pursuing higher education and enter the work stage too soon. Additional issues effecting implementation of the Student Guidance and Counseling Act included the ongoing reality that students usually chose careers which their parents wanted. Another included career guidance staff, without reasonable responsibilities assigned, spending too much time with paper work. A final difficulty involved the finding that that the learning support program outside school required a network with enough resources for all the students to use.

Although the intention of career guidance requirement for junior high school in Taiwan was good, implementation improvement was needed. According to clinical work experience, we figured out some suggestions. Rather than one textbook, career information needed to be embedded across all courses and projects across a student’s school schedule. For teachers, this means that career guidance should not require extra time. We also saw the need to increase the collaboration between parents and teachers. We worked on enhancing parents’ acceptance of technical and vocational education. We felt that this effort could change the stereotype of these pursuits within Taiwan’s society. Additionally, we worked on setting up the full time staff to follow the youth and apply the concept of a tertiary prevention system. Lastly, we began to integrate all school evaluation with both quantity and quality context. In combining both theory and clinical work, we maximized the benefits for career guidance for junior high school students in Taiwan.

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Career Guidance in Senior High School in Taiwan by Shu Han Yang


The development of career guidance in Taiwan has been moving forward for nearly 30 years. After the Multiple Pathways to College Admission Program was initiated for high school students in 2002, career guidance drew growing attention within senior high schools. However, two challenges are facing career guidance services in senior high schools in Taiwan. Firstly, students' career choices tend to be influenced by their family and the social context; students are unable to select the choices that they really want. Secondly, due to the fact that Taiwan is an exam-driven society, students' interests and potentials are not greatly valued and appropriately explored. Therefore, the tasks of career guidance services in high schools are to assist students in exploring or clarifying what they want to do and what they want to be.

The counseling centers in high schools provide services to students regarding the following aspects:

  1. Career counseling guidance programs contain three parts: self-exploration, college major choice or occupational exploration, and assisting students in evaluating the impact of family and social environment on their career choices. The counseling centers design and provide career courses lasting one semester or one academic year. Weekly guidance classes help students explore themselves by discovering their own personality traits, interests, aptitudes and values.
  2. Individual career counseling or group career counseling and career assessment administration: The counseling centers help students fully explore themselves via group or individual psychological assessments, card sorts, career exploring groups, etc. Through these activities, students can gradually develop an awareness of themselves.
  3. Diversified activities: The counseling centers also help students obtain information about college major choices and occupation choices by arranging 18 college reports in the class, college department visits, university department seminars, multiple pathways to college seminars, professional introduction seminars, and university camps, mock interviews for college entrance exam preparation, and establishing career information websites, etc. Students can understand and differentiate their favorite majors during this strongly participative process.

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APCDA Conference Leads to Reflection By Hsiao-Feng Cheng


I was honored to have the opportunity to participate in the 2015 Asia Pacific Career Development Association (APCDA) international conference. This excellent platform for academic exchange enabled me to meet scholars from various countries with similar research interests.

In Taiwan, drug-related crimes account for 30% of all crimes. Though the Taiwanese government invests enormous resources in psychological treatment and drug rehabilitation programs each year, the outcomes are limited. Given these high crime rates, we must improve the efficacy of psychological treatment in order to help drug abusers integrate back to society. A recent research report on prisoners with substance abuse disorders found that inmates who went through the process of reflection on their success experiences during adolescence were able to identify their strengths, become hopeful about the future and had a higher probability to overcome their addiction. The drug addicts' negative experiences of social ostracization often lead them to believe that they cannot live a different kind of life. Hence, the process focused the participants on school- and family-related accomplishments which helped them to combat a 'defeatist' attitude. Their accomplishments varied across athletic achievements, having a strong sense of justice, awards for artistic creativity, etc. The research reported that: confidence + hope + strengths = overcoming drug addiction.

During group discussions at the APCDA conference, Korean and Japanese scholars also raised the issue of psychological treatment for drug abusers in their countries. They shared concerns about the dearth of research on this topic and the lack of successful systems and mechanisms for rehabilitation. In Taiwan, currently, there are lots of practice-oriented psychological treatments but a lack of research focus on drug rehabilitation. There is a gap between theory and practice. As a result, the existing practical applications are limited in their efficacy.

A major challenge that Taiwan and other countries face at present is how to increase dialogue between researchers and clinicians on the topic of drug rehabilitation. I appreciate academic research as it enables us to use the thinking of others to reflect on its application to our own context, and also to consider other viewpoints. By broadening our thinking horizons , we expand our knowledge base. I am grateful to the 2015 APCDA conference for offering a feast of fresh ideas and perspectives.

Dr. Hsiao-Feng Cheng is an assistant professor in the Department of Life Education at Dharma Drum Institute of Liberal Arts


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The Development and Use of Career Assessment/Information Systems in Taiwan by Yao-Ting Sung


In Taiwan, adolescents are forced to make career decisions at a young age due to an examination process after the 9th grade. To assist these young students in making an appropriate decision at this age, career assessments and information systems have been developed.

Read the full article here


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Career Development in Taiwan by Yu-Jen Wang


Taiwanese government has been promoting a Twelve-Year Public Education Program in recent years, which advocates aptitude guidance implementation in school and hopes to offer students more diverse opportunities to fully participate in career exploration. For career education, the Ministry of Education developed several plans to guide students to explore their own futures. The following is a brief summary of career development education in Taiwan:

  1. Technical Arts Education:

    This is a mature and well-developed education policy that has been implemented in Taiwan for junior high school students for a long time. The purpose of this policy is to develop students' abilities of self-exploration, career exploration, simulation observation, developing practical skills, and career preparation. Technical Arts Education Program establishes a vocational group plan that includes 13 vocational groups: Electrical Engineering and Electronic Engineering Group, Mechanical Engineering Group, Power Mechanical Engineering Group, Chemical Engineering Group, Civil Engineering and Architecture Group, Design Group, Hospitality Group, Commerce and Management Group, Home Economics Group, Agriculture Group, Food Science Group, Fishery Management Group, and Marine Technology Group. Schools may establish one to four vocational groups according to students' interests and needs. The ninth graders who possess greater abilities, aptitudes, or interests in learning technical arts or who have poor academic performance may take courses respectively from one to two vocational groups in the first and second semesters in the ninth grader year. Some courses are provided within the students' junior high schools and some courses are provided through school cooperation with other junior high schools, senior high schools, technical institutes, vocational training centers, or nongovernmental organizations. Students who take technical arts courses start from practical skill development. The lessons of the technical arts courses are very different from common junior high school education.

    The technical arts education program is very important and meaningful to junior high school students. The students who take technical arts courses not only satisfy their needs of learning, the courses taken may also result in students learning some practical skills. Those who have taken the relevant vocational courses will be recommended to enter five-year junior colleges before the entrance exams. These high school courses are viewed as a bridge to vocational school courses. Therefore, the technical arts courses are very helpful for the students' future education route. Besides, the learning process of the technical arts courses may arouse students' interests in learning, and further develop self-identity as well as confidence toward their future.


  2. Career Navigator Dashboard (Digital Student Career Counseling System)

    The Career Navigator Dashboard (CND) is a digital career counseling system that was developed by the Taipei City Government. The CND is used to integrate students' school performance in learning and in daily life, and it is "a Taken-Away Gift for the graduates" when the students graduate from junior high school. This is an e-book as a reference for future advanced studies and career counseling. The CND integrate students' performances in daily life, including My Growth Story, Learning Achievements and Special Performances, Service Learning, the Results of Psychological Tests, Career Integration and Future Plans, the Feedback from Homeroom Teachers, the Feedback from Parents, etc. For junior high school students in Taiwan, schoolteachers and parents play key roles for students' future career development. Therefore homeroom teachers and parents also have access to operating this digital student career counseling system. Homeroom teachers and school guidance counselors regularly provide information related to their observation and feedbacks on students' characteristics. Parents can discuss and make plans about children's future development with their children based on the information from teachers.

    The value of CND is that it raises students' attention to their career during their high school years. The process of filling in the data and making records helps students integrate all kinds of information about self. Students are able to think about themselves based on the questions such as, "What kind of person am I? What do I want to do? What strengths and advantages do I have?" After launching the CND, relevant data are collected continuously whether students choose to accept advanced studies or enter the workplace. All the data on the CND will be useful to students either for self-understanding or writing resumes when students seek future employment. Most importantly, these activities help students develop meaningful goals and abilities to make plans for the future. Perhaps, these activities may help students better understand how to systematically approach to their goals. However, it takes effort for junior high school counselors to effectively implement the CND, including the system management and data completion. It may also take time to widely promote and effectively involve homeroom teacher and parents with this digital career counseling system.


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Government Career Development in Taiwan by Hsiu-Lan Shelley Tien


Taiwan, the so-called Formosa, is a beautiful small island in southeastern Asia. With very limited natural resources, there is great focus on human resources especially human intelligence and interpersonal communication services. Career counseling is very important for individuals to develop their potential. Support for career services comes from the university, community, and non-profit organization, and the government. The Ministration of Education, Youth Commission (currently named as Youth Development Administration in Ministration of Education), and Bureau of Employment and Vocational Training (BEVT) are three main organizations in charge of career services for adolescent and adults in Taiwan.

Youth Development Administration

The Youth Development Administration emphasizes on enhancing adolescents’ international competitiveness. This global viewpoint links different international subjects to formal education system and promote students’ multi-experiential learning. The Youth Mobility Scheme (YMS is a program that allows young people to experience United Kingdom life. This program provides Taiwanese youths opportunities to visit the United Kingdom to experience local life, enhance their English capabilities, and promote exchanges for a deeper understanding between the citizens of both nations. This program will provide 1,000 opportunities annually for Taiwanese youths aged 18 - 30 to obtain short-term multiple entry visas via the YMS program for the purpose of full-time work, part-time work, volunteering, language studies, etc. Candidates may reside in the United Kingdom for up to two years. According to UK immigration laws, certificates of sponsorship issued by sponsor organizations are mandatory when applying for various types of residential visas. One must possess a certificate of sponsorship (compulsory document) when applying for an YMS visa. (Transcribed form the web site: click here)


The Youth Development Administration goals also include: (1) Promoting career counseling for youth and enhance their employability; (2) Encouraging young people to participate in volunteer services and their involvement in public affairs; and (3) reinforcing diverse learning for the youth and (4) expanding and enhancing their international perspective.

Bureau of Employment and Vocational Training

Bureau of Employment and Vocational Training (BEVT) is another government organization working on youth and adults vocational development. Vocational training and employment services are the two major focuses. For vocational training, there are 7 affiliated vocational training centers providing training services of mechanism, electrical engineering, cultural creativity, tourism and leisure, mode making, air conditioning, informational services, computer editing, industrial electronics, and so on. They build upon the cooperation with businesses to carry out joint programs.

For employment services, they scrutinize qualifications and issue certificates to employment service professionals and training instructors. They provide services to physically and mentally disabled, including vocational training, skills certification, employment services, career counseling and guidance. For Other information regarding BEVT, please refer to the web site: click here.

The Ministration of Education provides career education for students. Different departments in Ministration of Education organize and set up regulations for school systems to provide career education and career development for students at different levels of educational. They cooperate with professionals in different areas to promote career adolescent and adult career development. For more information, go to web site: click here.

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