According to the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET), 98,536 Vietnamese students studied overseas in 2011 and the figure rose to 120,000 in 2015. At least 90% of them are supported by families. Billions of dollars are remitted abroad every year to pay for their studies.
More and more Vietnamese parents are sending their children abroad for university education because they believe in the preeminence of foreign education.
However, Nguyen Quang Minh, who has returned from the US, said that it had not been easy to find a suitable job in Vietnam after studying overseas.
After Minh obtained a bachelor’s degree in Business English in Hanoi, he prepared to become a lecturer at the school. During the time he worked as assistant professor, he got a scholarship for study in the US for two years.
After completing his master's degree, he returned to Vietnam to work in the school as he had committed to do so before leaving Vietnam.
However, too many problems arose which forced him to change his career plan.
“I became an official lecturer. However, the salary was really low, which could not cover my basic needs. Also, as a straightforward person, I could not win the heart of the Dean,” he explained.
“Therefore, I decided to give up the job and run an English center myself,” he said.
Duong Anh Nhat, who has a bachelor’s degree in business administration, said he was jobless for seven months before finding a job in a Vietnamese-owned company.
“When I applied for a multinational, I was told that I did not have much experience in the field. I also failed in my applications for some Vietnamese companies. A friend told me that Vietnamese companies don’t want foreign school graduates because graduates are too demanding and are not loyal,” he said.
According to Navigos’ CEO Nguyen Phuong Mai, foreign school graduates tend to require salaries higher than the average level. However, pay does not totally depend on the degrees candidates have, but also on other factors, including the position, experience and their contribution to the companies.
Mai noted that many Vietnamese students tend to ‘follow the crowd’ when choosing majors, and don’t care much about their abilities and demands in the labor market.
As a result, in some business fields, the number of candidates is very high and graduates have to compete fiercely for jobs. Meanwhile, workers are seriously lacking in other fields.
Mai said graduates from foreign universities have better English skills than graduates from Vietnamese schools, but there generally is not a wide gap in professional knowledge between them.