Sunday, February 24, 2008

Vietnam's students flock into high demand jobs

Students flock to pertinent programmes
11:18' 22/02/2008 (GMT+7)
VietNamNet Bridge – University courses that train people for positions in high demand attract far more students than those that lead to less prestigious jobs also vital to the functioning of society.

Unfortunately, information about less popular courses is often in short supply, including the fact that they often pay handsomely.
Finance-banking, biological technology and information technology are the most sought after university degrees. To pass entrance exams for these studies, students have to gain 24 points, two or three more than for other courses.
Before applying to study for a degree, students need to know what they will really achieve from them and what career is most suitable for them.
"For these three majors, it is easy for students to satisfy themselves they are taking the right direction because there is plenty of information about them," said Nguyen Minh Huan, a teacher in information technology.
A favourable studying environment and plentiful employment opportunities encourage students to rush to these courses.
"Before studying finance-banking, I was able to find which subjects I would be taught and where I could work after graduating," said Nguyen Thi Ngoc Lan, a second-year student at the National Economics University.
"Compared to other majors, finance-banking seems to be more advantageous. In addition, since I took up studies, I have received three scholarships from the Corporation for Financing and Promoting Technology (FPT), ICCI and invitations to co-operate with private banks through job fairs and competitions for finance-banking students.
"The starting salary when I graduate is expected not to be less than VND4mil (US$250)."
As for information technology, every company in every field, from supermarkets to stock centres, had a high demand for information technology people, said Nguyen Huu Hung, a student at the Genetic Information Technology College, which has its headquarters in Singapore.
In addition, most of the information-technology colleges, especially foreign ones, such as India’s NIIT and Genetic have high standards of teaching, up-to-the-minute and practical lessons - and modern equipment.
"I can clearly see my future after graduating," he said. "I can either work for international information companies or in Vietnam by helping establish website services," said Hung.
Hung said he knows his starting salary will be about VND3.5mil ($218) a month when he graduates, rising eventually to VND10mil ($625).
Another degree that attracts many students is biological technology, which has been taught in Vietnam for several years.
"We now have knowledge of cell technology, environmental biology and gene technology, all of which are very important in Vietnam," said Nguyen Thu Hien, a student at Ha Noi Open University.
Under the radar
University courses in energy, material technology, forestry production, agricultural trading, oceanography and hydrometeorology are also vital for the functioning of Vietnam’s society, but generally accept students qualifying at lower entrance levels.
"In the latest examination, the floor point for these majors was 15, much lower than for other courses, even though companies are looking for these engineering graduates," said Nguyen Kim Quang, Deputy Head of Training at the Natural Sciences University.
More than 10 companies in HCM City have tried in vain to attract graduates, offering starting salaries of VND4mil ($312) a month, said Tran Dinh Ly, Director of the Student Support Centre in HCM City’s Agriculture and Forestry University.
"I have little information about these majors and whether I am taking a risk in applying for this type of study," said Hung. "I am not brave enough to apply for agricultural trading, knowing that I will have to work in the fields and open air every day," said Hien.
"Student and parental prejudices keep these majors in oblivion," said Quang. Students and parents have few chances of finding information on these courses so they can evaluate studying for them.
"However, students of finance-banking and information technology have their own competitions and job fairs, even television game shows," Lan said. "It seems there are few similar opportunities for students of hydrometeorology or agriculture product processing."
"If we knew there were great job opportunities in these areas and salaries as high as VND4mil ($250), many of us would rush into them," said Hung.
(Source: Viet Nam News)
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