Vietnamese try to obtain bachelor’s degree at any cost

VietNamNet Bridge - The Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs‘ (MOLISA) recent reports show that the unemployment rate among university graduates is higher that of untrained workers or workers with lower education levels. However, for many Vietnamese students, a bachelor’s degree is the best way for them to make their way in the world.


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Hong Duc, born in 1991, is now a first-year student at the Architecture University. Eight years ago, he was the first-year student at the Civil Engineering University and dreamed of building large works in the capital city and his home village.

However, he still cannot fulfill his dream. Despite his great efforts, Duc could not pass the exams at the Civil Engineering University during the five years at the school. He was told to follow in-service training instead of a full-time one. 

The unemployment rate among university graduates is higher that of untrained workers or workers with lower education levels. However, for many Vietnamese students, a bachelor’s degree is the best way for them to make their way in the world.
Feeling ashamed about the poor exam results, Duc returned to his home village, prepared for the university entrance exam once again and successfully enrolled in the Architecture University. 

Duc vowed to obtain a bachelor’s degree, even though he had to spend 10 years or more on study.

Duc’s mother said she once advised them to drop out of the university and take a job as a factory worker. However, Duc said it would be a shame if he could not obtain a bachelor’s degree.

The mother had no other choice than to continue funding his study at university. “If you don’t have tertiary education, you will never never be able to get promotion in your career,” she said.

The Q2 labor market bulletin showed that 1.08 million people are jobless, including 180,000 workers with bachelor’s degree. Experts have repeatedly warned that people with higher education levels are finding it more difficult than untrained workers to get jobs.

However, Hong Thi Mai, a third-year student at a university in Hanoi, said she doesn’t care about the figures, because she is sure that most university graduates take jobs in fields in which they did not major.

“I applied for the school not because I like the major, but because the school doesn’t set high requirements on exam scores,” she explained.

“Women now need to have high education levels to find good husbands. Men won’t be interested in women who can only do housework,” she said.

Nguyen Minh graduated from the Civil Engineering University a year ago, but he still cannot find a good job in his major. He now works as a private tutor to cover expenses for his stay in Hanoi. 

Minh said his current income is much lower than the income of a friend, who runs a fashion shop in his home village. However, he is proud of his bachelor’s degree. 

“None of my friends has a university education,” he said.


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Chi Mai
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