MindX, USAID to boost technology education access for underserved students

By Phong Van    October 18, 2022 | 07:00 pm PT
The USAID’s Workforce for an Innovation and Startup Ecosystem (USAID-WISE) and Hanoi-based technology school MindX signed an agreement on Oct. 18 to make digital skills training more affordable to Vietnamese students.

MindX offers courses that prepare students for tech careers. Photo by MindX

As per the partnership agreement, USAID-WISE will provide technical assistance and co-investments to help MindX develop and scale its Income Share Agreement (ISA) program, an innovative financing solution designed to pre-fund those who cannot afford technology courses and require no repayment until the learners have successfully secured a job.

USAID-WISE will contribute about half of the financial resources needed to run the program. Other forms of support also include reviewing quality assurance procedures, streamlining repayment collection processes, etc.

The activity is part of USAID-WISE efforts to improve the upward mobility and competitiveness of Vietnam's workforce for the 4th Industrial Revolution. During the two-year activity, WISE expects to equip 1,000 learners with 4IR skills, provide $400,000 in education finance, and leverage $600,000 in private sector resources.

"We are very glad that both MindX and USAID-WISE share a vision of taking digital skills training into the mainstream. Through this income share agreement program, we're hoping to remove financial barriers for low-income tech enthusiasts and enable thousands more to enter the digital workforce each year," said Nguyen Thanh Tung, co-founder and CEO of MindX.

Learners participating in the ISA program will not have to pay any fees until they find a job. Photo by MindX

Learners participating in the ISA program will not have to pay any fees until they find a job. Photo by MindX

By the first quarter of 2023, the program is expected to run a pilot on 50 Vietnamese students regardless of their geographical locations, of which 10% are set to be women.

Before officially being entitled to the ISA program, applicants will need to pass a two-month introductory course called "Code for everyone" as a test of their drive and commitment. MindX will deliver the training with a special quality-control process for ISA-funded students, including technical tests, mock interviews, orientation workshops, and mentor support throughout the training period. The company also guarantees jobs for its students upon graduation.

At MindX, technology subjects like programming, graphic design, and UI-UX design are available for all ages from 9-year-old kids to students and working professionals. More than 30,000 students have graduated and successfully stepped out into the working world from the school, becoming entrepreneurs, startup founders, engineers, and more. Some are now brought to live and work in over 12 countries via their career.

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