Technology’s working: Overseas Vietnamese talent drawn by Industry 4.0 demands

By Phat Dat   October 31, 2018 | 12:00 am PT
Vietnam’s IT industry is attracting overseas investment as well as overseas Vietnamese talent with good jobs and pay packages.

For the past 10 to 15 years, leading companies like Intel, IBM, Samsung Display, Nokia, and Microsoft have chosen Vietnam for software outsourcing.

However, software developers in Vietnam had no idea about the products they were working on, such as their final use and who they were being made for. Therefore, this work did not add much value to the local industry.

However, it laid the foundation for Vietnam’s IT industry to grow steadily and emerge as a regional tech hub. Some even dubbed it the Silicon Valley of Asia, with automation, artificial intelligence (AI), deep learning, and machine learning reaching deep into Vietnamese society.

IT is now one of the hottest industries in Vietnam.

IT is now one of the hottest industries in Vietnam.

Thanks to new government policies to attract more IT businesses, many start-up companies from America, Europe and Australia, and some from neighbouring countries such as Singapore have set up software development centres in Vietnam.

This has led to a significant increase in demand for software engineers, software developers and maintenance engineers. Vietnamese talent in the software development industry is highly valued for their hard-working spirit, flexibility and adaptability to the fast changing environment.

The greatest demand for tech talent mostly comes from start-up companies in e-commerce, fintech, payment solutions, online lending platforms, blockchain and similar industries. Other areas including creative tech products, gaming, advertising and media also need hi-tech professionals.

A common problem faced by these technology companies is the shortage of experienced talents for senior roles.

Technologys working: Overseas Vietnamese talent drawn by Industry 4.0 demands  - 1

The greatest demand for technology talent comes from start-up companies in e-commerce, fintech, payment solutions, online lending platforms, blockchain and similar fields.

With the number of tech start-ups driving demand for senior tech roles and the talent shortage for positions such as data scientist and UX/UI developers, companies are open to expanding their search beyond Vietnam and hiring IT professionals from other countries.

Stacy Do (aka Thu Do), an IT consultant at specialist professional recruitment consultancy Robert Walters, said: “Actually, there are more and more talented employees in the market. However, the biggest challenges for these local candidates are communication in English and ability to integrate into a professional working environment.”

Robert Walters, one of the world’s leading specialist recruitment consultancies, which has an office in Vietnam, has launched a campaign in Vietnam called “Come Home Pho Good” to attract talented Vietnamese living and working abroad to return home to work for companies based in Vietnam.

Stacy Do also said that 15-20 percent of overseas Vietnamese are interested in coming back to work in Vietnam. The biggest reason for returning is the growing software market in Vietnam, because it is a promising one with plenty of areas to explore and gain new skill sets.

Additionally, with the high demand for talent in the tech sector, returning Vietnamese with the right skill sets and experience are able to find jobs with salaries similar to what they would get in developed countries

Stacy Do-Robert Walters senior consultant of Information Technology discipline.

Stacy Do-Robert Walters’ senior consultant of Information Technology discipline.

In HCMC, leading technology companies are willing to offer a competitive salary range to recruit top talent. For instance, the salary range for a senior developer with 10-15 years of experience is $2,500 - $4,000 (VND60-90 million) per month.

Professionals who have more than 15 years of experience with in-demand skill sets can expect an average monthly income of around VND100 million.

Besides, returning Vietnamese are more interested in working for start-up companies because they can now get involvedin end-to-end product development until the final launch in the market.

Huy Nguyen, creative director for a start-up,said: “There is real potential in Vietnam’s dynamic economy to develop blockchain (technology). But the challenge is that most young Vietnamese are still hesitant to join this wave. My decision to come back began from my desire to share the skills and knowledge of this industry I have acquired. I am willing to put all of my effort to organize training sessions at least once a month for my colleagues.”

Industry 4.0, with its high demand for qualified professionals, has been shaping a dynamic, promising and highly competitive market in Vietnam.

As a result Vietnam is definitely an attractive destination for Vietnamese talent abroad to come back for good.

Stacy Do spent nine years studying and working in Singapore. She graduated from the U.K.’s University of Portsmouth with a bachelor’s degree in human resource management. She has an extensive six-year background in HR generalist affairs, including experience in recruitment and development of HR operations. Stacy Do has an interest in IT recruitment and a deep understanding of the structure and demands of this industry. She is now a senior consultant at Robert Walters Vietnam and can be reached at
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