Far from the days when Vietnam was considered an underdeveloped country. The country now holds a place in Goldman Sachs’s Next Eleven list of 11 countries that have a high potential of becoming the world’s largest economies in the 21st century (Martin 2012). Many foreign investors are choosing Vietnam as the golden destination for their investments based on the country’s great advancements in various study fields. One of those study fields that has gathered a lot of attention of the Vietnamese public & government over these recent years is Computer Science.
Computer Science is the “IT” subject in Vietnam at the moment, and the demand for computer science grads is higher than ever. Not only businesses operating in software development industry but also companies operating in electronics manufacturing industry who invested billions into their Vietnamese counterparts and factories such as Intel, Samsung, and LG, are seeking for top engineering grads who know their ways in Computer Science world.
Noticing this trend of demand and knowing that there is currently a lack in the supply of computer science grads in the country, the Vietnamese government had started to introduce Computer Science into the curriculum of public schools in Vietnam to encourage the growth of the talent pool for Vietnamese Computer Science grads.
Neil Fraser, a six-year veteran software engineer of Google, had spent some time visiting Vietnamese public schools on his trip to Vietnam in 2013. He came away pretty impressed with the way Computer Science is taught in Vietnamese public schools, and how proficient Vietnamese students are with programming, coding, and Computer Science-related subjects.
According to Fraser (2013), computer classes start in grade 2 and begin with all the basics, including how to take care of your CDs, DVDs, and of course, your 5.25” floppy disks. Things will get more complicated as the kids grow older. By grade 3, the children will have to know how to use Microsoft Windows proficiently. In grade 4, they will start to learn about and practicing with sequences and loops programming in Logo, and by the end of fifth grade, they are fully capable of writing procedures containing loops.
The decision to start teaching Computer Science at an early age is still relatively recent in Vietnam. Nonetheless, it already helps create meaningful changes and put Vietnamese school children way ahead of the average children in other countries. Fraser compared the Computer Science proficiency level of Vietnamese fifth graders to that of a US eleventh graders. What impressed him even more is the proficiency level of Vietnamese eleventh graders after witnessing them successfully solved a programming assignment that is on par with a question on a Google interview. That means an average 17-year-old Vietnamese can get into Google and work efficiently there – imagine what they could do as graduates majoring in Computer Science.
The education policy to start teaching Computer Science at an early age of Vietnamese government is not going anywhere anytime soon. Plus, Vietnamese universities also organised programs promoting STEM education, coding and programming. If you’re a foreign investor seeking for professional and high-skilled programmers, developers or coders, Vietnam is the best destination for your investment.
Fraser, N 2013, “CS in VN”, Neil’s News, viewed on 29 May 2013, <https://neil.fraser.name/news/2013/03/16/>
Martin, E 2012, “Goldman Sachs’s MIST Topping BRICs as Smaller Markets Outperform”, Bloomberg Business, viewed on 29 May 2015, <http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2012-08-07/goldman-sachs-s-mist-topping-brics-as-smaller-markets-outperform>