RETAIL BANKING | Cesar Tordesillas, Vietnam

Vietnam grads struggle to get banking, finance jobs

An oversupply of economic university graduates.

This is the main reason why recent finance graduates find it hard to get jobs in Vietnam's finance and business sectors.

Finance and banking university programs became very attractive to students a few years ago due to the many job opportunities with high salaries for graduates. Many commercial banks were expanding their networks to serve the increasing demand for capital as the local stock and financial markets expanded rapidly between 2005 and 2007.

“At that time, the commercial banks’ demand for staff was very large. Many of them announced recruitments every quarter, or even every month,” said an industry insider.

As of late 2010, the banking sector had over 175,200 employees, 2.59 times the 2000 figure, said Tran Huu Thang, deputy head of the staff management department under the State Bank of Vietnam.

To meet the increasing demand, many universities and colleges opened economic, financial and banking departments. At present, 248 out of 416 universities and colleges nationwide offer economic, financial, banking, accounting and business management training, according to the University Education Department under the Ministry of Education and Training.

Vu Van Hoa, vice president of the Hanoi Business and Technology University, said: “It would be very difficult for students specializing in financial and banking sectors to find jobs in the next one or two years, unless we review our training plans.”

Furthermore, despite a large supply of students majoring in economics, very few are qualified enough to meet the requirements of employers.

"Many newly-graduated students do not have necessary skills and knowledge to work at banks,” said Luu Trung Thai, former deputy general director of the Military Bank.

He said universities should review their curricula and help students quickly meet requirements of firms when seeking jobs.

There is also a  job shortage in the sector due to commercial banks experiencing slower growth and undergoing a restructuring process.

Thai said banks now are reducing their spending as they restructure to improve operational efficiency. Cutting the staff is one of the measures to lower costs.

According to Vietnamworks, the largest online recruitment solution provider in the country, the accounting and financial sector has seen lower online recruitment demand over the last two years.

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