Vietnam is quickly becoming a digital transformation success story in Southeast Asia, thanks to a potent combination of factors — a youthful and tech-savvy population, a mobile-first culture, and a rapidly expanding economy.
According to a 2022 report by Google, Temasek, and Bain & Company, Vietnam’s digital economy is expected to experience a staggering compound annual growth rate of 31% between 2020 and 2025, making it one of the most dynamic and exciting digital markets in Southeast Asia.
Despite the promising prospects, Vietnam faces challenges, including limited digital literacy among the workforce, which could lose two million jobs by 2045.
A PwC survey in 2021 indicated that the majority of the local workforce acknowledges the need for a skills framework to equip them for the digital shift, but only 14% said they have a clear view of the skills they need to acquire.
MindX, a local edtech startup, aims to bridge the tech skills gap among Vietnamese students and the workforce. Eight years since its inception, the startup has become the largest coding educator in the region, with over 32 campuses across Vietnam that provide digital skills training for all age groups.
Emerging as a major player in tech education, MindX founder Nguyen Thanh Tung shares with Vietcetera his perspective on Vietnam’s digital transformation and how the workforce can acquire the necessary knowledge to unlock the country’s digital potential.
How does MindX approach technology education differently from traditional universities or schools in Vietnam?
MindX is the only company in Vietnam that provides technology courses for all age groups, with long-term learning roadmaps lasting up to six years and a job guarantee upon graduation.
Initially, MindX was only a free coding class, but today it has helped some 35,000 learners secure tech jobs not only in Vietnam but also in nearly 20 countries around the world.
Our students are as young as six years old. Most of our courses, from robotics programming to UI-UX design and product management, are outside the curriculum of local universities and schools.
Our dream from the very start is to create a “little Silicon Valley’’ in every local neighborhood where learners are prepared with the skills and mindsets necessary to become future leaders.
It’s not just a physical space where they can unleash their creativity, work on real projects, and make actual products. It’s also about fostering a spirit of daring to try, being unafraid of failure, and being prepared to face all challenges.
How do you help students secure job opportunities and internships with companies?
We have established a network of nearly 300 tech hiring partners to assist our graduates in securing employment upon graduation.
We invite them to co-create our learning experience by providing insights on career opportunities, conducting mock interviews, and serving as judges for our students’ capstone project Demo Day. Many of our hiring partners even handpicked candidates from our classes.
We also asked industry people to co-host an entrepreneurial program that teaches students about marketing, fundraising, and other essential business skills. Students can apply their knowledge by creating websites, mobile apps, and games. They can then pitch their business ideas, competing for funding in a Shark Tank-style competition.
How accessible is technology education in Vietnam, particularly for those from underprivileged backgrounds?
We are dedicated to making technology education accessible to everyone here in Vietnam.
Every year, MindX partners with the Code for Vietnam foundation to provide hundreds of scholarships and used laptops to underprivileged people passionate about technology.
This year, we have also taken our first steps to expand our reach to Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities such as Ha Long, Da Nang, and Bien Hoa, and we are set to achieve 45 by June.
Our team once visited one of our online students who lived in Bien Hoa. It was a long trip, traveling through forests and mountains, but we were surprised to find a girl with a huge passion for programming there. The girl’s parents had hoped for her to become a doctor, but her dream was to become a software engineer. Eventually, they decided to send her to our new campus in the city so that she could pursue her passion in the best environment possible.
This story made us even more determined to expand our reach to more cities and help more people achieve their dreams.
Can tech education drive Vietnam’s economic and social growth?
The COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing tech layoffs worldwide have shaken up how things work, even in Vietnam.
It’s become increasingly clear that everyone needs to be prepared for anything coming their way. That means adopting digital skills very early on and being ready for upskilling and reskilling as required.
We’re committed to addressing the skills gap in the tech industry and equipping the next generation of leaders with the tools they need to succeed in such a volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous (VUCA) landscape.
Our approach is about more than just teaching technical skills like programming and data analytics. We also focus on nurturing an innovative and entrepreneurial mindset that empowers our students to become problem-solvers, critical thinkers, and creative innovators who can leverage technology to impact society positively.
How do you see Vietnam’s digital transformation evolving over the next 5-10 years?
I’m positive that Vietnam’s digital transformation is set to evolve rapidly over the next 5-10 years. The government has already taken significant steps to accelerate this process. More and more businesses are gradually shifting towards digital operations, including MindX (with projects of building data-driven systems and optimizing hybrid learning experiences).
The wave of digital transformation will create new opportunities for businesses and entrepreneurs, and we’ll see more jobs being done in the technology sector.
We are excited to be part of this journey and contribute to the growth of Vietnam’s digital economy by upskilling and training the country’s next generation of digital talents.