An M-Powered future: Forging new paths

This article is part of a series on M-Powered, an initiative undertaken by Microsoft Asia and local nonprofits in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam to train youth and people with disabilities in IT, and improve their employability, connecting them to opportunities in the growing tech sector. 

With youth unemployment on the rise in the country, many Vietnamese youth are worried about their job prospects. For 25-year-old Mai Anh Dung, who has already switched career tracks once, not being able to get a job was a real concern.

25-year-old Mai Anh Dung is now studying systems administration at a vocational school in Binh Duong

“Many of my peers worry about securing a job after graduation, and the insecurity can leave them confused about what career paths they should pursue,” said Dung. “For me, web programming is a passion I’ve had since I was young. I gave up a career in medicine to do this, and I was determined to secure a job related to programming and succeed in this field.”

Dung began his job hunt halfway through his studies, a year earlier than most of his peers—to garner as much experience as he can. However, he found himself running into roadblocks, and lacking confidence in his interviewing skills and work experience.

“At first, I didn’t know how to effectively position myself and my capabilities to prospective employers,” said Dung, “My CV was put together based on basic tips found on the internet, and I went for interviews without the right amount of preparation.”

Following several unsuccessful job interviews, Dung realized he needed to acquire new skills to cope with the demands of today’s work environment. His first step was to sign up for a YouthSpark Career Readiness workshop conducted by VCCI and Microsoft Vietnam.

In addition to picking up valuable project management skills at the workshop, Dung also learned how to create a more professional-looking CV and leave a good impression on interviewers. With a deeper appreciation of the importance of job interview processes, Dung then enlisted the help of an HR professional to hone his interviewing skills.

Dung’s hard work eventually paid off. Within a week of applying for the positon of SEO marketer at interior design firm SAVIHOMES, he received a job offer.

But securing a job didn’t mean that Dung stopped improving himself. Recognizing the need to continually update his skills, Dung finds free time between his studies and work to attend workshops and take courses offered via M-Powered Vietnam, an e-portal set up by VCCI and Microsoft.

Launched in December 2016, the e-portal was set up with the aim of enhancing the employability of Vietnamese youth by offering training and career guidance online, giving youth across the country easy access to materials and information. Users can search for a wide variety of modules to improve themselves, get in touch with mentors that will help them in their job search, and look up the latest job opportunities.

Today, Dung regularly uses the platform to hone his web development and marketing skills. A digital marketing module inspired him to create a website that connects travelers from around the world. Working together with a friend, Dung successfully developed the site in under a week. The social travel site is seeing encouraging web traffic, with more than 2,000 visitors recorded in just two months since launch.

“I’m very glad that information from the workshops VCCI and Microsoft organize are now available online because it means more young people in Vietnam are able to access them,” said Dung. “Thanks to the courses, I now know how to apply my skills and knowledge to a variety of situations, giving me more confidence to excel at my work. With this platform, I’m sure my friends and other youth in Vietnam will be able to get jobs and have a bright future.”

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