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Young people in Vietnam not interested in agricultural studies

The agriculture, forestry and fishery sector lacks high-qualified human resources but few young people want to work in the sector despite the abundant job opportunities.



Students practise on paddy field. Photo


Many colleges and universities’ agriculture-forestry-fishery schools have few students, even zero, registered for this academic year, reported Nông Thôn Ngày Nay (Countryside Today) newspaper.

In recent months, colleges and universities have run job consultancy campaigns, but few young people have been swayed to study in the field.

HCM City’s Food Industry University has been very active in seeking students, but the faculties of seafood processing technology and fishery studies are only at 30 per cent of the enrollment target, while business management and tourism are at 90 per cent.

Phạm Thái Sơn, director of the university’s centre of enrollment and communication, told the newspaper that although the entry scores for the faculties were low, young people were not interested.

The Mekong Delta is a key agriculture production region of the country so the need for skilled workers is very high.

Despite this, universities in Cần Thơ, An Giang and Bạc Liêu provinces have also struggled to get students interested in agricultural studies.

According to Nguyễn Thị Kim Phụng, head of university education of the Ministry of Education and Training, after graduating, students in agricultural fields easily find jobs with good salaries, especially as many big businesses have invested in clean and hi-tech agricultural production.

“For a long time, agricultural production was thought to be hard work and attached to paddy fields," Phụng said.

“Parents did not want their children to participate in the sector therefore the number of students studying the subjects was less year by years," Phụng said.

A representative of Huế Agriculture and Forestry University said they were experiencing similar problems.

"Last year, about 50 businesses needed 2,050 agriculture staff. But the number of graduates was only 1,000," he said.

In HCM City, many big businesses have invested in hi-tech agriculture production, which requires a lot of skilled employees, said Dương Hoa Xô, director of the city’s Agriculture and Rural Development Department.

Training and improving the human resource was one of three solutions for hi-tech agricultural production development, Xô said.

According to Nguyễn Đăng Lực, a former student of the HCM City Agriculture and Forestry University, graduates could easily find jobs in institutes, companies or groups specialising in animal feed, veterinary medicines, seedlings or fishery.

Agro-forestry graduates could even work for international groups overseas, Lực said.

"The field is also 'fertile ground' for students who want to launch start-up businesses," he added.



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