Work/life balance critical to Vietnamese grads: survey

Thanh Nien News

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More than one in two university students in Vietnam considers “a proper work/life balance” their top priority upon graduation, according to the results of a new survey released by the global branding firm Universum.
The second most-important thing is “to be dedicated to a cause or feel that I am serving a greater good”, which 47 percent said was more crucial than “being secure or stable" at their chosen employer.

Students pose for a photo at the graduation ceremony of the Ho Chi Minh City International University last year. Photo: Mai Huong
Universum Representative Rachele Focardi called the findings of the company’s inaugural survey of over 11,000 university students in Vietnam “a positive surprise.”
“Despite being a developing economy in Southeast Asia, Generation Y (people born during the 1980s and early 1990s) talent here are indicating career aspirations akin to their peers in developed markets in the West, who seek to ‘feel good’ in their personal as well as professional capacity,” Focardi said during the survey's release on Friday.
“In contrast, undergraduates in other Southeast Asian countries such as Singapore and Malaysia are far more concerned about job security,” she continued.
The survey's respondents identified remuneration and advancement opportunities -- particularly “high future earnings” -- as the most appealing factors in choosing an employer.
This is reflected in their salary expectations upon graduation which averages VND12.57 (US$590) million per month--an expectation that far exceeds the actual average salary of fresh graduates.
Other key attractions for undergraduates includes “a creative and dynamic work environment” and “professional training and development”.
The Vietnam Top 100 IDEAL Employers 2014 student survey also found that business students considered Unilever their most ideal employer, while Vinamilk remained the most popular among engineering students.
Generation Y not job-hoppers
The survey showed that at least one in two of Vietnamese students in general – with over 70 per cent of the Health/Medicine cohort leading the trend - believe in ‘investing’ at least five years with their first employer after graduation--only six percent said they expected to stay for a year or less.
“Employers are often surprised by this result as they find it harder to retain Generation Y employees than those of older generations,” Focardi said.
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