An increasing number of young Vietnamese people are making a name for themselves by producing educational content on social media, especially YouTube.
The enterprising youngsters are attracting a huge number of viewers from both local and international audiences.
Vietnamese YouTuber Do An Duy is known for getting a perfect TOEIC score of 990 out of 990.
One could assume some of Duy’s success is owed partly to luck, until they hear that he repeated the feat 10 times in a row.
His YouTube channel, TOEIC mỗi ngày (TOEIC Every Day), has over 3.5 million views.
Brought to YouTube by fate
Duy graduated from Vietnam's top-tier university – Foreign Trade University – with opportunities for a stable and well-paid job nearly guaranteed in his field of study.
However, the fresh graduate decided that teaching English might be a better route.
The YouTuber, in his twenties, recalls the beginning of his social media journey in 2014: “At first I chose my university because it was one of the best, but later I wanted to do something I am good at and that is more suitable for me. Because I used to compete in English on a national level, I decided to teach English and fell in love with the job.
“After spending some time at English language centers, I started making free videos so that more and more people would know of me. However, I didn’t expect to attract that many viewers. That’s when I started making higher quality videos.”
Another YouTube channel well-known among Vietnamese youngsters is Talk to Miss Lan, boasting over 11 million views.
“I used to be an English major and soon realized that my hometown of Can Tho does not have many places where youngsters can practice their English listening and speaking skills so I opened a coffee shop for English learning,” Lan Huynh, 28 years old, shared.
“Surprisingly, many people enjoyed my coffee shop and then asked me to teach them. I started a pronunciation class in 2013. Soon after, I decided to film a number of lectures to sell my students so that I could reach more people with less effort.”
However, after filming the videos, Lan was not happy with the quality. Rather than sell what she considered to be low quality work, she posted the videos to her YouTube channel for free.
At first, Lan was just hopeful that viewers would appreciate her effort and products. She never anticipated such positive reactions and support from the massive number of viewers her videos attracted.
But English teaching is not the only skill being taught by Vietnamese on YouTube.
Originally from Nha Trang City, Diep Bao Quoc Thai first moved to Ho Chi Minh City to study telecommunication engineering and IT.
After consistently coming up short when trying to find information related to his study field, Thai was motivated to create the YouTube channel Microsoft MCSA/MCSE Learning Channel, which has now reached over two million views.
“After that, my friend and I launched an online forum in 2008 to provide free information for people in the same situation we had been in,” Thai said.
Because most youngsters do not expect to become professional YouTubers, they typically create their channels with neither experience nor professional understanding, leading to plenty of challenges.
Nguyen Ngoc Thuy Uyen, 29, owner of the Thuy Uyen Design Tutorials channel with over two million views, provides lessons on esthetic themes and useful design tools.
Uyen shared that past negative comments on her videos upset and disappointed her to the point that she wanted to give up.
Things got worse when she found an account copying her original ideas. When she confronted the owner of the account, Uyen was cursed.
“I was pregnant at that time and they even cursed my baby. I was in such a shock that I nearly stopped making videos,” Uyen recounted.
“At the same time, my viewers encouraged me to think of the positive values I was contributing to the community. They said I shouldn’t give up because of silly things. Thanks to them, I continued on my path.”
Time is another problem the young YouTuber had to face.
Because she works, Uyen is only able to post new videos in her free time, rather than on a set schedule like other YouTube channels.
“In the first place, I did not even know how to edit, cut, and put together a clip. I had to figure it out myself and learn from different sources to guarantee the quality of the clip,” Uyen said.
Uyen is not the only Vietnamese YouTuber who overcame obstacles.
Truong Doan Boi Ngoc, owner of the Boi Ngoc Piano channel with over eight million views, also found herself in a tricky situation while trying to balance her time devoted to studying and making content on her channel.
The Foreign Trade University Ho Chi Minh City alumnus revealed that she used to keep her YouTube channel a secret from her parents.
“My family was worried that it would cause me to neglect my studies so I had to buy the piano, tools for recording and filming, and so forth all by myself using money I made working part-time jobs,” Ngoc said.
Despite the obstacles Ngoc faced in getting her name out into the YouTube world, she admitted to not having many problems in creating content such as filming, recording, or explaining chords to her viewers.