Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) have become more popular in Vietnam with a large proportion of young people having dabbled in these fields after realizing their potential.
CoderSchool, a startup in virtual programming and education in Vietnam, has recently received a U$$2.6 million investment in the pre-Series A fund rounds to expand their scope.
In response to the Industrial Revolution 4.0, the needs for workers in technology have tremendously increased.
A lot of young people have left their comfort zone and entered the AI and ML fields.
Challenge and learning opportunity
Nguyen The Chinh, 35, is a former manager in the technical department of a multinational corporation.
He switched to AI and ML and signed up for a three-month bootcamp course.
Like many other classmates, Chinh was facing an entirely new field of knowledge.
The learners had to self-study necessary skills in order to keep up with the training program.
Upon the completion of this program, Chinh worked as a teaching assistant at the school and later became a trainer in AI and ML.
“While working in the technical department, I realized that ML could solve a lot of problems that less modern methods could not deal with,” he said.
“Talking to one of my friends, I realized the potential of this field.
“I decided to give it a shot after carefully considering my competence, preferences, and the market demands.
“Besides Apple and Google, AI and ML have not been seen a lot elsewhere.
"Due to their novelty, it takes a lot of self-study and research into scientific articles and attending conferences.”
He believes that updating knowledge helps a person keep up with the latest trends and maintain their competence.
An understanding of AI and ML coupled with a person’s expertise might increase their competitiveness in the job market.
Dang Toan Vinh, 28, dropped his career in construction and moved to AI and ML out of his personal passion for these fields.
Vinh graduated from the University of Transport in Ho Chi Minh City but was not skilled in technology.
He had trained himself until he found training courses in the city.
“I have enrolled in two different classes in two schools, and I am applying for a job in AI,” he said.
“Due to my lack of background knowledge, to become an AI or ML technician will not be an easy path.
“So I’ve decided to become an analyst.
"Data analytics is a more dynamic market compared with ML, which requires more expertise and intensive training.”
For the time being, Vinh sets his sights on data analytics, but hopes to work in ML in the long run.
The proportion of females entering the fields is around 30 percent, ranging from 18 to 24 years old, according to CoderSchool.
More and more women are interested in technology.
Tech-savvy groups like Women Meet Tech in Ho Chi Minh City are thriving.
Le Cam Minh Thu, 23 years old, graduated in biochemistry in the U.S. in May 2021.
She came back to Vietnam due to the impact of COVID-19.
Meanwhile, she has been researching programming and data science.
“In my senior year in college, I took a course in ML and found it appealing,” Thu said.
“ML and data science have been the hot trends in Vietnam in recent years, so I want to invest more for myself.”
Her major expertise is not related to programming, yet she enrolled in courses on websites like Coursera and Udemy, which offer massive online open courses to anyone interested.
Great potential in the market
According to Ly Ngoc Tran, director of senior recruitment services and human resources of Talentnet Corporation, AI has improved considerably.
A lot of experts in the world have speculated that by 2025, AI might have takn care of 95 percent of customer service.
This shows how significant AI can be to human life and business operations.
In particular, Vietnam has an aim to become one of the four leading ASEAN countries in AI by 2030.
Therefore, this sphere receives heavy investment from the business sector and has seen the widespread application of new AI tools, welcomed by startups.
Following this is an increase in human resources, with positions like AI engineer, machine learning engineer, big data scientist, data engineer, and business intelligence analyst.
These jobs are mostly in the fields of e-commerce, digital marketing, fintech, education, medics, entertainment as well as personnel management.
AI and ML might powerfully impact all manpower aspects in the next 10 years, said Sandeep Chaudhary, CEO of PeopleStrong, a human resources company.
“That will include recruitment, talent development, connecting staff, and empowering employees,” Tran said.
She added that a lot of businesses globally have applied AI and ML in their human resources management recently, while the COVID-19 pandemic is continuing to deter face-to-face interaction.
An example is how AI has been applied in filtering job application forms.
Also, AI and ML have been used in blind recruitment, which helps reduce human biases in interviews.
Bettering one’s skill set
It takes knowledge and skills in programming and data science to work in AI and ML, according to Tran.
A potential employee will need to be fluent in SQL, Python, R, Bloomberg, PowerBI, and others.
At the same time, a good understanding of data warehouses and algorithms is a common requirement for AI and ML engineers.
“Besides, in order for AI and ML applications to really boost a company’s operation, it takes insights into the specific fields and what particular problems that company is facing,” she said.
“Only then can AI/ML engineers develop proper products that cater for the specific needs of different businesses.
“The ability to listen, observe, and empathize also helps to make AI/ML solutions less rigid, while adding a sense of variety and connecting people."