Better career counselling services in Vietnam would steer students who do not qualify for universities into more suitable jobs via vocational training.

Chu Duc Tien, director of the Ministry of Education and Training’s Vocational Training Department said students need more advice from parents, teachers and authorities to change their thinking and make right career decisions.

There should be more information on the internet about vocational careers and more businesses should develop recruitment policies for apprentices with training centres.

Le Thi Xuan Mai, deputy head of HCM City National University’s Post Graduate Department said about 90 percent of students choose to apply for university educations, in the hope of graduating and finding well-paid jobs.

Another 8 percent of high school graduates apply for colleges, while only 1 percent apply for vocational training, Mai said, adding that for many of them, a university education is a guarantee of a good job.

Last year in HCM City , nearly 7,000 students failed high school graduation examinations, while tens of thousands of students failed college and university entrance examinations. They need to be funnelled into vocational courses.

Nguyen Thanh Hiep, head of Vocational Education Office under the HCM City Department of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs, said currently, students flock to attend colleges or universities, because they are misled about the promise of a degree from a famous university.

Vocational schools should build stronger trademarks and raise the quality of training.

Hiep said currently, vocational schools welcome secondary school graduates by offering them employment pathways with options of furthering their education while working.

At the HCM City and Southeastern vocational schools, courses with good job prospects such as electricians, industrial electronic experts, mechanics and electro mechanics have shortages of apprentices, while accounting and business management majors receive the most applications.

Hong Thi Chau Thuy of HCM City Vocational College said parents tend to guide children toward economics and information technology majors./.