Long term professional opportunities in Vietnam
Moving to Vietnam and working as an ESL teacher is a career move that often doesn’t align with our educational background. Furthermore, most of us don’t even consider living abroad for multiple years. Working as an ESL teacher in Vietnam, is after all, quite different from what working in the educational field back at home would mean. Though initially challenging, after a while, being a teacher for young learners can become repetitive, mainly for those that are not naturally inclined towards young children.
Vietnam, however, is on the rise. The country is developing fast and foreign investment is on the rise. As foreigners, we get to enjoy a lavish lifestyle, that can’t be mirrored when returning home and getting a similar job with similar working hours and professional expectations. So, what is there to do for those that want to stay in Vietnam but move out of the classroom.
· Grow in the educational field
To transition from the educational field to a different professional career all together is difficult in Vietnam. Vietnamese employees are on a much lower pay scale, which limits the opportunities that Westerners want to take. Furthermore, companies that do hire expats, normally recruit them from abroad.
The educational field does offer more than just the ESL experience and if you can land a job at the right place, then the financial compensation is noteworthy too. There are two general directions to go, either teach IELTS and other test-taking courses. These normally require higher degrees from the teachers too, either CELTA or DELTA, which can be taken in Vietnam.
The other direction is international schools, which require you to have a degree in education. These schools do pay handsomely and have great contracts with long summer breaks. This is a consideration for those that want to go back to school.
· Climb the ladder
Within APAX you can progress through the ranks pretty quickly. For those that are ambitious and do plan to stay for longer, positions in the FMD department are worth the consideration. This department is a mix of Western and Vietnamese staff members that work in an office.
Apart from the financial benefits, working in FMD offers a wide range of experiences. You’ll be active in both the management and direction of the company, but still, play a role in the everyday life of APAX teachers.
· Start your own company
Many of us have heard that foreigners can’t own anything in Vietnam, or that they can never be the sole proprietor of a new company. This, however, isn’t true! For those that are willing to take the risk, you can register an LLC for around $3500.
Starting your own company is very daunting and will require huge amounts of work, but with the growth in Vietnam, there is probably not a better time or location. Popular ventures are restaurants/bars, import and/or export or technology.