New Insights for Soft Skills Development in Vietnamese Business Schools: Defining Essential Soft Skills for Maximizing Graduates’ Career Success
Abstract:Within Vietnam's system of higher education, its
schools of business play a vital role in supporting the country’s
economic objectives. However, the crucial contribution of soft skills
for maximal success within the business sector has to date not been
adequately recognized by its business schools. This being so, the
development of the business school curriculum in Vietnam has not
been able to 'catch up', so to say, with the burgeoning need of
students for a comprehensive soft skills program designed to meet the
national and global business objectives of their potential employers.
The burden of the present paper is first to reveal the results of our
survey in Vietnam which make explicit the extent to which major
Vietnamese industrial employers’ value the potential role that soft
skill competencies can play in maximizing business success. Our
final task will be to determine which soft skills employers discern as
best serving to maximize the economic interests of Vietnam within
the global marketplace. Semi-structured telephone interviews have
been conducted with the 15 representative Head Employers of
Vietnam's reputedly largest and most successful of the diverse
business enterprises across Vietnam. The findings of the study
indicate that all respondents highly value the increasing importance
of soft skills in business success. Our critical analysis of respondent
data reveals that 19 essential soft skills are deemed by employers as
integral to business workplace efficacy and should thus be integrated
into the formal business curriculum. We are confident that our study
represents the first comprehensive and specific survey yet undertaken
within the business sector in Vietnam which accesses and analyses
the opinions of representative employers from major companies
across the country in regard to the growing importance of 19 specific
soft skills essential for maximizing overall business success. Our
research findings also reveal that the integration into business school
curriculums nationwide of the soft skills we have identified is of
paramount importance to advance the national and global economic
interests of Vietnam.
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