The 9X generation software engineer: ‘brain circulation’ is replacing ‘brain drain’

    Liking Japanese and admiring the inquisitive spirit of the people from the country of the rising sun, after graduation the Software Engineering major of FPT University, Lu Cam Toan decided to start his career in this country. However, different from many youths beginning their career in a foreign land, Toan always seeks out the companies that intend to open a branch in Vietnam.
     Going to Japan for self-completion

     Originally a Chinese, Cam Toan has stockpiled a decent amount of Chinese knowledge and from that build the foundation for learning Japanese. “In the future, engineers that know Japanese will have plenty of chances for development so I decided to choose the Japanese market back when I was still a student” – Toan shared about what he has found out and it was also the motivation for him to earn the N3 Japanese certificate after graduating from college.


    The alumni of Software Engineering major has chance to be the Software Engineering in Japan company in Vietnam.

     Cam Toan began his journey with the Engineer exchange program of the Ho Chi Minh City FPT Software company. In order to become an engineer qualified to come to Japan, this Software Engineering alumni have gotten through 3 rounds of interview: Programming techniques, orientation/self determination and finally Japanese.

     His work during the time in the “Rising Sun country” mainly consisted of coding. The work environment has enough requirements in order for Toan to express his abilities and so he became a Project Manager for the Marutou Compack company, a technology company with more than 30 years of age that pay him thousands of dollars each month. “If I could accomplish it then I believed that it is not too out of reach for other Software Engineering students, especially my peers from studying from the same university.” – Toan modestly shared.
     This journey exceeded the original expectation of Cam Toan. During the time studying and training in Japan, Toan learned the report writing skill, staying compose in situations and find a solution, apperception, disciplinary skill for his work life and personal life.
     Loving Japan, but Vietnam is the only country.
     Immediately when he started to find employment in Japan, Toan prioritizes choosing the companies that orient towards opening a branch in Vietnam or already have an existing office there already. “The decision to return to Vietnam was partially for my family, the rest is about the active personality of Japanese, very quick in work but very slow in their personal life. That is the reason why there are times when I feel there was no work pressure but instead it was temperament pressure” – The 9x generation confided about his reason of wanting to develop himself inside a Japanese company from his country.

    After coming back to Vietnam, Toan brings job opportunities in his company to FPT student.


    After 2 years of work, Marutou Compack began to aim towards the Vietnamese market, Toan officially works near his home although he still obliged to the rules and discipline of a Japanese company.
     What Toan saw as the most valuable were the lessons he got from the environment and culture from both countries. Japan with the professional work environment, advanced technology was distilled with the good factors Vietnamese culture in order to complete himself in the most excellent way.
    “Basically, software engineers in both Japan and Vietnam aren’t that different” – Toan emphasized, “The most notable difference is the work style inside the business environment, the Japanese focus heavily on work, very disciplinary and obliging to the company’s regulations. Maybe that was the reason why their work efficiency is high, but they also put heavy pressure on themselves” – The software engineer state the difference between the position in two different countries.
    When asked about whether cases like Toan was “brain drain” or not, the software engineer said: “With the development of the current economy, the “brain circulation” or “brain chain” are slowly replacing “brain drain”. The trend of studying and working abroad and then returning to Vietnam is slowly increasing. If it is possible I hope that there will be policies that “retrieve” the human resources from inside the country back and “attract” the human resources from outside the country even more.”
    A tip of experience for the youths that want to follow on the same path as me, aside from money and foreign language which are compulsory, according to Toan everyone also needs to discover the culture and lifestyle of the Japanese in order to avoid culture shock, at the same time equip yourself with soft skills. “Luckily beside professional knowledge, participating and organizing activities at FPT University has given me a decent soft skill foundation, so when I arrived in Japan I was really confident and perhaps that was why many corporations held me in high regards” – Toan added.


    Written by Giao Duc Thoi Dai





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