HEEAP alumni encourage young Vietnamese women to pursue engineering

The Higher Engineering Education Alliance Project (HEEAP) 2012 team from Cao Thang Technical College (CTTC) has been hard at work in Can Tho City this spring, encouraging young adults— especially women— to thrive in the field of engineering.

For decades in Vietnam, engineering education programs consisted primarily of males. In recent years, however, the HEEAP team has been working to change that. Not only are they working to make engineering programs accessible for interested young women, but they’re going even further, by delivering female engineering students the necessary professional knowledge to land an engineering job after graduation.

The HEEAP team, which consists of HEEAP 2012 participants, students and faculty from CTTC, recently organized two events for current and future female engineering students in Can Tho: an information booth at a career fair and a seminar about professional interview skills. 

The HEEAP team set up their information booth at the Admissions Consulting Festival in Can Tho City on March 2-3, 2013. Representatives from colleges and universities across Vietnam’s western provinces set up booths at this two-day event, allowing attending high school students to learn about a multitude of higher education opportunities. 

At the festival, the HEEAP team spoke with girls interested in engineering and handed out brochures about opportunities for women to succeed in the field. In addition to photos and information about CTTC’s programs, the brochure included scholarship information, examples of successful female engineers, and general encouragement to young women interested in engineering.

“In the present, the female labor force tends to be larger, and females work competitively with males because they are meticulous [and] careful,” the brochure said, assuring female students that engineering is a field appropriate for both genders. 

In addition to handing out these brochures, the HEEAP team answered questions about majors, jobs and scholarships. Overall, female students were interested in engineering opportunities, HEEAP participant Nguyen Van Thong said.

After the career fair, the HEEAP Cao Thang 2012 team focused on organizing a March 15 interview skills seminar at CTTC for current students. Partnered with Triumph International, a well-known underwear company in Vietnam, the HEEAP team showed students how to build resumes, fill out job application forms and hone their interview skills.

According to Thong, seminars like this are greatly needed in Vietnam, where schools don’t typically emphasize professional skills the way US schools do.

Thong said students were excited to learn these skills. 

Story by Alex Gregory


1. The HEEAP Cao Thang 2012 team hands out brochures near their booth at the Admissions Consulting Festival in Can Tho City, Vietnam. 

2. The HEEAP Cao Thang 2012 poses for a photo in front of the Admissions Consulting Festival at Dai Hoc Can Tho University.