Soft skills of Vietnam students’ scientific research in Industry 4.0

Lê Linh Chi
University of Science and Technology of Hanoi - Vietnam

Soft skills of Vietnam students’ scientific research in Industry 4.0

Lê Linh Chi

University of Science and Technology of Hanoi (USTH)

Technology integration in the fourth industrial revolution is an opportunity and also challenge for Vietnam researchers. They must have a good knowledge in their major, and collective working in the multi-sectoral/cross-sectoral groups, an expanding international relationship or adapting to changes in technology. Moreover, they need to get the technology market information and share their technology products to the community in the applications of demand and supply.

The article mentions three sections by collection of scientific information from domestic and foreign resources and in-depth interviews with a number of scientist:

-  Status quo of soft skills of Vietnam students’ scientific research.

-  Important soft skills for Vietnam students’ scientific research in Industry 4.0

- Some methods to soft skills development for Vietnam students’ scientific research.

This article analyses soft skills in careers, even the skills are not suitable to scientific research by reason of specific environment. Hence, the article focuses providing for Vietnam students to clearly understand the importance of soft skills and develop early the skills and then it could become their advantages in scientific research and job finding after finishing formation.

Status quo of soft skills of Vietnam students’ scientific research.

Status quo of soft skills of Vietnam students’ scientific research at Vietnam’s universities:

  1. Dong Nai Technology University

The university used an observation, interview, questionnaires and statistics methods for 110 seconds and third year students’ Business Administration at Dong Nai Technology University to research forms of participation of scientific research. The research activities of students which are mandatory exercises accounts for 82%, while 21.6% students (most third and fourth year students) perform thesis and thematic paper. The research activities such as academic workshops and seminars at school have just 11.3% participation of students. And 26.4% students (most first year students) have not participate in research activities. Hence, the research activities at Dong Nai Technology University is not popular, just it is compulsory exercises. [1]

  1. Quang Binh University

To discuss about level of research skills in science of students, 15% lecturers rates good, 40% lecturers rates average, 40% lecturers rates fair, 5% lecturers rates poor. The results show that level of research science skills and quality researching of students are not good. [2]

  1. Hanoi National University of Education

Assessment of fluent research skills in science of students in social science and natural science is classified three stages: preparation, processing, disseminating statistical data and writing articles. Result is presentation skill of students is not good. [3]

  1. Hanoi Agricultural University No.1

Research activities of students:

32.5% students participating science events at university and department includes 73.8% students participating scientific seminars at department, 26.2% students participating scientific seminars at university. The participation of students is different from course: first year students is 10.8%, second year students is 16.9%, third year students is 26.1% and fourth year students is 46.2%. Therefore, the rate of last year students is higher. And 67.5% students have not take part in science events. Hence, updating of information is not good and students do not care this events. [4]

Form of participation:

1/3 students engage in research - science activities by essay and exercises (33.5% and 30.5%), while 13.5% students join research group of lecturers. The students research topics at university account for 20% and 8.5% students are leader of research topics. The result indicates that most last year students join research science activities.

  1. Ho Chi Minh City University of Education

Questionnaire and scale skills of students is starting level. The component skills such as selection and identification of research topics, research questions, purpose’s the questionnaire writing are average, while other skills are starting or poor level. [5]

In sum, soft skills of Vietnam students in scientific research are limited. Vietnam students occasionally participate in research science activities, the participants are most last year students.

In my case, I have had the problems.

When I have realized the experimental research on the tropical preservation of food in Institute for Tropical Technology – VAST under direct scientific guide of a PhD student. In the beginning, I engaged in a research science topic and I feel it is difficult since I do not understand using machines, manage data, write reports and so on and then I studied many useful skills, special soft skills. Some skills I studied in school but it is theory and no practice. For example, writing a simple reports is theory at my university so I remember in a short time, but after research group’s participation I understood more clearly. Fortunately, actually I have been considered by our work team as a co-author of one scientific paper in this year.

Important soft skills for Vietnam students’ scientific research in Industry 4.0

  1. Critical thinking and problem solving skills

Critical thinking includes [6]:

(a) Ability to identify and analyze problems in difficult situation and make justifiable evaluation.

(b) Ability to expand and improve thinking skills such as explanation, analysis and evaluate discussion.

(c) Ability to find ideas and look for alternative solutions.

(d) Ability to build a good rapport, interact and work effectively with others.

Critical thinking has its role in the practice of Science in the next applications or processes [7]:

Research, Observation, Exploration

Problem finding- identification and definition of a scientific problem

Problem solving- finding appropriate solutions for problems

Decision making

Obtaining information

Critique, Critical questioning, question formulation

Construction of reliable knowledge

Argumentation-defending ideas, discussion and debate

Evaluation, careful and rigorous testing

Rejecting-accepting hypothesis

Solving, clarifying discrepancies and concluding true statements

Clarifying meaning

  1. Teamwork

Team work is indispensable which includes [8]

(a) Ability to understand and play the role of a leader and follower alternatively.

(b) Ability to recognize and respect others attitude, behaviour and beliefs.

In researching, teamwork is important. It is key to solving complex research problems (9). For example, students study experiences from instructors.

  1. Scientific writing skills

There are some reasons why writing skills is important in science.

Scientists want their work to be relevant and meaningful to a large audience. According to Alan I. Leshner of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, young researchers often express a desire to reach out to the broader community, but mentors often reinforce the notion that engaging non-scientists is somehow selling out or not worth the time investment. 

Research often depends on funding that depends on grant-writing skills.  Reviewers are often hurried, reading many complex proposals in a limited time. Sometimes the proposals even fall outside the scope of expertise of individual panelists and, according to one NSF reviewer, The science is, of course, important, but I learned that, even if the science is strong, poorly written proposals generally don't fare well.

Poor communication is a disadvantage in the job market. The National Association of College and Employers lists communication skills as the No. 2 priority of employers in 2012. Even if the job requires the majority of time be spent in a laboratory with other scientists, researchers will have to write reports for administrators and explain ideas to supervisors. [10]

Some methods to soft skills development for Vietnam students’ scientific research

  1. Scientific Writing Skills
  • Cut down on the apostrophes
  • Sometimes you use “the”. Sometimes you do not
  • When to round numbers
  • Improving your written English means you understand particular
  • British or American English?
  1. Critical thinking
  • Ask Basic Questions
  • Question Basic Assumptions
  • Be Aware of Your Mental Processes
  • Try Reversing Things
  • Evaluate the Existing Evidence
  • Remember to Think for Yourself
  • Understand That No One Thinks Critically 100% of the Time

I have been informed that the title of paper, of which I have been considered as a co-author, is “Kinetic oxidation of maize nutrition during tropical preservation”, the paper will soon submitted to Journal of Chemical. [11]



  11. Working team information, 10/2018.

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