A significant number of Vietnamese graduates who studied abroad were disappointed by the salaries they were offered when they returned to their country.

Pham Thi Thanh Huyen, who had a degree in marketing in the United Kingdom, was hired by a bank in Vietnam for a monthly salary of about VND10 million (US$430), which is the same as local graduates and only enough to cover her basic living costs in Hanoi, VN Express reported. She said the less-than-expected salary hurt her morale.

Most companies in Vietnam look at their staff’s ability to solve problems, instead of where they graduated, said Ngo Thi Ngoc Lan, the regional director of Navigos Search, a head-hunter.

Graduates with a hospitality degree from Switzerland may expect a monthly salary from US$600 to US$1,000 in Vietnam, but they could be offered work as waiters for US$200 to US$300 per month, she added.

Phan Truong Son, the deputy director of a local technical company, said he rejected an applicant who came back from the US, who asked for US$1,000 a month.

Some returnees may have given up applying for conventional jobs. Minh Giang, who studied in the UK two years ago, decided to start his own business.

In 2016, more than 130,000 Vietnamese students studied abroad, according to the Ministry of Education and Training.