Sok Touch, president of the Royal Academy of Cambodia (RAC), noted the importance of having a clear purpose in vocational training, especially for those enrolling due to possessing an IDPoor card. 

Touch said this during a recent roundtable organised by the RAC, focusing on the significance of choosing a profession in higher education and postgraduate studies.

He stated the necessity of vocational specialisation for a country’s development, drawing examples from post-World War II Japan, initially impoverished, and China and South Korea, the latter being, at one point, even poorer than Cambodia.

“How did those countries fare? They began by prioritising education, not delving much into politics, which can be a headache. Instead, they concentrated solely on making education successful. Once education succeeds, everything else falls into place,” he said.

When it comes to choosing a career – whether influenced by market needs, family expectations or personal passion – he said that selecting a skill or profession based on market demand is simply about “finding a job after graduation”. 

On the other hand, choosing according to one’s affinity means not only “finding a job upon graduating” but also building a reputation.

“Choosing a skill should align with our unique talents, not following others. Studying according to our talents enables us to create jobs, generate new ideas, and even if we lose something, we can build something new. 

“Skills play a crucial role, so selecting a skill should be rooted in our talents. It’s about forging our path, not just following suggestions. Don’t worry about the job market; we have the power to create our own markets,” he said.

Lay Phallin, deputy director-general of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) at the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training, notes the importance of selecting a professional path for young Cambodians, providing them with a clear skill set and a lifelong career.

“It’s vital since it becomes a source of income, fulfilling the aspirations of students who dedicate themselves to education from high school to bachelor’s or master’s degrees. The ultimate goal is entering the workforce – working to earn a living for oneself, family and society,” she said.

Yang Peou, secretary-general of the RAC, stated that the roundtable aligns with the Pentagonal Strategy-Phase I, focusing on job growth, equity, efficiency and sustainability.

“This programme concentrates on developing human capital. This corresponds to strengthening the quality of education, sports, science and digital technology. The second aspect addresses the government’s training goal, reaching up to 1.5 million people during the seventh government mandate,” he said.