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The first job hunt after graduation in Kenya


Date Posted: 11/5/2012 12:54:56 AM

Posted By: fly1234  Membership Level: Bronze  Total Points: 15

A story was told about a certain gentleman in a small community in Kenya, who was forced by his parents to study medicine at one of the country's top institution of higher education. However, his heart was into law rather than in the medical profession. Because he didn't want to disappoint his parents, he went for medicine instead. Later, he graduated with excellent grades, took the certificate to the dad and told him he was going for law, to study what he wished.

That is the situation that most students in Kenya face. Their career decision is always decided by either JAB(Joint admissions board) or their parents. I had a dream when i was young, to become a pilot. Most of us would say police, teacher, nurse while others would say doctor, engineer e.t.c. It just dawned on me the other day that i was pursuing something else, a different profession that isn't related to my passion.

The 8-4-4 system in Kenya

We call it the 8-4-4 system because one has to go through 8 years in primary education, 4 years in high school and finally another 4 years in college. The education system is such that one cannot identify or maximize their talents to develop a career out of them. Consequently, students somehow get lost on the way, all they can dream of is getting a nice job, a nice car and a perfect mansion out of their salary.

As a results, unemployment rate has skyrocketed, with many graduates being channeled into the job market without knowing where to start from. According to, unemployment rate was reported to have hit an all time high of 40 percent in December 2011. The average rate between 1999-2011 was 22.4 percent. Statistically speaking, nearly half of the population is jobless.


For every situation, there is always a solution. Would you mind considering the following;
Are you an outdoor person, someone who loves to wear jeans even on a Monday morning? If yes, for example, don't apply for a job in the bank.
You want to know YOU better. Ask yourself what are the things you love most, what would you do for free, your strengths e.t.c. If you hate the dynamics that come with mathematics, don't go for accounting, engineering or things like that.
These are just some of the things that will help you evaluate yourself for the right job. Know yourself, identify your strengths and look for opportunities within your sphere. It's now time to send your CV, hopefully to the right job, the right organization and the right people.

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