News / Economy

Survey: Kenyan Graduates Not Prepared for Workplace

A Kenyan student is prodded in the head by a riot policeman's club inside Nairobi University's main campus, Nairobi, May 20,2014
A Kenyan student is prodded in the head by a riot policeman's club inside Nairobi University's main campus, Nairobi, May 20,2014
— In Kenya, a new survey shows more than half of university students graduate not prepared to work in their fields of study. The Inter-University Council for East Africa (IUCEA), a body created to regulate higher education in the region, says the situation has contributed to the slow growth of the economy.

In the last decade, as the number of universities in Kenya has increased, so has the number of students.  The result is tens of thousands of graduates enter the job market each year and are unable to find work.

The new report from the Inter-University Council for East Africa blamed the situation on poor training at the universities, which it says do not have enough quality teachers to instruct the ever-increasing number of students.

According to employers interviewed for the report, most graduates lack self-confidence, communication skills and practical expertise required in the jobs they are seeking.

The report also found many employers in East Africa are shunning new graduates in favor of already experienced and highly skilled workers.

Jamleck Njoka, a University of Nairobi official in charge of graduate employment, defends the quality of education delivered by the school.  He says today’s graduates are better than the previous ones.

“I believe the quality of training for today’s graduates is even better, because the university is having to train a lot of the graduates.  You may realize that a few may not be well prepared, but I would say today’s graduates are better placed and they are more exposed.”

Njoka says many students finish their studies without completing an internship, a key part of the program.

“There is less exposure for our graduates because when we talk about practical work, we expect that the graduates, in the course of their study, they will go out and work there in the industries and work also in the offices through internships and attachments.  But you find that there are a lot of graduates who leave the university having not gone for this practical experience,” said Njoka.

Students in Nairobi who spoke to VOA remain optimistic about their employment prospects, with several focusing on becoming entrepreneurs.

David Njorogea, 21, a business student at the University of Nairobi, says he will not apply for the office jobs sought by so many graduates.

“I am not into white-collar jobs. Currently, I can see the white-collar jobs are pursued by many people.  As for me, I want to venture into my own business.”

Another student, Beryl Osongo, says more students should start their own businesses so that in the future they can also become employers.

“There are no jobs because most of the students are waiting for readymade things. I think people should start investing so that they create jobs for each and every person. I think the students should just be creative to start their own jobs.”

The official unemployment rate in Kenya stands at 40 percent, with rates running even higher for people between the ages of 15 and 35.

You May Like

Video China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

Analysts say move by President Xi is an effort to win more party support, take step toward economic reforms, removing those who would stand in way of change More

South Africa Land Reforms Still Contentious 20 Years Later

Activists argue that the pace of land reform is slow and biased; legal experts question how some proposed reforms would be implemented More

In Vietnam, Religious Freedoms Violated, UN Finds

Beliefs reportedly prompt heavy surveillance, intimidation and travel restrictions More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelteri
X
Scott Bobb
July 30, 2014 8:16 PM
Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video A Summer Camp for All the World

VIDEO: During workshops and social gatherings, the Global Youth Village summer camp encourages young people to cooperate and embrace their differences, while learning to communicate with people from other countries. VOA's Deborah Block has more.
Video

Video From Cantankerous Warlock to Incorruptible Priest, 'Harry Potter' Actor Embraces Diverse Roles

He’s perhaps best known as Mad Eye Moody, the whimsical wizard in the Harry Potter franchise. But character actor Brendan Gleeson's resume includes dozens of films, and he embraces all the characters he inhabits with equal passion. In an interview with VOA’s Penelope Poulou, Gleeson discussed his new drama "Calvary" and his secret to success.

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7305
JPY
USD
101.53
GBP
USD
0.5830
CAD
USD
1.0656
INR
USD
60.075

Rates may not be current.