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

Tunnel Bombs Highlight Savagery of Aleppo Fight

Rebels have used tunneling tactic near government buildings, command posts or supply routes to set off explosives; they detonated their largest bomb this week under Syria's intelligence headquarters More

Sierra Leone Launches New Initiative to Stop Ebola Spread

Government hopes Infection and Prevention Control Units, IPC, will help protect patients and healthcare workers More

UN Official: Fight Against Terrorism Must Not Violate Human Rights

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights says efforts by states to combat terrorism are resulting in large scale rights violations against the very citizens they claim to defend More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boyi
X
Jeff Seldin
March 05, 2015 2:36 AM
A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.
Video

Video Volunteer Gauge-Watchers Help Fine-Tune Weather Science

An observation system called CoCoRaHS is working to improve weather science, thanks to thousands of volunteers across the country who measure precipitation in their own backyards, then share their data through the Internet. VOA's Shelley Schlender reports.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video African Americans Recall 1960's Fight For Voting Rights

U.S. President Barack Obama and thousands of people will gather in the small southern U.S. city of Selma, Alabama, Saturday, March 7th to commemorate the 50th anniversary of a historic voting rights march that became known as “Bloody Sunday." VOA’s Chris Simkins traveled to Alabama and introduces us to some of the foot soldiers of the voting rights struggles of the 1960’s.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.8954
JPY
USD
119.75
GBP
USD
0.6515
CAD
USD
1.2518
INR
USD
61.921

Rates may not be current.