A single Diploma is not enough to get you the job you want. A Degree won’t always get you a promotion and Master’s will not always help you tower over your colleagues. According to Winnie Kenduiywa, the Director of Kenya Recruitment Consultants, many graduates rely too heavily on their education and fail to work on other areas that are critically needed. She understands that a Degree is important but there are areas that employers are looking for specifically. Sarah Otieno, who runs a medium-sized IT services outsourcing firm, agrees. She further states that she would rather hire a high school drop out than a College graduate as long as they have the skills she needs.
College leavers should invest in developing these skills.
Based on their arguments, we have come up with a list of some of the most popular Certificate courses that you can use to get a job.
1. Management Certificate
According to Katherine Katiye, a graduate from the Amani Institute, a Management Certificate helps “build leaders in the work environment.” She says that a Degree can get you through the door but a Management Certificate will help you climb the corporate ladder to success.
The Kenya Institute of Management (KIM) offers a package, which allows students to apply for a Certificate in Management. The course has 6 units, including Business Communication and Management (BCOM), Principles of Management, Marketing, Law and Purchasing.
“The course is intended to equip the learner with communication skills and to impact the ability to communicate effectively through various communication tools in a modern business setting,” say sources from KIM.
Naomi from the KIM Help Desk says that the course should take 3 to 6 months to complete. “You can study full-time or in the evenings,” she explains. She also states that the entire course cost KES 20,500 and mentions that students who successfully complete it will receive a Transcript and a Certificate in Management.
2. Computer Applications Certificate
Jonah Mesig from Strategic Connections Ltd (SCL) and Peter Osakwe, a Member of the Chartered Management Institute (MCMI) both agree that, in this day and age, you must be computer literate in order to work in any modern office. They say that a course in basic computer packages is not impressive but it is still crucial for anyone who wants a decent white-collar job.
The Institute of Advanced Technology (IAT), one of the country’s leading ICT and Business Training organizations (according to My African Career), charges KES 36,800 for a 13-week course in Computer Applications. “There are evening classes from 6pm to 8pm,” says Veronica from the IAT Communications office.
3. Computer Programming Certificate
This course is a little bit more technical than Computer Applications. “It is aimed at providing students with an entry point in a career in computers, specifically in programming, web design, software and solutions development,” say sources from IAT. “The course runs for between 8 to 16 weeks,” explains Veronica. She mentions that IAT lets you choose between, 2, 3 and 4-hour classes from Monday to Friday. This course costs KES 30,000 at Dima College.
Computer Programmer, Douglas Ananda took a course and says that no one can set up a computer network without skills like his. “I’m a star in VB6,” he explains, noting that Programming services are more valuable than skills that are restricted to Microsoft Office. Francis Neema, one of Douglas’s employers, hires independent Programmers every time he has a computer problem. Douglas says that such jobs are easy to find because the skills required are “on high demand.” VC4 Africa and Startup Kenya say that the need for qualified Programmers is growing. They mention that there are more than 40 Startups, 4 IT Accelerators and 2 IT Incubators in Nairobi alone.
4. Accounting Technicians Certificate (ATC)
What would any business be without an Accountant? Business Communication scholar, Oscar Otuma says that it would be utter chaos. “You can’t do it,” he argues. “You can’t start a business without financial records.”
According to the KCA University and Kentrac College, an ATC helps students learn how to maintain accounting records, carry out routine office operations, audit tasks and calculate taxes. Kangeri Njeru, a Production Clerk at Bidco Oil Refineries has an ATC and says that it has landed him two other clerical jobs including one with a British Army outpost in Nyanyuki.
Kentrac charges KES 17,500 for a 12-month course.
5. Certificate in Human Resource Management (HRM)
According to Kentrac College, a course in HRM grooms you for a post in Office Administration and Management. Sources from the Institute of Human Resource Management (IHRM) say that it prepares you for an Executive position in almost any firm. “College leavers should invest in developing these skills,” says Damarius Lilech from IHRM.
Kofa Mohammed, also an associate at the same organisation, agrees and says that your CV needs the word “Management” in order to guarantee you a comfortable position at any company that wishes to recruit you. In any case, a 12-month course costs KES 17,300 at Kentrac and a 6-month course costs KES 27,500 at IHMR.