As a recent graduate who at the moment is looking for job, I can tell you one thing for sure: Looking for a job in this market is an occupation by itself.
It seems that the economic principle of ‘comparative advantage’ is very much at work as graduates seek to outshine each other for the few slots that are up for grabs by selling unique talents and skills that they possess to their employer of choice.
Basically, what this means is that those students who took the advantage of career fairs, participated in business or related competitions or volunteered to be a company’s brand ambassador are better positioned to be prioritized in the recruitment process. This is simply because HR wants to spend less on training new recruits and would love a proactive soul on their team to drive their agenda.
The good news is that we have the internet with us to learn skills that can supplement our ‘harambee’ degrees. Though the internet has revolutionized communication, business and entertainment in Kenya, a significant number of Kenyan youth are yet to exploit its full potential,for many are still stuck in a rut of its vices.
Therefore before you get excited by a single Wi-Fi bar signal on your Infinix phone (no offense intended to Infinix users) to upload a selfie with bae; think of the vast opportunities it has on knowledge and personal development. To kick start these initiatives have a look at the following skills.
1. Speaking Mandarin
There has been an influx of Chinese nationals in Kenya over the last few years; many who are here to oversee infrastructural projects. They need translators to assist in communications and pay well for it.
Joining a Confucius Institute in campus could be a start at not only learning a new tongue but also the culture and their way of perception.
Who knows, maybe they could sponsor drinks on a Karaoke night in appreciation.
2. Graphics design
The power of imagery to capture one’s attention has always been powerful. In a fast-paced economy like Kenya’s, there many start-ups in need of creative branding solutions to grease their market penetration.
Some of the graphics design courses take only a month to complete!
3. The language and tools for financial analysis
Heads up Economics and Business related students!! The University of Melbourne offers 4 weeks 6 hours a week program to learn the basics of financial analysis. One will learn how investors, CEO and financial analysts make their decisions and essential computer skills necessary for financial decision making.
4. Internet Marketing
As many companies shy away from traditional marketing, digital marketing is now the new black. Copyblogger offers a great resource tool on marketing strategies. Moreover, ALLISON offers a diploma in social media marketing to improve on your online marketing skills and increasing traffic.
5. Introduction to Public Speaking
For those who have read 48 laws of power or have watched the TV series Lie to Me, there is always more to how an individual articulates him/herself by words. There are aspects of eye contact and body language. Public speaking can improve your performance in sales, meetings and when on the spotlight.
6. Successful negotiations: Essential strategies and skills
There comes a point in life where one feels that they deserve something better. Be it a higher salary, better terms and conditions in a contract or simply trying to win over the love of your life. The University of Michigan, for only 8.5 hours, offer tips and tricks of persuasion.
7. Programming for everyone
On how to design websites, make mobile apps, developing software, sees to be useful skills for those in IT related fields. Most of the jobs announced on kuhustle.com are IT related. E-commerce is still a new concept among many East Africans and with the growing demand for smartphones and better internet speeds requires innovation. Innovation tailored for African needs.
These are just some of the many skills one can learn for free on the internet and make some money out of it. Being young is about exploring the available options and experimenting to find your fit. So if one skill does not suit you, try learning something else.