I write this blog post with an informed decision of how the Kenyan jobs market place is tough, tedious and very competitive,
Sometimes I ask myself, is education really worth it? I know education is power because I come from a family where each and every sibling of mine has at least a master’s degree; my Dad also is a Ph.D. graduate from one of the leading universities in London U.K, but this is not the main reason as to why I decided to come up with this blog post, brag ?? No not me, this is just to give brief background information on how education may not be a comfortable path to success,
To start off let’s ask ourselves this question?
How much do you need to make as a graduate to break even (in a comfortable period) and also make your investments in the nick of time? For us to answer this question, first of all, let’s look at the average expenditure for someone to acquire a full education in Kenya all the way from kindergarten, primary, secondary then acquire a University degree in one of the leading public universities (UoN, Maseno, KU )
How much does it cost to get education in Kenya?
Type of School
Kindergarten / Nursery –
8 years @ Avg 10,000 per year ( 80,000/= )
65,000 *(2 sem)
So from the table above , it is evident that to acquire basic education in Kenya you will on average spend at least 1,000,000 (Fee 775,000 + Other miscellaneous expenses like food and accommodation) , this is for like a period of 18 years on average (Nursery 2 years, Primary 8 yrs, Sec 4 years and University 4 years ) ,
So how long does it take an average Kenyan to get a Job How much will they earn and how long does it take them to settle?
Kenya is actually a very well educated nation with over 80% of the population (40M+) having gone through a secondary school, this is very competitive given that the environment for white collar jobs may be very competitive since very few Jobs are created in this sector,
According to the World Bank, unemployment rate is at 40% and this will grow to 50% by the year 2020, so this leaves the average Kenyan stranded in such a tough marketplace,
So back to our question, how long does it take a Kenyan to get a Job in a well-educated population (80% gone to secondary school) with few Jobs (40% unemployment rate)?
According to the survey conducted by Nielsen, it takes about 3 years for an average Kenyan to land a Job that pays a gross income of 50,000/= per month?
If you make a gross income of 50,000 KES per month, then how long will it take you to recover the 1,000,000 shillings spend on education, this is what economists call ROI, or return on investments,
So if you are making a net of 16,000/= per month? How many years do you need to recover 1,000,000/= spent on education??
Hence =1,000,000/16,000 * 12 = about 5 years and 2 months, this is actually too long considering that you have to buy a house and also have a family.
The reason as to why I gave such insights, is to have a look at the Jua Kali sector or the blue collar jobs that Kenyans ignore but are very well paying
Have a look at these Jobs :
1. Mechanics (Cars )
Speaking of garages: Mechanics make money by charging clients. It looks like little money, but that depends on what vehicle they are working on and the scope of the problem. Trust me, the servicing costs of a Land cruiser do not amount to Sh 3,000 only. Also, it is not just you they charge that amount; there could be several other customers, say five or six. So a daily return of Sh18,000 to 21,000 does not look so bad now, does it? Compare this amount to a graduate in Kenya??
So what does it take? I really do not know the intricacies of the business end of mechanics — or is it mechanic end of the business? Most people learn the trade by apprenticeship, but I would suggest that you start at the Polytechnic, then do a little apprenticeship and befriend the internet to keep abreast of changing technology. It is about time someone outside of Toyota Kenya learned how to fix a D4 engine convincingly to stop the complaints about how these engines cannot be “overhauled”. Or repaired.
Nairobi Water and Sewerage Company workers repair a pipe in Spring Valley. Kenya is facing an acute shortage of qualified plumbers and masons. Photo/FILE Nation Media Group
Kenya is facing an acute shortage of qualified plumbers and masons as students shun technical education in favor of courses leading to perceived glamorous careers.
This has left property developers at the mercy of uncertified artisans and compromised standards in the construction sector.
National Construction Authority Chairman Steven Oundo said certified artisans were now charging about Sh2,000 per day from between Sh500 and Sh1,200 five years ago.
While working underneath a house, Joseph Ochieng, a plumber in Embakasi, confronted a skunk and discovered a talent that he previously hadn’t been aware of: crawling very quickly.
“At least its tail wasn’t facing me,” he recalled. “I had a little bit of a chance to get out of there before I got sprayed.”
Smelly creatures, sewage baths and late-night emergency calls to fix broken pipes are all part of the mix in Mr. Ochieng’s line of work.
But the potential to earn a good living, doing a job he finds rewarding, outweighs the drawbacks, Mr. Ochieng, 34, said. He figures that if he works hard, he can earn from 4,300,000 /= KES to 6 M a year or even more, once he is fully licensed.
“I know plumbers that make 6M, 10M a year,” he said in a recent interview, after spending an afternoon clearing a clogged drain at a restaurant.