2017 is almost taking a bow and it has been a rough one for the majority of the Kenyans.
The last three months has witnessed massive graduation of students from various universities across the country.
One could not simply resist the social media traffic of graduation selfies and the massive long post alerts of graduates posting lengthy Facebook posts of how the academic journey has been tough. But surely tough is not the academic journey, tough is the job search journey.
The job hunt is crazy and most graduates are depressed by the second month after graduating.
It is worth noting that Kenya currently is home to 25 public universities and 14 chartered private universities. I do not even want to go further and mention the number of colleges which might even be scary.
However as a society it is important to look back and see where we have gone wrong in promoting the welfare of graduates from colleges and universities.
Kenya is yet to develop an entrepreneurship culture and this is evident at young age, every child wants to be a doctor, a pilot, a lawyer. Which in my view is a skewed way of how society has made young people see life. Everyone wants to be employed by someone!
I pray for a society that will have primary school children who want to be prominent business men and not popular employees. Society where young people want to solve the problems of the society and not be the problem that is crippling the economy of the society.
When I was in college pursing my diploma, I was introduced to a unit by the name entrepreneurship during my final year in college and the unit only lasted for three months.
Sadly, throughout my other years of training it was mostly on how I can make the right impression to potential employers, therefore after my graduation my fellow comrades and I could only think of searching jobs and not coming with a business idea, considering the fact that we had strong skills not only in journalism but also in content creation and other broadcasting skills.
Six months after graduation our WhatsApp group was dry. No one had time to chat and even mind the welfare of the other.
Owing to the fact some had already gone back to their rural homes after a futile job search and those that had jobs, landed jobs that were not relevant to what they studied in college .From Mpesa attendant to commission based sales job.
This is just a rough picture of what is happening to a pool of graduates who are not trained to be entrepreneurs but just to be employed by blue chip companies that are falling down due to economic crisis and resulting to retrenchment of professions.
The same companies that only hire people with 15 years of experience because they are not ready to waste resources training newbies.
That said, starting up a small business is also proving to be a nightmare because capital is a constant headache for any startup, the government sponsored loans are not easy to come by and student loans already create a barrier to graduates who have not yet paid up their education loans.
Folks upcountry are worried by the second month f you really pursued the right degree course, but in real sense there isn’t much to write about the most marketable course to pursue but rather. Which is the most marketable idea to invest in Kenya.
For the next 30 years, the graduate problem in Kenya will only be solved not by the current running companies but by SMEs and startups that will be created in the next 20n years.
So my dear fresh graduates who still have fresh profile pictures with flowing gowns on WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook. Ask yourselves not what the society can do for you but what you can do for this society.
Once again congratulations on your journey that has just began!!
– VICTOR VON NJAGI –