Graduating with a degree or a master’s degree often raises high hopes of landing a lucrative job. In Kenya, as in many other countries, the reality on the ground can be starkly different.
The job market is saturated with qualified graduates who struggle to find suitable employment. Stories of highly educated individuals resorting to unconventional jobs, such as selling street food or driving motorcycle taxis, have become all too common.
One such individual is Julian Njagi, a Kenyan with a master’s degree in accounting and finance.
Despite his impressive academic achievements, Julian found himself grappling with unemployment, a situation increasingly prevalent in Kenya.
Frustrated and desperate, he decided to enlist with the Kenya Police Service, where he was offered the position of a constable, the lowest rank.
Upon reporting for duty, Julian was confronted with a disheartening sight: some of his former classmates, who had only achieved a grade ‘D’ in their secondary school exams, held higher ranks within the police force as corporals and inspectors.
Julian’s story underscores the challenges many Kenyan graduates face, including market saturation, skills-job mismatch, economic instability, and the importance of networking.
Despite these hurdles, Julian chose to embrace his role as a police officer, recognizing it as his means of earning a living in a tough job market.
The situation in Kenya and similar countries calls for comprehensive solutions.
These could include education system reforms to better align skills with market demands, targeted investments in job-creating sectors, and initiatives to foster entrepreneurship and skill development.