By Jane Okoth
It is no secret that a good number of Kenyan employers will hire you based on the name of your institution i.e the university you attended. This is because of the notion that some firms do believe that graduates from a certain university are known to have a good reputation in certain courses.
And now, the assumptions is more alive than ever thanks to a survey conducted by the British council. According to the finding, public universities remain the best pool for graduate recruitment because of their perceived reputation, long history of training and performance of past students in the job market.
University graduates Preferred By Employers In Kenya
In an article by the daily nation, seven public universities have been listed where Kenyan employers prefer to recruit from. Leading the list is University of Nairobi, followed by Kenyatta University and then Moi University.
However, a few private universities found themselves on the list. The leading one is Strathmore University ranked fourth followed by KCA University. Position 7 is the catholic University which completes the list of top universities preferred by employers.
Other public universities which are also preferred by employers include Maseno University which comes at position 6 , Jomo Kenyatta university position 8 Egerton university position 9 and Masinde Muliro university position 10.
What employers look for in graduates in Kenya
The survey also revealed that students from business and social sciences were given first priority from employers compared to those the natural sciences. This is because the latter are not given practical skills in their courses.
Also besides knowledge, the study also shows that employers look for graduates with a positive attitude, good communication, presentation skills and creative thinking. Employers were concerned about the low level of ethics and lack of confidence among graduates. It means that social skills were very critical in the workplace but universities are not offering the same to graduates. Graduates were also faulted for poor communication skills and critical thinking.
So do these findings actually reflect the situation on the ground?
According to Fridah Abuya, a HR Consultant at Virtual HR, most employers prefer graduates from public universities but they sometimes tend to differ on the subject.
“This is because some employers may judge you based on your ability to do the job while some will give first priority to the university you attended,” she says.
So what does this mean that some graduates will not be lucky in securing a job?
Not so true because according to Ms Abuya, some employers will consider your potential rather than the name of your institution. “The only thing that can matter is whether your university is accredited,” she assures.
So what are your thoughts on the findings? Do you think that employers are being fair in giving preference to certain graduates?
Jane is a Communications Officer at Career Point Kenya. Got any career related queries? Contact her at Jane@careerpointkenya.co.ke