By Michelle Wanjiku
In the current job market, as a graduate you need to be able to distinguish yourself from the rest of the crowd. Your degree or diploma alone won’t cut it.
This is because so many others have the same papers. What you need to do therefore is take up some short courses or certificate courses in order to boost your chances of landing a job.
This doesn’t only apply to those who just recently graduated but also to anyone who want to advance in their career.
So, which are these short courses to pursue?
1. Professional certificates
These are certificates that are based on ones chosen profession. Such courses are very important when it comes to finding job in multinationals, NGO’s the government and man y more top companies.
For example, accountants will need to pursue CPA or ACCA if they want to improve their chances of getting a job. There are also other certifications in various accounting packages like QuickBooks and more that will improve your standing in the job market.
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Any HR professional is required by law to take up a Certified Human Resource Professional (CHRP) certificate. Other than that there are many more short courses one can take up such as a post graduate diploma in Human Resource Management.
Procurement Professionals will need to take up CIPS courses, CIM for Marketers where as the short courses any IT professional takes will depend on what path they plan on taking in their career.
It is important that you conduct research to find out which certificate courses will be beneficial to your career.
It may not seem like such an important skill to have but more and more companies are adding this to their requirements for certain jobs.
This mostly applies to those in sales and marketing where you might be required to travel a lot to sale the product.
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3. Foreign Languages
If you have a dream of working for an Ngo then this is very important. Most NGO’s require one to know English and any other official foreign language they use.
This is because, most NGOs operate in a multicultural environment and require frequent travel; this then makes it necessary for professionals in the sector to have knowledge of other languages.
For example, the official languages for the UN apart from English include; French, Spanish, Chinese, Arabic and Russian. When applying for a job here knowledge of any of these foreign languages is an advantage.
4. Computer Packages
We are living in a time when computer knowledge is important and somewhat a must. This is because most companies are going digital and as such they need workers who can comfortably use a computer.
No one will want to hire a graduate who does not have knowledge on how to use a computer or send an email. This is therefore a very important certificate to have if you want to improve your chances of getting a job.
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You have to be willing to adapt to the current job market by taking short courses that will put you at n advantage as a job seeker. This can also be one by talking to a career coach in order to make a plan on how to grow and excel in your career.
The writer is a Communications Officer/Digital Marketer at Career Point Kenya