By Lilian Wamaitha
There is a general perception that degree courses are better than diplomas.
But is that always the truth?
When it comes to the education sector, a rise in universities has seen majority of youths opting to acquire a degrees so as to be competitive in the job market.
The honest truth is that there are some diploma courses that are way better than degrees and even pay better.
In 2016, Ernst & Young announced that they would be removing the degree classification from their entry criteria, saying there was “no evidence” success at university correlates with achievement in later life.
So what does this mean to graduates in Kenya looking for employment? Well, according to Kenyan employers, having a degree does not spell out that you will automatically get a job. Even so, some employers will shun out degree holders and opt for those with diplomas and certificates.
That said, here are diploma courses that are way better than degrees yet people don’t even realize.
1. Diploma In Estate Agency And Property Management
This is one of the diploma courses that has the ability to open a floodgate of opportunities.
Currently there is no industry that is booming like real estate and the demand for real estate agents is at an all-time high.
And this means that without a doubt, you will easily land a job in real estate with your diploma.
2. Diploma in Purchasing and Supplies
I still maintain that if you are looking for a marketable diploma course in Kenya, Purchasing and Supplies is a good choice.
It is one of the fastest growing professions thus making it to the top marketable diploma courses in Kenya that is way better than a degree.
3. Diploma in Human Resource Management
HR professionals are some of the key decision makers in the organization and companies cannot do without them.
Because of this demand, diploma graduates are in high demand as compared to their degree counterparts in this course.
4. Diploma in Quantity Surveying
This is one of the diploma courses that you can pursue with a grade of less than a C+. Technical University of Kenya is best known for producing high caliber graduates in quantity surveying.
The beauty of this course is that, you get a job immediately and no matter how bad things may seem, you can never lack something to do.
5. Diploma in Pharmaceutical Technology
A diploma in this course gets you a chance to work at the likes of GlaxoSmithKline, one of the leading pharmaceutical companies in Kenya.
Here you can earn as much as 100K a month.
If you have the resources to open your own chemist which is what most people prefer, you can be looking to make 10K in a day depending on the location. That’s more that 100K in a month and way better than someone who spends 8 hours in the office.
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6. Diploma in Architecture
Contrary to the perception most Kenyans have about this course, it is still one of the best diploma courses in Kenya.
The course is not saturated and there is still a high demand for architects in this country.
With a starting salary of 50K, you will find that in the long run, you are likely to be making more money than your degree counterparts.
7. Diploma in Journalism & Mass Communication
A majority of Kenyans believe that this course is flooded but who said that there is no demand for journalists?
This is one of the courses that is best suited for the most talented individuals.
With a diploma and a starting salary of 40K depending on the media house, this salary is likely to increase throughout the years.
8. Diploma in Web & Graphic design
Most people in this field are self-employed and are outsourced by companies.
With the advent of technology, more and more businesses are being conducted online hence the demand for web and graphic designers.
The two courses can be done at the same time and are among the best paying diploma courses in Kenya today.
9. Diploma in Project Management/ Monitoring & Evaluation
If you have always wanted to work for an NGO, a diploma in project management or monitoring and evaluation will get you there.
In an NGO, you can be guaranteed a salary of more than 70K in a month with flexible working hours.
10. Diploma in Accounting and Finance
The corporate world is always in need of accountants and financial experts. It is no wonder that these courses are the most sought after diploma courses in Kenya.
Colleges like the Kenya Institute of Management offer excellent diploma courses in Accounting and Finance.
The Real Reasons Kenyan Employers Prefer Diploma Holders
1. Diploma holders are hardworking compared to degree holders
Diploma holders know that this is a competitive job market filled with degree, masters and PHD holders.
For this reason, they tend to work harder and become better every day.
2. Diploma holders are not choosy
While it’s a tendency for most degree holders to have wild and unrealistic expectations, diploma holders are not choosy when it comes to jobs.
In truth, degree holders will only dream of working for multinationals like the UN, Safaricom, big banks etc.
Diploma holders on the other hand focus on building their skills and gaining relevant experience.
3. Diploma holders don’t change jobs too often
Unlike their degree counterparts, diploma holders are loyal to the company they work for.
Graduates move too quickly from company to company in search of “greener pastures” making it impossible for them to be hired.
In a nutshell
As you can see, pursuing a diploma does not make you less of a human. In some instances, this could actually work for you rather than against you. While there is a tendency to think that degree holders have better luck at jobs, look around you. This should not discourage you from pursuing a degree though, it should be an encouragement to those who are yet to decide what they want pursue.
Lilian is a Communication Officer at Career Point Kenya. Do you agree or disagree with his article? Share your opinion below.