More females now prefer diploma, certificate courses


National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani during the launch of Economic Survey Report 2021 on September 9, 2021. NMG PHOTO

The number of female students preferring diploma and certificate courses outnumbered their male counterparts, the latest official data shows.

The Economic Survey 2021 shows that 54 percent or 30,290 of the 56,455 government-sponsored diploma students placed by Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (KUCCPS) were women.

Female students preferring certificate courses accounted for 57 percent of the 31,712 placed in universities and Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVETS).

The number of male students opting for diploma courses dropped 25 percent to 26,165 while the number of those preferring certificate courses dipped 35 percent to 13,531.

The same narrative plays out in artisan courses where 3,477 female students were placed compared to 2,965 males.

More companies in various sectors are seeking people with middle-level skills such as diplomas and artisans than those holding degrees.

A survey by the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection last year showed close to 40 percent of employees in the energy sector are technical staff, driving the need for diploma holders whose training is largely tilted towards hands-on jobs.

Starting January, the UK started allowing highly skilled Kenyans without degree-level qualifications to apply for work permits under post-Brexit immigration rules.

Britain’s new points-based immigration system lowered the requirement for job applicants to a minimum skill level of A-level or equivalent from degree-level under the 27-member EU bloc system.

The relaxed visa rules will enable Kenyan professionals in fields such as IT, accountancy, plumbing, and electrical works to compete with other migrants.

The latest data from the KUCCPS shows some 15,547 candidates who scored C+ and above in the 2020 Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examination snubbed universities while some opted for diploma and certificate courses.

Some 4,840 candidates preferred TVET colleges to pursue courses in an employment market where university graduates are struggling to get jobs.