Bachelor of Economics is one of the many courses in Kenya that have the highest number of graduates. Jobs for these graduates are scarce and salaries are low, but we would like to provide two, three, four tips that can help you achieve your ambitions even in a flooded ecosystem.
When you enroll for a bachelor of Economics, what exactly is your ambition? To become an economist? From my many years of experience, I have come to realize that Kenyans who pursue this course are forced by circumstances, and this is to do with the Joint Admission Board, which later changed its name to KUCCPS.
If you find yourself pursuing MA Economics at a Kenyan university, know that you are among thousands of students pursuing the same course. Since you would need to be employed after college,you have to enhance your profile. The first thing to do is, enroll for a suitable professional course. I suggest two professional courses, CIFA or ACCA.During this time, also consider scoring good grades, at least Second Upper.
When you are at your fourth year, your mind will be focusing on employment. Before you think of that, start planning on how to pursue CFA.If you manage to pursue the program to completion, you won’t worry about employment—CFA is very marketable.
After graduation, you will hit the road. I can assure you this is the most exhausting exercise in a graduate’s entire life. Job search is not a good experience, especially in our country.Now,if you decide to pursue CFA,there is no need of pursuing a Masters course, but if you decided to undertake CIFA/ACCA,I will advise you to enroll for a Masters program in economics/econometrics-immediately you graduate(I know you will argue with me but I believe the truth has been delivered)
Best Universities to study BA Economics in Kenya
When choosing a university for this course, select the best university in terms of ranking. I suggest to join the University of Nairobi, Strathmore or JKUAT.
Facts about Economics
In Kenya, few companies will employ you as an economist, unless you possess a PhD in economics. Searching for a job with MA Economics will mean that you take up any opportunity that presents itself.
Scrambling for opportunities with other job seekers is not good, as an economist you need to stand out. For you to cut a niche for yourself, you have to pursue CFA or enroll for a masters, and finally a PhD.
The reason I suggested above that you join masters immediately after undergraduate is because of limited opportunities for economists. A masters program will add value to your CV and make you more marketable.
Salaries of an economist in Kenya
A fresh graduate economist earns Ksh 40,000-Ksh60,000 when employed by a bank. Those who join government institutions for various vacancies have their salaries starting at Ksh65,000.
The average salary of an economist with a masters degree is Ksh 120,000 while that of a PhD holder is Ksg180, 000.This salary may vary depending on the institution the employee is working for.
Best companies for economists in Kenya
Insurance companies, government parastatals, UN, World Bank and NGOs are among the highest paying sectors.Economists should also search for employment at the stock market and energy companies.