As a KCSE candidate, nothing is as exciting as finally seeing your 4 years of sweat and hard work being rewarded with your dream grade.
But soon the celebrations die down and its time to face the greatest decision of your life: the course to take!
Of course, your teachers and mentors have been telling you about taking a course that is in line with your passions and abilities. However, we all know about the employment situation in Kenya: Jobs are very hard to come by.
Indeed, the stark reality is that thousands upon thousands of university and college graduates are ‘tarmacking’ or doing some menial jobs just to survive.
And so, unless you enroll for one of the most marketable degree courses in Kenya, your future prospects could be a bit dim.
Here I take you through some of the most marketable degree courses in Kenya and also mention the best institutions to undertake the various competitive degree courses in Kenya from.
Let’s delve right into this:
1. Bachelor of Science (BSc.) in Optometry & Vision Sciences
The graduates work as medical opticians and will examine client’s eyes then prescribe the best optical aids such as spectacles, contact lenses and others.
Graduates can work in both the public and private Health sectors.
Career Opportunities: Opticians, senior opticians
The best institutions offering this course: MMUST (Masinde Muliro University of science & technology).
2. Bachelor of Science (BSc.) in Health Promotion & Sports Science
The course gives learners skills such as an excellent ability to design plus implement programs that promote general sportsmen/women’s health and preventative physical interventions among sports people.
Opportunity waits in both the public and private Health establishment, professional sports teams in various disciplines, and even in educational Institutions and Gyms. Competition is slowly rising so ensure you can deliver extra value.
Career Opportunities: Games & sports Instructor, professional conditioning experts.
The best instructions offering this course: MMUST (Masinde Muliro University of science & technology)
3. Bachelor of Science (BSc.) in Agriculture & Biotechnology
Students obtain biological knowledge and competencies to handle scientific challenges found in plant health, general agriculture, soil, animal health, among others in the society.
Work opportunities are in technological research institutions, genetic engineering fields, manufacturing, pharmaceutical industries, among others.
Career Opportunities: Animal Scientist, Biochemist and Biophysicist, Biomedical Engineer, Epidemiologist, Food Scientist & Technologist, Microbiologist, Soil & Plant Scientist.
The best institutions offering this course: University of Eldoret (UoE), JKUAT, MMUST, University of Embu, Egerton University, Kibabii university, University of Kabianga.
4. Bachelor of Science (BSc.) in Human Nutrition & Dietetics
This teaches graduates how to create efficient nutritional programs as part of advancing good health in people and in helping solve various medical issues in children and adults.
Careers opportunity lie in teaching, consultancy, research, health institutions, food service industry and many more.
Career Opportunities: Registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN), Renal Dietitian, Pediatric dietitian, Sports Dietitian, Clinical dietitian, Oncology dietitian, Nutrition and dietetic technicians.
The best institutions offering this course: Kenyatta University (KU), JKUAT, University of Nairobi, Kabarak University, Pwani University, South Eastern University College (SEUCO).
5. Bachelor of Science (BSc.) in Renewable Energy & Biofuel Technology
This programme trains learners’ broad theoretical and practical skills in renewable energies and biofuel technologies. It also covers areas such as clean energy, green building, bio-fuel and, energy policymaking.
Work opportunities are aplenty in energy firms, parastatals especially in the ministry of energy, and the wider energy industry. Graduates can also open consultancy firms to help industries to transition to alternative energy systems.
Career Opportunities: Bio-fuel consultants, renewable energy technologists, energy policymakers, teaching and research on renewable energy, agro-processing experts.
The best institutions offering this course: MMUST, JKUAT, Kibabii University, Turkana University College.
6. Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering
The graduands learn how to design power-producing machines including electric generators, steam and gas turbines, internal combustion engines, as well as maintaining power-using machines including refrigeration and air-conditioning systems.
Mechanical engineers also engineer machines like elevators and escalators. Now, employment of mechanical engineering professionals is projected to continue growing at about 9% from 2016 to 2026 globally so there is an overabundance of opportunities in this area
Career Opportunities: Machine operators, Quality Inspectors, Plant Designers, Machine Design Analysts, Plant Heads.
The best institutions offering this course: JKUAT, Dedan Kimathi University of Technology (DeKUT), Moi University, TUK (Technical University of Kenya), Technical University of Mombasa, Kirinyaga university.
7. Bachelor of Technology Degree in Applied Chemistry
The graduates pursue the application of various principles and concepts of chemistry to solve specific questions or solve real-world problems
Subsequently, learners study a plethora of materials including metal compounds, organic and inorganic compounds, polymers, proteins among others.
They also delve into basic research on the same and their industrial applications. Graduates are employed in government departments, research & development institutes, parastatals, quality control firms, pharmaceutical industry, fertilizer production, pulp & paper industries, cosmetics industry, water purification industry, oil & petroleum industries to name but a few.
Career Opportunities: Analytical Chemist, Chemical engineer, Biotechnologist, clinical biochemistry, Forensic scientist, scientific laboratory technician, Nanotechnologist, Pharmacologist, Research scientist (chemical sciences), Toxicologist
8. Bachelor of Engineering Degree, Building and Civil Engineering
Civil engineering tackles the design and development of infrastructural projects such as bridges, dams, roads, or buildings.
The engineers are typically involved in the entire construction process from planning to evaluation and also create maintenance systems for the construction projects.
Building control surveyor, CAD technicians, Consulting civil engineer, Contracting civil engineer, Design engineer, Site engineers, Structural engineers.
The best institutions offering this course: JKUAT, Dedan Kimathi University of Technology (DeKUT), Moi University, TUK (Technical University of Kenya), Technical University of Mombasa, Machakos university, Meru university.
9. Bachelor of Engineering ( Electrical and Electronics Engineering Degree)
Electrical and Electronics engineering graduates study diverse electrical systems. They will be trained the designing, development, testing, and supervision of the building of electrical equipment including electric motors, radar & navigation systems, communication systems, power generation equipment etc.
By and large, electrical engineers mainly deal with large-scale production and transmission of electrical power while electronics engineers specialist focuses on building and maintaining smaller electronic circuits.
Career Opportunities: Electrical technician, Electrical officer, Electronics engineer, Electrical and electrician Technician, Maintenance engineer.
The best institutions offering this course: JKUAT, Dedan Kimathi University of Technology (DeKUT), Moi University, TUK (Technical University of Kenya), Technical University of Mombasa, Murang’a University College.
10. Bachelor of Science in Information Technology
While there are other computer technology degrees such as BSc in Computer technology, the market tends to favor the 4-year pure Bachelor of Science Technology (BSC-IT) degree as it was the pioneer information technology course.
If your passion is computers, this could be the course for you. Students cover a hybrid of computer technologies and tech gadgets such as computer networks, internet infrastructure, programming/coding, apps development, and cybersecurity.
Others include databases, computer graphics, operating systems, management information systems, artificial intelligence (AI) and knowledge-based systems.
Simulation and modeling, electronic commerce, websites, human-computer interfaces, and business information strategy are also part of the bachelor of information technology syllabus.
The best institutions offering this course: Strathmore University, Multimedia University, DeKUT, USIU, JKUAT, UoN, Kirinyaga university, Technical University of Mombasa, Machakos University, South Eastern University College, Murang’a University College, Taita Taveta University, Zetech University.
Career Opportunities: Programmer, developer, systems administrator, cyber security technician, wed master, AI expert, multimedia experts.
11. Bachelor of Science (BSc.), Telecommunication & Information Engineering
The course cuts across telecommunications and information technology engineering and imparts sound practical and theoretical training in telecoms and IT.
This program covers a wide range of basic telecoms science and engineering topics including drawing, calculus, circuits & telecoms network theory etc.
Specializations covered include optical communications, signal processing, image processing, microprocessor design, computer communication, mobile cellular communication, tele-traffic engineering, digital signal processing, and engineering project.
Graduates work in telecommunication companies such as mobile phone companies, internet service providers (ISPs), communication parastatals, media companies etc.
Career Opportunities: Telecom software engineers, wireless access protocol specialists, telecommunication product managers, network security technician, telecommunication product manager, and network maintenance engineers.
12. Bachelor of Science (BSc.) in Computer Science
In general, there is a very close relationship between IT (BSC-IT) and computer science and sometimes students are unable to differentiate between the two. That said, one should know that computer scientists are more into software (software engineering) and computer systems administration than their IT counterparts. Computer scientists should thus be good in mathematics and analytical thinking.
Conversely, IT is more general and hands-on when we come to databases, computer networks, web systems, and the previously mentioned areas.
So, assuming you want to specialize in software engineering, artificial intelligence systems, neural systems, computer games, and systems management, the best course would be the computer science degree.
Career opportunities exist in software companies, computer services providers, and all kinds of organizations (industrial, governmental, banks, healthcare, etc.)
Learners who simultaneously learn professional coding programs such as those offered at Moringa school in Nairobi are definitely more marketable because of the extra competence.
Career Opportunities: Software Developer, Computer Systems Analyst, Database Administrators, Computer Network Architect, Information Security Analyst, games Developer, Computer systems manager.
The best institutions offering this course: Egerton University, UoN, Karatina University, DeKUT, Multimedia University, Nazarene University, KU, University of Kabianga, Kirinyaga University, Taita Taveta University, Maasai Mara University, Chuka University, Laikipia University.
13. Bachelor of Science in Control and Instrumentation
This bachelor’s degree aims to give students sound conceptual and practical skills in designing, installing, operating, and maintaining automatic process control systems.
In addition, control & instrumentation engineers (C&I engineers) help in measuring and controlling various engineering systems and machines.
C& I graduates are demanded by multiple industries, for example, power stations, steel manufacturing plants, oil refineries, food/beverage factories, cement plants and more. They can also engage in consultancy tasks, research and in tutoring/coaching instrumentation engineers.
Career Opportunities: Instrumentation technician, C&I engineer, Control Room Operator
14. Bachelor of Science (BSc.) in Mechatronics
The Mechatronic engineering trainees learn how to integrate precise mechanical engineering systems with computer systems, electronics, and advanced controls in the design and construction of high-performance products and processes.
They can make thus make more efficient automated machines such as robotic wheelchairs and hybrid vehicles among many other devices.
Graduates work in auto manufacturers, factories, gas & petroleum, mining, defense, transport, robotics, and aviation. Furthermore, these engineers can take up roles in traditional engineering positions in inspecting, repairing, and managing electrical and electronic equipment.
Career Opportunities: Mechatronics technician, Mechatronics engineer
The best institutions offering this course: JKUAT, DeKUT (Dedan Kimathi University of Technology), Multimedia University, Meru university.
15. Bachelor of Film & Animation
The graduates are taken through a variety of technical and creative skills in filmmaking from concept development, camera operation, screenwriting, and all the way to production management.
Directing, film editing and sound designs are also part of the curriculum.
Students also learn film theories, cinematography, media ethics, commercials production, sound design, video games development, digital animation, and 3D design etc.
Career Opportunities: Movie/Film Directors, Producers, Digital Animators, Proficient Filmmakers.
16. B.SC in (Economics and Statistics)
This Degree has been widely popular for many years but things are beginning to change.
For one, there are more economists now than any other time in the past so the competition is fierce. Secondly, software and data science systems have been slowly taking up some of the roles done by professional economists/statisticians. That doesn’t, however, mean that you won’t get a job with an economics and statistics degree. It rather means that you will need to offer something extra and have outstanding analytical skills in both the economics sub-sector and/or as a statistician.
You will also need to be superb at utilizing some statistical software such as SPSS, MATLAB, SAS, Stata, R-programming, and the like. It’s also advisable to pursue certifications such as KASNEB’s CPA and CIFA alongside your degree course.
If you can be a master in this field, expect opportunities in public and private sectors as well as in data research institutions and even non-governmental organizations (NGOs)
Career Opportunities: Economist, data analyst, Actuarial analyst, Financial risk analyst, investment advisor, and more.
The best institutions offering this course: MKU, University of Nairobi, Egerton University, Machakos University, SEUCO, Laikipia University, Zetech University.
17. B.A (Kiswahili and Communication)/ (English and Communication)/ Literature
If your passion is in linguistics and you are sure you can market yourself well, then this Degree could take you up there careerwise.
Covering languages and communication, the course gives you essential skills to work as a languages expert in either Kiswahili/English in a wide range of scenarios.
Career Opportunities: Journalist for the traditional media (print and electronic) or online writer/critique. You can also be a playwright for theatre, drama/ film. One can also teach at the university or be a public relations officer. Lastly, you can be employed as a professional translator or be a publisher.
The best institutions offering this course: Kenyatta University, University of Nairobi, Pwani University, Maasai Mara University, Daystar University, Maseno University, Chuka University, Murang’a university college.
18. B. ED (Science)/ B.ED (Arts)
It’s an open secret that teachers will continue to be in demand as long as the population keeps growing- like it is currently. For that reason, you can always go back to the security a Teaching course thanks to the myriad opportunities in Public/ Private Secondary Schools, Primary Schools, academies, Colleges, Ministry of Education etc.
Career Opportunities: Teaching, educational consultant, college lecturer, examiner, curriculum developer, education quality and assurance officer, school inspector etc. .
The best institutions offering this course: Meru university, Chuka university, Pwani University, Karatina University, Kenyatta University, University of Embu, University of Kabianga, Laikipia University, Kisii University, Garissa university, Murang’a University College.
19. Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Nursing remains one of the highly demanding courses in Kenya and is very marketable, just like most medical courses. Jobs abound in public hospitals as well as in some of the most reputable private healthcare facilities.
Career Opportunities: Nursing officer, Nursing lecturer, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse, Physician’s Office Nurse, Nurse Case Manager, Nursing Informatics Specialist, School Nurse, Diabetes Management Nurse.
The best institutions offering this course: Maasai Mara University, University of Nairobi, JKUAT, Moi University, MKU, Methodist University, Kenyatta University, South Eastern Kenya University, Pwani University, Kisii University, Agha Khan University and many more.
20. Bachelor of Science in Animal Health and Production
There is a yawning shortage of veterinaries and animal care experts in Kenya currently as form 4 leavers continue to shun agricultural courses. This has made a degree in Animal health & production one of the top marketable degree courses in Kenya.
Like other graduates taking animal health courses in Kenya, the trainees work in animal husbandry, animal production research firms, big farms, and with companies dealing with dairy, aquaculture, horse breeding etc.
Career Opportunities: animal health assistants, Assistant Animal Health Officer, animal health products Sales Person, Principal Animal Health Officer, Chief Veterinary Officer, Registered Pharmaceutical Veterinary, Veterinary Assistant, Artificial Insemination Technicians etc.
The best institutions offering this course: Baraton university, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University.
21. Bachelor of Law
Law is ranked among the top paying degree jobs in Kenya, that is, if you can hack the tough exams at the Kenya school of law (after the 4-year degree course).
From companies looking for legal officers to all manner of criminals looking for legal representation after committing serious felonies, there is an avalanche of money minting opportunities for brilliant lawyers. You can even go on to become a magistrate!
Career Opportunities: Company secretary, criminal lawyer, conveyance lawyer, judge, environmental lawyers, senior legal counsel, legal associate, litigation advocate etc.
The best institutions offering this course: University of Nairobi, Moi University, Catholic University, Kenyatta University, Mt Kenya University, Strathmore University, Riara University, Kisii University.
22. Bachelor of Pharmacy
Pharmacy is also among the hot cake courses in Kenya. Indeed, virtually all hospitals need a pharmacist not to mention the thousands of private chemists all over the country.
Still there, businesses making and marketing all types of drugs and medicine employ pharmacists as part of the sales team.
Career Opportunities: Chief pharmacist, pharmacy assistant, pharmacy owner, Pharmaceutical Technologist,
The best institutions offering this course: University of Nairobi, Mt. Kenya University, Kenyatta University, USIU Africa
23. Bachelor of Science in Computer Security & Forensics
The demand for cybersecurity and forensic investigators has never been this high thanks to the continued incidences of hacking and infiltration of computer systems in many institutions.
The role includes duties such as the design and deployment of preventative systems to secure IT systems against external attacks by hackers and other malicious criminals. It also involves continuous surveillance of both online and internet computing systems so as to detect attempted attacks before it’s too late.
To be fully competent, students should also enroll for the relevant cyber security certifications such as CISSP, CCNA security, and CEH (Certified ethical hacker) in institutions such as Computer Pride and TechnoBrain Kenya.
Career Opportunities: Cybersecurity technician, cybersecurity expert, IT security consultant, forensic investigator, IT security manager.
The best institutions offering this course: Meru University, Strathmore University.
24. Bachelor of Science( Public Health)
Another course to make it into our list of the top 30 most marketable courses in Kenya is public health. This, again like equivalent healthcare courses remains fairly popular in county governments and the ministry of health due to the importance of good hygiene in industries, businesses, and many other institutions.
The work of a public health professional is mainly to inspect sanitation standards and advise accordingly. They are also involved in the implementation of health campaigns such as vaccination programs and preventative initiatives.
Career Opportunities: Public Health Officer, Director Public Health, Assistant Public Health Officer, Public Health Programme Manager, Health Specialist, Community Oral Health Officer etc.
The best institutions offering this course: Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University, Meru University, Moi University, Maseno University, JKUAT
25. Degree in Clinical Medicine
If medicine is your dream, you can take this route. It will take you about 5 years (4 years at the university and an additional year doing an internship) but it’s very much worth it.
Of course, that’s because humankind continues to face untold suffering as disease and epidemics continue to wreak havoc without discriminating among the young or the old.
Career Opportunities: Clinical officer, clinician
The best institutions offering this course: Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University, Mt. Kenya University, Kenyatta University, Egerton University, Kenya Methodist University, Kirinyaga university.
26. Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery
Demanding and very lucrative are the two words to summarize this course. Yes, you will take 7 years to complete your studies but at the end of everything, the rewards will have no equal. From prestige to the pay, this tops the list of the most marketable courses in Kenya and indeed, globally.
Then, as it happens with premier medical degrees, the program is not for everyone…you must have scored exceptional grades at the form 4 level and be ready to spend countless hours doing coursework.
Career Opportunities: Surgeon, medical doctor.
The best institutions offering this course: Mt. Kenya University, University of Nairobi, Kenyatta University, Kenya Methodist University, Maseno University, JKUAT, Moi University.
27. Bsc. Geospatial Engineering
Geospatial engineering is one of the latest additions to the growing engineering family. Their work is to use new and emerging technologies such as satellite imagery, laser mapping, GPS, and fast computing systems to establish complex layers of highly interconnected geographic information.
This information is then used by governments, real estate players, infrastructure developers, and related parties to help in decisions ranging in areas such as project feasibilities, disaster Relief plans, security deployment strategies, zonal mapping etc.
Because it’s not offered in many institutions the course is regarded as a gem. Then, it’s relatively new so Kenyans are yet to flood it.
Its graduates work in the military, real estate, county governments, NGOs amongst other sectors.
Career Opportunities: GIS officer, cartographer, Director of Land Surveying & Geo-Informatics, Head of GIS.
The best institutions offering this course: University of Nairobi, KU
28. Oil and Gas/ Petroleum Exploration & Production
While it was previously unheard of, a degree in Petroleum (Oil and gas) is expected to become a pre-requisite for anybody desiring to work in Kenya’s expanding oil exploration sector.
The course covers issues such as drilling, production, recovery, and distribution of petroleum/natural gas.
Take this course if you believe you are cut out for the oil sector.
Career Opportunities: Exploration engineer, pipeline operator, Gas/Oil consultant
The best institutions offering this course: MKU
29. BSc. in Quantity Surveying
Quantity surveying is one of the very best courses. Not only does it pay very well but it also has mammoth openings in government agencies and the private sector.
For starters, a quantity surveyor helps manage all costs in various infrastructural projects including building and civil engineering jobs.
This he does by working out all the figures from the project commencement to completion. He typically works with either private clients or contractors from either an office or the site.
Career Opportunities: Quantity surveyor, Associate Quantity Surveyor, Assistant Quantity Surveyor II, Quantity Survey Assistant, Principal Superintending Quantity Surveyor etc.
The best institutions offering this course: University Of Nairobi, JKUAT, TUK
30. BSc. in Medical Laboratory Sciences & Technology
This course is purposed to provide practical scientific skills for personnel working in laboratory sciences in firms and organizations. Graduates are subsequently able to undertake various laboratory tests to help decision making in biomedical laboratory sciences.
Schools, private health and public practices, and medical research institutions are just some of the potential employers.
Career Opportunities: Laboratory technician, Laboratory Technologist, Medical Lab Technologists, Medical Lab Technical Officer, Senior Laboratory Technologist, Laboratory Manager, Biomedical Technologist
The best institutions offering this course: University Of Nairobi, JKUAT, KU
PS: A BSc. in dental surgery is also very marketable (University of Nairobi).
Final Word on The Most Marketable Degree Courses In Kenya
These are the most marketable degree courses 2018 and 2019. as it stands, most of them are also available at the diploma and certificate levels in TVET institutions so don’t panic if you don’t qualify for the degree level.
Remember it’s better to take a marketable TVET diploma course than any one of the least marketable courses in Kenya.
Also, take time to dig deeper into each of the courses to see if it’s going to be a really good match. From us here, it’s good luck.