When you are choosing a career path, your first consideration should be the state of the economy and trends in employment.
While it is important to go by your passion, in Kenya the economic climate demands that you pursue a marketable diploma to land you a job within a short time.
If you are looking for employability and a good pay, do not pursue these 15 diplomas.
1. Diploma in Accountancy
A diploma course in accountancy has declined in demand due to the existence of strong professional courses such as certified public accountants (CPA) or ACCA.
Most employers actually expect financial or accounting professionals to hold a bachelors or diploma in a business course plus CPA to be considered.
The professional courses are also considered to be more practical in the workplace as they also plug the graduates to professional bodies directly.
2. Diploma in Procurement and Supplies
This used to be one of the best diploma courses because it is specific to the supply chain.
However, something happened and everyone decided to pursue a Diploma or Bachelors in procurement and now the job market is flooded with unemployed procurement specialists.
Do not join this long line of waiting graduates.
Further, the professional courses such as Certified Procurement and Supply Professional -K (CPSP-K) from CIPS have made the diploma less marketable.
3. Diploma in Information Technology (IT)
Chances are a diploma in Information Technology will just give you the basics compared to the advancements in technology today.
You also do not need a blanket knowledge in IT, but specifics that are in line with technological trends.
Instead of this diploma, choose a specific field of IT that you are interested in such as software engineering, web development, cloud computing and so on.
Then look for professional courses to pursue in this area. They may actually take a shorter period, which leaves you more time to advance and get internships.
4. Diploma in Social Work
The problem with this diploma is low absorption.
The market has low use for social workers because of low follow up of social issues such as sexual health, and child protection.
A lot of social institutions are also not developed and therefore there is low capacity to absorb social workers.
While a lot of nonprofits are emerging needing these experts, the focus is on people with a diploma in public health, community nursing, HIV, or any other course with a health bias.
5. Diploma in Mass Communication/Journalism
You saw that meme that comedians are the new journalists in Kenya while journalists are jobless?
Well, I will not add anything to that.
Instead of a diploma in journalism, choose specific areas such as editing, film production, or video programmes production in either sound or video.
With online tutorials, a lot of people have been able to learn the basics of producing content.
You can instead consider other related courses such as public relations, marketing, and internal relations, and then enrich yourself with digital media skills such as social media management and content generation.
6. Diploma in Human Resources Management
Just like accountancy and procurement, professional courses in HR have diluted the demand for a diploma in HR.
Further, most HR professionals tend to be pulled from the degree holders who are willing to take low paying jobs for entry levels.
Also, most firms only require a few HR professionals who also act as administrators in most cases, hence low absorption in the job market.
7. Diploma in Business Administration
With the flooding of the market with business courses, it is advisable to avoid taking up general business administration at a diploma level.
Niche down to an area of business that you want and only take a diploma if there are no professional courses in the field.
8. Diploma in Aeronautical Engineering
The last time I checked there was no university offering degree courses in this field.
If you are interested in advancing your career in the future, especially locally, you may need to avoid it.
Otherwise, if it is your passion, study while scouting for scholarships and opportunities abroad.
9. Diploma in Entrepreneurship
Unless you come across an open-minded CEO, chances are this diploma will not get you hired.
However, it is a good course if you want to get into that entrepreneurial mindset for your own sake.
Personally, I feel that you will get more practical entrepreneurship knowledge from short courses.
10. Diploma in Community Development
The field of community development just like social work is not well developed for this market.
To enrich it, consider taking a diploma in project management, environmental issues, or public health that require community workers.
The community development diploma is perceived to be vague as well.
There is also a preference for degree holders in sociology over diplomas in community development.
11. Diploma in Leadership
It is not a good idea to take a certification in leadership unless you are already an expert in a certain field or area.
In my opinion, it is a vague course unless you are a seasoned professional who is seeking to tackle his or her leadership roles better.
At entry level, the HR will feel misplaced hiring you unless you have experience in a certain profession.
12. Diploma in Biochemistry/Technology in Biochemistry
Despite this being a valuable and good course, there is low absorption in the market.
If you are seeking to advance, most universities are still developing infrastructure for the degree and so your chances for advancement are limited.
13. Diploma in Music
Music training in this market is mostly theoretical and therefore may be limited in driving you to your music potential.
Instead of a diploma in music, consider taking professional training with voice coaches, pianists, or specific instrument professionals.
You should also consider taking up music training with established artists or music labels.
14. Diploma in Secretarial Studies
HR experts have reiterated that secretarial studies are becoming obsolete because of the popularity of business courses.
The modern secretary is expected to carry out other functions such as PAs, petty cash management, records keeping, administration, and asset register.
There is also a trend where the preferred secretary needs to have knowledge in the sector and therefore a diploma in that field will be more preferred.
15. Diploma in Business Management
You cannot afford to do a vague diploma at this time when the market is flooded with bachelors in degree in business management.
The competition is too stiff and at the entry level degree holders are willing to take the same salary as diploma holders.
There is no such thing as bad education.
However, since a diploma marks the earliest career choice of any professional, it is important that you go for a course that is marketable, realistic, with great market prospects, and well paying.
Therefore, most of these diplomas are listed here because they have become obsolete due to stronger professional courses in the field, low market absorption, low career prospects, or are vague and may make the candidate look irrelevant.
Most experts will not encourage you to take up diploma courses in business and social sciences because of intense competition from degree holders.