Statistics from Uganda Bureau of Statistics 2010 Population Report shows that up to 400,000 graduates join the labour market each year, but only 80,000 get employed. This is partly because of the kind of courses student take that are not relevant to the available jobs.
The course you choose determines what you will be so it’s important that you be extra careful while choosing one. You have to get every detail of the course and what it entails. Make as much inquiries as you can to know what you are going into. Here is what you can consider while choosing a course at the university.
Betty Kazora a lecture notes that one’s career path determines the kind of course one will take, if you want to become a doctor you will take Medicine, an Engineer you do Engineering, journalist you do Journalism and Communication among others.
“The confidence of the student also matters, he/she should take up a course that they are sure they will confidently pass and join the particular field after university,” he says, adding that courses like law, journalism among others need a confident and aggressive person.
Peter Kiberu, a graduate notes that, “you should choose a professional course, one with a defined job for example Medicine, law, engineering among others and not open courses because you will find it hard to get jobs with these.”
To Kiberu, passion should be your driving force, this will help you concentrate more in class as well as after university because you will be doing something you are passionate about. You don’t need to choose a course you aren’t interested in because this is something you will do your entire life.
Kazora adds that the student and parents’ choices also matter a lot because some jobs have comparative implications on a parent for example law, Journalism, Medicine among others, these courses take a longer time as compared to other courses therefore a parent may need to inject more money.
“The parent’s capacity should therefore be given the first priority before a course is selected, some courses take three years while others four and the parent’s capacity determines which course you are to take” she explains.
She adds that most students choose wrong courses because most secondary schools don’t have career guidance hence leaving students to struggle on their own.
“Students should be given ample information on university courses for them to know what they are going into and this should start at A ‘level so that by the time a student reaches university, they have figured out what they want to become and how to reach there,” she says, adding that the information can include how many points are needed for a particular course, who qualifies for that course among others.
Opt for a course that allows you to be creative, where you can use the knowledge acquired at university to innovate and create new things. Due to high unemployment levels in the country today you need to acquire knowledge that will help you stand on your own in case you fail to get a job, these include courses like Industrial Art, Information Technology, and Agriculture related courses among other cases.
“Use the internet to equip yourself about what course and what it involves or alternatively ask a number of people about the course you are interested in especially those doing it, those who have done it, lecturers, teachers and education experts. Ask for the advantages and disadvantages, the challenges you might encounter to make sure you are making the right choice” she says.
Kiberu adds that not all courses are competitive in the job market, to be able to find a job after university go for demanded courses. He says most students go for courses because they are easy, are what their friends are doing among other reasons which is wrong because in most cases these are not suitable for their future careers as it’s not what one really wants to be. It is better you follow your heart and passion when choosing your course.