A Degree will Not Automatically get you a Job


Education is power! Education is the key to success! But seriously, why was school created in the first place? Why do we have to get an education? I know the answer to that question, but sometimes it just doesn’t add up.

I grew up with the mentality that I had to go to school to get educated, not just for the sake of gaining knowledge, but so that I would get a well-paying job in future.

My father often reminded my brother that if he didn’t work hard in school, he could end up being a shoe shiner. Horrified, my brother didn’t take that warning lightly, in fact, he’s on the road to being one of the finest lawyers in town.

Let’s get back to that question I keep asking myself, “Why did you send me to school?” I am not necessarily asking my parents this question; I am asking the world why education is mandatory if you have to struggle to get a job or make a living afterwards.

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Three months ago I was among the hundreds of youth who applied for a job with the Judicial Service Commission.

Later on last month, I learnt that the organisation has been over whelmed by the huge number of applications that they had received, such that they were seeking help to go through the mountains of applications.

For a young person like me who recently graduated from university, I was only eligible for the clerical post, which had only 716 positions to be filled, yet over 40 000 people had applied for this one post.

It happens that most of those who applied for this job are degree holders, even though the advert had specifically asked for those who had a KCSE grade of C+ and was familiar with a couple of computer packages.

Obviously, at least in my thinking, the fact that I had a degree would surely place me ahead of the pack, I mean, I had more than they needed right? Surely my degree would be an added advantage?

But that was not the case. I learnt that the job selections would be strict, that only those who met the stipulated qualifications would get the job.


I felt crushed. My degree felt useless at that point. Do these people know how much my parents sacrificed to take me through university so that someday my degree would help me get a good job? I am not saying that those with diplomas, or a high school education only have no right to get jobs, they do.

What I don’t understand is the possibility that this degree might not take me anywhere.

What happened to the assurance that the more papers you have, the better your chances of succeeding? After finding out that my application would probably end up in a dust bin, I wondered why most employers claim that they only higher people with a minimum of a degree.

At this rate, I will have to go back to school to study for a diploma so that I can qualify for a job.

I learnt the other day that there are people who leave out the fact that they have a master’s degree when applying for jobs, lest they are told that they are over-qualified.

A master’s degree, I am told, only comes in handy when seeking a promotion at work. Is that really fair? Shouldn’t this person with a master’s degree be more qualified than one with just an undergraduate degree? That said, we also live in a country where those who ‘know people’ have a better chance of getting employed. Who said life was fair?

I wish all those who have applied for a job the best, and I sincerely hope that someday this nightmare of unemployment among the youth will come to an end.



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