A good number of Kenya’s ICT graduates are struggling in the country’s technology-driven job market as existing universities are too rigid when it comes to their course offerings, according to Creative Web’s chief executive Duke Kibagedi.
While speaking at the Creative Workshop yesterday in Kenya’s capital Nairobi, Kibagedi said ICT graduates “tend to take too long to adjust to job market demands” which question the credibility of their qualifications.
Universities offering computer or technology courses as an entire package limit the opportunities for specialisation in areas that are in higher market demand, Kibagedi said.
“A course such as Creative Web is only taught as a single subject, yet it is critical in the technology world. Universities should target certain areas of ICT and concentrate to produce qualified graduates,” he said.
“Currently, technology is growing at an alarming rate and many firms are joining, however where are the qualified graduates ready to give solutions? It is difficult to train graduates from our universities, some take more than six months to get things done, yet they are still not perfect.”
Kenya ICT Board plans to introduce a Software Developer Certification (SDC) course from April next year. The programme is in collaboration with Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) to offer training to software developers, software engineering and computer science students in universities and colleges. It aims to offer necessary skills relevant for the job market.
SDC training aims to fill the impending gap in skilled software developers in the country. The Kenya ICT Board’s Julisha market survey reported last year that 9,600 more ICT professionals would be needed to staff the tech sector by 2013. Those trained in software development and project management are the most sought after.
Kibagedi said both universities and government had to get active if Kenyan graduates were to be capable of filling these jobs.
“University ICT centres, block students from Facebook and Twitter platforms, they should be interacting with people from different backgrounds across the world, getting diverse knowledge and marketing their online products,” Kibagedi said.
He added that Kenya ICT Board could have been established “10 years ago to offer guidance in the sector as many people are having issues with managing technology.”