The labour market experience of graduates from Kenya's public universities: 1974-1994
Momanyi, Richard Nyagaka
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The main purpose of this study was to investigate the labour market experiences of graduates from Kenya's public universities. The study also sought to find out the quality of graduates produced by Kenya's public universities. More specifically, the study aimed at investigating the following objectives: i. To determine the labour market experiences of graduates from Kenya's public universities. ii. To find out whether graduate employees require further training away from the job and on the job training or other additional professional qualifications apart from the degree after entry into the labour market. iii. To investigate the employers’ assessment of the quality of graduates produced by the public universities in terms of job performance. iv. To determine the extent to which universities prepare their graduates for the labour market needs (tasks). The study was conducted in seven firms (employers) purposively selected and among 152 graduate employees. The instruments for data collection were interviews for employers and questionnaires for graduate employees. The responses obtained from the questionnaires were analysed quantitatively using frequencies and those obtained from interviews were analyzed in narrative and discussion form. The major findings of the study were: - The duration of job search has been lengthening over the years. However, graduates in Applied Sciences, Applied Arts, Commerce and Information Science and those in Accounting, Engineering and Architecture and Quantity surveying took a shorter period in job search compared to these in courses like Bachelor of Science (B.Sc), Bachelor of Arts (BA) and occupations like Administration/Management, Marketing, Economics/statistics, and production and related jobs. - Merit was used in hiring and promoting graduate employees. - Mobility within the Kenyan labour market is limited. - Employees required on the job training and further training away from the job after entry into the labour market. However, most employers preferred on the job training to further training away from the job. - Graduate employees tried to obtain other additional professional qualifications, which related to their occupations after entry into the labour market. - The quality of graduates from the public universities has been good, however, there were indications that the quality was going down especially in science-based courses. - The Public Universities prepared their graduates adequately for their labour market roles. Finally, on the basis of the findings, several recommendations and suggestions for further research were made.