Congratulations on completing your secondary education and getting to this next level.
You may not have gotten the coveted grades to get you into a degree course in your dream university but that's not the end of the road at all for you. There are numerous competitive courses you can still pursue that can lead to a great career.
While in the past the university degree was seen as the sure ticket to a rewarding career, the growth of technical and vocational training institutions (TVETs) and changing labour needs have made non-degree courses a good alternative.
In fact, it is now no longer a surprise to find a student who scored a C+ and above choosing to join a TVET institution over a university degree. In 2021, over 15,500 candidates or about 10% of the 143,140 students who qualified to join universities chose to pursue diploma and certificate courses rather than degrees.
If you want to build your way up to a degree, the Kenyan education system allows progression from certificate to diploma up to postgraduate level.
Can you get a good course with a D+, D, or D-? Indeed yes! Let's have a look at them.
Although D+ diploma courses were previously available in Kenya, many institutions now offer advanced certificate and certificate courses, as shown below.
Civil engineers operate in the construction industry, typically planning, designing, and building various structures such as transportation infrastructure like highways and bridges, and communications devices like radio masts).
Civil engineering is one of the most marketable technical courses in Kenya, with several job and entrepreneurship opportunities.
Some of the Institutions offering this course include Nyandarua Institute of Technology, Kipkabus Technical & Vocational College, Kenya Coast Polytechnic, Mawego Technical Training Institute, Sigalagala National Polytechnic, Karumo Technical Training Institute, and Kenya Coast Polytechnic.
We live in a time where technology has become ingrained in our daily routines. The ubiquity of big technology companies such as Microsoft demonstrate this. The opportunities are boundless globally but also at home with big players such as Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and Visa setting up shop Nairobi.
IT skills are in demand across sectors and starting off with this advanced diploma in IT, you are very well on your way to becoming a highly sought after expert depending on how well you hone your skills.
Nowadays, relevant work experience is typically included in ICT programs to help students develop the necessary practical skills and make important industry connections.
Some of the Institutions offering this course include Kajiado West Technical & Vocational College, Kisumu Polytechnic, Bushiangala Technical Training Institute, Nyeri National Polytechnic, Tseikuru Technical Training Institute, Rift Valley Institute of Science & Technology.
A Certificate in Food and Beverage Studies provides students with hands-on experience as well as relevant information about the history of the food and beverage industry and also current industry information.
This course can offer students with valuable experience and abilities whether they wish to create their own recipes or work as directors and managers in the food and hospitality industry.
Some of the Institutions offering this course include Rwika Technical Institute, Friends College Kaimosi, Coast Institute Of Technology, Laikipia North Technical & Vocational College, Kenya Coast Polytechnic, and Nyeri National Polytechnic.
The design and functioning of varied machinery is the focus of mechanical engineering. Machine parts are frequently assessed in this area of engineering to generate the best manufacturing machining processes.
This certificate programme teaches specific abilities in this area and offers the possibility to progress to the diploma degree.
Some of the Institutions offering this course include Kaiboi Technical Training Institute, Keroka Technical Training Institute, Kenya Coast National Polytechnic, Kisii National Polytechnic, and Kabete National Polytechnic.
This is another top course you can pursue with a D+ (plus). Units in construction laws, land planning, mapping, and land subdivision issues, as well as the examination of properties or land space for occupation ready, are all covered by a land and surveying certificate.
Some of the Institutions offering this course include Sigalagala National Polytechnic, Aldai Technical Training Institute, Kaiboi Technical Training Institute, Eldoret Polytechnic, Kenya Institute Of Surveying & Mapping, and Kitale National Polytechnic,
The most significant benefit of these TVET D courses is that, since they are skill-based, you could still employ yourself if jobs are scarce or if you are so inclined.
Most if not all businesses require sales and marketing employees in order to grow. Sales and marketing jobs are among the most popular job choices in Kenya today. Jobs in this industry also offer benefits such as large commissions, and travel bonuses.
Marketing is a marketable course because it is generally regarded as one of the most important roles of any organisation.
Some of the Institutions offering this course include Kenya Institute of Management, Ekerubo Gietai Technical Training Institute, and Siaya Institute Of Technology.
A building and construction technology certificate will enable you to prepare for a career as a multi-tasking carpenter, working on masonry and carpentry projects.
You can also work as a freelancer once you're done or create employment for yourself and others.
Some of the Institutions offering this course include Ramogi Institute of Advanced Technology, Mukurweinin Technical Training Institute, Kapsinende Technical Vocational College, Chuka Technical, Eldoret Polytechnic, Bumble Technical Training Institute PC Kinyanjui TTI, and Ol’Lessos Technical Training College.
Laboratory technicians perform duties in the lab that allow scientists to focus on more advanced analytical methods. You will be trained to conduct laboratory-based research in the fields of life science, chemistry, biology, and physics.
Some of the Institutions offering this course include Endebess Technical Training Institute, Bushiangala Technical Training Institute, Kisiwa Technical Training Institute, Kisumu Polytechnic, Mawego Technical Training Institute, and Kiambu Institute Of Science & Technology.
Formerly known as Motor vehicle mechanics. You will learn how to repair and service vehicles, delivery vans, lorries, motorcycles, and coaches.
Some of the Institutions offering this course include Wote Technical Training Institute, Mombasa technical university, Baringo Technical College, Meru National Polytechnic, Kisumu Polytechnic, Ol’lessos Technical Training Institute, Kenya Coast National Polytechnic, Emining Technical Training Institute, and Katine Technical Training Institute.
Heavy plant machinery, such as dumper trucks and diggers, are constantly repaired and kept in top functioning condition by construction plant technicians. With this certificate, you could work on a construction site, inspecting gearboxes, engines, and hydraulics, or finding and repairing/replacing damaged parts.
Loaders, dump trucks, bulldozers, and transport vehicles are among the heavy automobile sector equipment fixed here. You'll also learn to inspect and service transmissions, brakes, steering, fuel injection systems, batteries, and hydraulics, as well as diagnose frequent issues.
Some of the Institutions offering this course include Nyeri National Polytechnic, Kisii National Polytechnic, Kenya Institute of Highways and Building Technology (KIHBT), and North Eastern Province National Polytechnic.
With an electrical and electronic engineering certificate, you can work in a range of industries, including automotive, and utilities such as Kenya Power, information technology, and telecommunications.
Electrical gadgets are deeply established in today's society and our daily lives depend on them, hence it is a marketable industry.
Some of the Institutions offering this course include Kiirua Technical Training, Kapsinende Technical Vocational College, Kaiboi Technical Training Institute, and Mukurweini Technical Training Institute.
The hair, beauty, and cosmetics industry has emerged as Kenya's new investment hotspot, attracting large sums of money to launch new lines of business and acquire successful businesses in multi-million-shilling agreements.
When you take this course you will learn how to work as a hairdresser, masseuse, salonist, salon manager, and beauty expert.
Some of the Institutions offering this course include Rwika Technical Institute, Meru National Polytechnic, Godoma Technical Training Institute, Bumbe Technical Training Institute, Ekerubo Gietai Technical Training Institute, Jodan College, and Uzuri Institute.
This is one of Kenya's best D- (minus) courses, and it includes instruction in a variety of current plumbing techniques.
Plumbers are in charge of installing and maintaining plumbing systems, as well as water distribution and sanitation systems.
This can be a very rewarding occupation if you get the necessary experience to handle medium to large projects. In fact, recent reports from the construction industry indicate that Kenya is grappling with a shortage of plumbers and masons as students avoid technical courses in favour of ‘glamorous courses’.
Some of the Institutions offering this course include Kenya Institute Of Highways & Building Technology (KIHBT), Ziwa Technical Training Institute, Mathenge Technical Training Institute, Kenya Water Institute, Ugenya Technical & Vocational College, Murang’a Technical & Vocational College, Emsos Technical & Vocational College.
A catering and accommodation certificate is designed for students who want to work in the expanding food and hospitality industries.
In this course, students will learn vital culinary and commercial skills for the food service and catering industries, as well as management and marketing.
Some of the Institutions offering this course include Mathenge Technical Training Institute, Shamberere Technical Training Institute, Maasai Mara Technical Vocational College, Centre For Tourism Training & Research, ICS College, Nyeri National Polytechnic, and Nibs College.
Welding and fabrication is one of Kenya's most marketable craft certificate courses, with graduates finding work in both the private and state sectors. You might even start your own welding company.
Some of the Institutions offering this course include Mathira Technical Training Institute, Okame Technical and Vocational College, Mathenge Technical Training Institute, Vihiga College of Business and Technical Training, and Emsos Technical Training Institute.
Just because you didn't get an A doesn’t in any way mean that you can't further your post-secondary education and be successful.
From the many options available across tens of institutions countrywide, choose one that best matches your interests and do more research on future job prospects of the profession.
After selecting whatever course you want to pursue, you then need to choose an institution where you wish to study it. Nobody should decide for you what you should pursue. It ought to be a personal choice based on your ability and interests.
All the best.