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Studying and Learning

Choosing a college program

The course you choose to study at either college or university level will have a great influence on your future career path. It is therefore important for students to critically analyse their options from the wide array of programs that are available.

For those who have already decided that a college/university education is worth pursuing, their next challenge comes in selecting an adequate subject discipline. There is a wide array of subject disciplines to choose from, and they span from environmental sciences, health sciences, agricultural sciences, hospitality and tourism, engineering, law, education, social sciences, business studies, history, languages, and many more.

If you have a particular career in mind, such as business management, food production, hairdressing, nursing, social work, secretarial, electrical engineering, automotive engineering, plumbing, or any other, then finding a suitable course for your chosen subject should be fairly straightforward.

However, if you are yet to make a choice, asking yourself the following questions might be a good starting point:

  • Which subjects do I enjoy studying?
  • Which subject am I good at?
  • What career do I see myself pursuing?
  • What are the most employable qualifications?

Many graduate jobs require candidates to be educated to a degree level without specifying a particular discipline, so finding a subject you enjoy that develops your transferable skills means you are more likely to obtain a high standard degree while having fun achieving it. 

Before applying for the program of your choice, you need to be aware that there are minimum entry requirements that students need to meet before they are enrolled in a program. These entry requirements are set by the respective examining body which could be either a university or an external organisation such as KNEC or KASNEB.

It is also important to ensure that the program that you have chosen to pursue is being offered by an accredited institution. You can easily get a list of all the accredited institutions from either the examining body or the accrediting body (e.g Commission of University Education - CUE, or Kenya National Examination Council - KNEC)

Depending on your KCSE grades, you can begin your higher education journey at either certificate, diploma or degree level. Students who begin at the certificate level can gradually progress into the diploma program and then move on to pursue a degree program. Most certificate programs last from one (1) to one and a half (1 1/2) years, diploma programs take two (2) to three (3) years whereas degree programs degrees last from three (3) to four (4) years.

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