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Hands-on graduate courses that could lead to sustainable jobs

A caregiver conducts basic medical checks on an older person

A caregiver conducts basic medical checks on an older person

With the Uganda Advanced Level Certificate or A-level examination results released, students are grappling with the academic choices they must make.

Parents and guardians are making inquiries on what are the most “marketable” courses for their children. “Marketable” courses are the ones which to an extent would help a graduate find some sustainable job after their post-secondary education.

The universities have reacted by placing full page and center spread adverts in newspapers with a long list of courses that are available at their institutions. Most of the academic courses universities are advertising have been in existence for decades. Many of the students that graduate today with those courses struggle to find jobs.

By thinking of new courses even with the advancements in technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), education would become also cheaper. Even today, there are many degree academic programs that don’t require one to study for the standard three years. That is why many university students have a lot of free time, sometimes studying twice or thrice a week a few hours on each of those days.

If they studied every day, they could be able to finish a course in about a year or two max. Universities and their parent ministry could think of reducing the number of academic years for some of the courses and free up resources that could be invested elsewhere.

Many Ugandans are obsessed with academic degrees, so what about thinking about degrees in the following areas?

EVENTS MANAGEMENT

Many organizations and even individuals require services of a professional events manager. Somebody who can think creatively, knows where to get service providers and most importantly managing them so that the organization or people involved can enjoy their event than running around.

There are many events all the time and this could be an opportunity where young people can acquire the skills they need to excel in this sector. A course unit in protocol would be important. Another course unit could be managing funerals.

DECORATION

You have been probably at an event and before the function is over, the decorator is removing the chair covers and even the chairs themselves. The napkins and table cloths are being folded as the event is closing out. I believe that a graduate of a Bachelor’s degree in Decoration won’t be able to do that.

RENT COLLECTION/REAL ESTATE MANAGEMENT

Most people involved in real estate struggle to collect rent and basically managing the houses for rent or at least that is what I hear landlords say.

Some landlords end up being uncouth like removing a door or an iron sheet whenever a tenant has delayed to pay. Doesn’t this call for a course in rent collection and real estate management?

This would free up the time for landlords to concentrate on the more important stuff — building more houses for rent to bridge the gap of more than 2.4 million units that exists in Uganda today.

OLD-PEOPLE CARE AND MANAGEMENT

As Uganda urbanizes, it will become increasingly difficult for people to dedicate their lives to looking after old people and the sick. One must work and therefore may not be available to look after a sick or ageing mother on a full-time basis.

Looking after old people requires particular skills. They are easily irritable and can feel entitled. Many people with such elderly relatives go through a lot to manage them. Most of this work is burdened to relatives who many times see it as an inconvenience. Some people have hired nurses to do this work but many such nurses have not been trained in particularly looking after the old.

Although course units may already be available in certain academic programs, there is a need to build a critical mass of caregivers, now that we are a middle-income country!

BAR MANAGEMENT

If there is a business that Ugandans love, it is the bar. Everywhere you turn, there is bar or kafunda. Many are started as side hustles even though there are many bar entrepreneurs now and they spend a huge sum setting them up.

Although some workers may have done a course unit in bar management, many just start from catering school and work their way up from waiting staff to managers. But also many have no clue. That is why they always mess up your order or bill. Since almost everyone is starting a bar or liquor store, what about a degree course in bar management?

DIGITAL INFLUENCING

As we go into the political season, politicians will need to dominate the digital media space. Companies are increasingly getting involved in digital media campaigns. Influencers are hired to create content that promotes a product, brand or candidate.

Many young people today earn a living as influencers. Can they be trained through academic programs? Absolutely. So why not a Bachelor’s Degree in Influence Marketing?

All the above courses can create many real sustainable jobs and can be done in about a year or so.

djjuuko@gmail.com

The writer is a communication and visibility consultant

Comments

0 #1 Kapere 2024-04-01 16:18
You should have included garbage management, church management, and church public relations.
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