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MKU graduates among the most preferred by employers

Graduates from Mount Kenya University are among the top 10 most preferred by employers in Kenya.

A survey by Corporate Staffing Services Ltd shows that jobseekers with certification from MKU are more sought after than those from other private universities.

The 2015 Talent Report titled Hiring trends, Challenges and Future Outlook puts MKU in the same rank as Strathmore University, Catholic University, USIU, Daystar, Kenya Methodist University, Kenya Institute of Management, African Nazarene, Presbyterian   and Baraton University in terms of graduates acceptability.

“With the rising number of private universities, the real prize is getting out of college with a valuable degree,” says the report. “The most distressing stories are about students who wasted time and resources pursuing university education that does not yield in a credible degree.”

The report notes that the main reasons why the graduates from these universities are preferred is the reputation of the university in terms of specialization, years of existence and society involvement, for example MKU’s Graduate Enterprise Academy.

Credible certificates given by these universities account for 22% of the score, relevant skills impacted on the graduates 15%, development of the graduates holistically as well as academically 14%, and technical expertise and knowledge 9 %.

“Some of the reasons for preferring candidates from the above selected private universities as outlined by the Staff levels are expected to remain relatively stable according to the employers surveyed,” notes the report.

Recently, MKU developed a Guide to Employability Skills for its students. The Guide will help the students/graduates improve their competitiveness in the job market. It contains important information on a wide range of topics including academic requirements and personal branding.

Early this year, top officials from the university attended a global Graduate Employability Conference in London, UK. “The outcome of these multi-pronged efforts mean that an MKU degree is the most-sought after academic certification in the region today,” says Prof. Chegge Mungai, Deputy Vice Chancellor, Student Welfare and Alumni Matters.

The 2015 Talent Report indicates that more job opportunities will be in manufacturing, mining, construction and transport sectors. “Jobs that require technical and specialised skills like health, engineering, financial services and IT still pose a challenge to find applicants, let alone talented ones.”

The report notes that only about 25% of youth are absorbed into the job market every year. So, what do employers look for in a fresh graduate? Up to 64.3% consider leadership experience, while 60.7% look for volunteering experience. “Such graduates are found to be outspoken, team players, flexible and take initiative; while those who volunteer already understand basic employers expectations and office etiquette and behaviour.” Only 53% consider educational attainment, while 49.4% look at involvement of the fresh graduate in extracurricular activities.