This week, Makerere University alone will graduate over 13,221 graduands from different disciplines, some with bachelor’s degrees, some with diplomas, and others with master’s degrees, with a few also graduating with PhD.
The 13,221 graduands join the many unemployed Ugandans after having over 400,000 Ugandans graduate annually from different universities with limited job opportunities to accommodate all after graduation.
For those graduating this week, here are some tips on how to survive in a country where what you have studied may not necessarily define your career path.
Further studies: For those who still have the opportunity to further their studies, please do so while the brains are still fresh and the responsibilities are few.
If you are lucky enough to get a job immediately after graduation, please don’t be too comfortable in that job; save some money and further your studies before family responsibilities kick in.
Even as you look for employment opportunities, please do another short course to add value to your CVs.
You are all going to apply for jobs, and you have the same qualifications, but that short course in monitoring and evaluation, project planning, fundraising, resource mobilization, human resource management, and many others may be the difference that will earn you that job.
There are lots of short courses offered online, lots of job opportunities advertised online, and you can also use the biggest network to advertise yourself and what you are offering to future clients.
Volunteering: If you get a chance to volunteer at any establishment, please do. It may not be in line with what you studied, but it could be a change in your career path.
Volunteering comes with experience, and you get to learn what you didn’t learn in school. Even when they are not offering any facilitation or allowances, please offer yourself and volunteer, and if the organisation sees that you add value to them, they will always find a budget to keep you around.
Self-employment: As you get that transcript, please look for ways on how to create your own employment rather than seeking one. Sit down and reflect on what you are passionate about and what you can do with minimal capital.
Don’t be swayed by colleagues who have been lucky to get jobs immediately after graduation, and don’t stress about getting a white-collar job. Focus on starting small, and once you are passionate about what you are doing, you are good to go.
It can be a small business, it could be farming, it can be social media influencing, or any other field where you feel you can excel once you put all your energies and minds to it.
Finally, now that you are done with school, go back home, sit down, relax, reflect, and decide what you want to be. Don’t limit your capabilities and vision to what you studied at school; think widely and use the networks that you have to start a new chapter.