Ever since the time you grew up, society conditioned you to view careers on a top to a bottom list; with the top being the best of careers while the bottom taking no credit. Conditioning came through when your parents would suggest a number of careers that appear or sound to be more prestigious; such as careers in medicine, law, economics, and engineering to name a few. Any other career, on the contrary, would not have appealed to them. The above-mentioned careers were considered and are still considered to be prestigious, worthy of honor and of a high social status. Careers in teaching, journalism, anthropology, policing, extension education would have and still brush some students the wrong way with their parents.
One big question I need to ask is; what parameters do you use to gauge or measure the value of a given career? Some measure a career in terms of how much it pays, some take pleasure in titles a career gives, some enjoy a given career because it makes them less of an office worker and more of a nomad worker. Some see the rate of career growth and networking as a factor. My point of concern is what would make a certain career more prestigious than the other? At the end of the day, everybody wants to make a living and make progress in their own individual lives. I am tempted to think social status is what determines the value of a career. No wonder careers in law, medicine, and engineering are highly placed in societies. This can be undoubtedly proven whenever national examination results are released especially in a country like Kenya. The top candidates that usually emerge in Kenya Certificate of Secondary Examinations when interviewed over electronic and print media will proudly mention medicine, law or engineering as their dream career. Interestingly enough, no single candidate has ever been heard mentioning a career in agriculture, journalism, education and the like; notwithstanding that agriculture is the backbone of Kenya’s economy, doesn’t Kenya need more of agricultural experts to give technical advice on how to improve food production.
Kenya as a country has a development blueprint dubbed ‘Vision 2030’. It stands on three pillars of Social, Economic, and a Political pillar. My layman understanding is that by 2030, as a country we should be talking about development milestones on the three pillars. One thing you cannot run away from as an educated countryman is the fact that your economy thrives on agriculture, tourism, and industrialization. Methinks society has conditioned many of her offspring’s to view a career in terms of social status and honor rather than the need it can meet. As much as Kenya needs doctors and lawyers as a country, it equally needs agronomists, horticulturists, biologists, data analysts, social workers among other professions. The best of students should not only play the social status card but also try to add value to other well paying, national-building careers.
Sad enough is the fact that some Kenyans will never appreciate certain careers in this country. Careers in Kenya Police especially traffic, Kenya football especially the national team head coach. The head coach of the football national team is never spared either such that however much he tries to work to improve the performance of the national football team a single win among many loses won’t receive a single praise. However much he outshines his previous performance, Kenyans will still have a reason to point a finger.
While our Police force has been a sham ( extra-judicial killings, bribery, ghost police officers, controversial promotions)to the point of attracting the attention of an Independent Police Oversight Committee – IPOA, children should not be allowed to grow up feeling a career in the police force is for the losers in society. On the same knot, a career in football should not be viewed in a bad light by young job seekers. Kenya is no doubt proud of Victor Wanyama the Southampton midfielder who is moving to Tottenham Hotspurs next season for £ 11 million. Though a few of our players have made it to the international football arena, we are not to say that the chances for our players are dim. I believe our good days in football are yet to come.
Your career is your choice, you know best where your passion lies. I encourage you to live your dream and be the best you were meant to be.