The Federation of Kenya Employers (FKE), in a survey released in November 2023, indicated that a section of recruiters prefer applicants with a Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) certificate only.
According to the Skills Needs Survey Report 2023, Kenyans who do not have an undergraduate degree are mostly preferred in public safety, corrections and security career fields.
KCSE certificate holders were also ranked top for positions in the arts and recreational services.
While high school graduates earn the least average salary in Kenya, they form the largest workforce, according to FKE.
For example, the security industry is one of the biggest employers in the country, with over 1,800 firms spread across the country.
According to the Private Security Regulatory Authority, there were over 700,000 security guards as of July 2022.
The number of security guards is double that of trained primary and secondary school teachers in the country.
While the government is pushing for a Ksh27,000 minimum salary for security guards, most earn below Ksh15,000 monthly.
FKE noted that Kenyans with at least a certificate or diploma course are likely to be employed in transport, distribution and logistics fields.
Additionally, they are in demand in social service and community development and hospitality and tourism career fields.
“Workers with up to undergraduate degree qualification are mostly demand in information technology, finance and business management, and legal professions,” the report adds.
Kenyans with Masters are likely to find jobs in the legal profession, while doctorate holders are majorly employed as lecturers in education and training institutes, according to FKE.
"Enterprises are in mainly in need of competence in information technology; finance and business management; engineering; transportation, distribution and logistics; and legal," the survey adds.
According to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) census of 2019, only 3.5 per cent of the population had tertiary education (university) as the highest level completed.
Nearly half of Kenya’s population of 55 million people have finished primary school education, with 24.5 per cent going ahead to graduate high school.