With Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu expected to release results for the 2023 Kenya Certificate of Secondary Exams (KCSE), many parents have already started seeking possible post-secondary courses for their children.
KCSE candidates who will score C+ and move will be eligible to apply for an undergraduate course in local universities.
On the other hand, students who score below C+ are eligible to continue with higher education by applying for diploma, certificate and artisan courses in various colleges and Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) institutions.
Kenyans.co.ke spoke to various directors, tutors and students from different colleges across the country to compile the most popular diploma courses in Kenya in 2024.
Media students at Arizona International College
Arizona International College
Hospitality was voted the most popular diploma course in the country in 2024, with most students applying for January, May and September intakes.
Hospitality encompasses catering, tourism and hotel management courses.
Speaking to Kenyans.co.ke, Oliver Ndolo, a digital strategist at Arizona International College, remarked that the availability of jobs in the industry was the driving factor in making the course popular among Kenyans.
A representative of Nairobi Aviation College further explained to Kenyans.co.ke that the course was preferred as it offered a chance for self-employment.
Oliver Ndolo remarked that due to the rising number of TV stations in the country and lucrativeness in content creation, many students were flocking to media courses to tap into the digital bonanza.
“Unlike in the past, most colleges now have their own TV and Radio stations where students can practice. For example, here in Arizona, students know they can use the institution-owned television and radio stations,” he added on why most students were shunning degree courses for a diploma in the media industry.
According to the Media Council of Kenya (MCK), anyone working in the communication sector as a journalist must possess at least a diploma in media-related studies from a recognised institution.
Business-related courses were the third most selected diploma course in Kenya, with 6 out of 10 interviewed institutions ranking it among the top.
The field is wide and encompasses finance, banking, accounting, human resources, insurance and other business-related courses.
“My parents advised me to take a course in business management since jobs are not a given in Kenya but I can able use the skills gained in self-employment,” a student told Kenyans.co.ke
Offered in select colleges in the country, cabin crew is one of the most in-demand diploma courses in Kenya.
“Of course, there is glamour that is associated with working in the aviation industry hence the popularity of cabin crew courses,” Nairobi Aviation explained.
Unlike piloting courses, cabin crew courses are cheaper, making them affordable to students who want to work with different airlines.
Other affordable courses in the sector include aeronautical engineering and a diploma in airport operations.
Cabin Crew students at Nairobi Aviation College.
Nairobi Aviation College
According to data from the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (KUCCPS), engineering courses are some of the most in-demand degree courses in Kenya.
Arizona International College explained that this also cascaded to college and TVET institutions.
“Engineering courses attract some of the highest numbers of applicants. This is partly because remuneration in the engineering industry is higher and also it is relatively easy to find a job in the sector,” Oliver Ndolo explained.
Oliver Ndolo explained that while searching for the perfect course, students should be cognizant of their talents and passions.
“Let not parents force their children into a certain diploma course because it is perceived to offer lucrative job opportunities. A child will excel in a field that they are passionate about,” he advised.
Additionally, a representative from Nairobi Aviation College advised parents and students to research more about a course before making a choice.