Ever since the time we grew up, society has conditioned us to view careers on a top to bottom list; with the top being the best of careers while the bottom taking no credit. Conditioning came through when our parents would suggest a number of careers that appeared or sound to be 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 honour 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 we use to gauge or measure the value of a given career? Some measure a career in terms of how much it can pay, some take pleasure in titles a career could give, some enjoy a given career because it could be less of an office work and more of moving up and down. 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 an improvement 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 our 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 don’t we need more of agricultural experts to give technical advice on how to improve our food production to surplus as a country.
Kenya as a country has a development blue print 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 of development milestones on the three pillars. One thing we cannot run away from as the educated countrymen is the fact that our economy thrives on agriculture, tourism and industrialisation. Methinks society has conditioned many of her offsprings to view careers in terms of social status and honour rather than the need it can meet. As much as we need doctors and lawyers as a country we equally need agronomists, horticulturists, biologists, data analysts, social workers among other professions. Our best of students should not only play the social status card but also try to add value to other well paying, nation-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 -Harambee stars and being a head coach of such like a team. The head coach of the football national team is never spared either such that however, much he tries to work to improve on 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 policeofficers,controversial promotions)to the point of attracting the attention of an Independent Police Oversight Committee – IPOA, we should not allow our children 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 made to be viewed in bad light by our children. As a country, we are 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 to live your dream and be the best you were made to be.