A Synthesis of Innovative Approaches and Implementation of Career Services in Kenyan Universities and Colleges
Keywords:Career Services, Innovation Approaches, Higher institutions
Though there are many reasons for unemployment in Kenya, lack of technical competencies and skills has been flagged as one of the major reasons. This revelation triggered the Ministry of Education to roll out the establishment of the Office of Career Services (OCS) in all universities and tertiary institutions in 2018. The objective of this paper was to evaluate the progress made in the implementation of career services offices in colleges and universities in Kenya and to identify innovative approaches adopted. Primary data was collected by interviewing career services officers in selected institutions while secondary data was collected through a synthesis of relevant research and publications. Quantitative and qualitative data collected were analyzed using mixed methods and presented in summaries, tables, and percentages. The study found out that the three major and common factors driving change in career services are reforms in the education sector, changes in the labor market, and globalization. Regarding the implementation of the office of career services, 88% of the institutions placed internships and attachment programs as very important areas of focus. It was further found that only 8% of the institutions consider innovation programs as a very important element of the career services office. Furthermore, the study found that in the adoption and use of technology, 60% of the institutions rated high use in the adoption of technology in training while only 6% rated high use in the adoption of labor market information systems. It was noteworthy that 100% of the participating institutions had adopted technology in the provision of career services information to students. The study also found that 60% of the institutions somewhat consider the role of parents in students’ careers while 40% did not. This paper observed that successful implementation and delivery of career services in Kenya requires the adoption of innovative approaches in methods of delivery, adoption, and use of technology, robust and responsive partnerships, and redefining the role of all stakeholders including parents and guardians in students’ career development journey. It is thus recommended that these four areas should be delivered in a way that allows for education and training systems to be responsive to the skills for the future.