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Your choice of course is your future

By Vision Reporter

Added 7th June 2013 01:36 PM

Universities all over the country have started admitting students for the next academic year. But for one to succeed in career, there is need to choose the right course.

Your choice of course is your future

Universities all over the country have started admitting students for the next academic year. But for one to succeed in career, there is need to choose the right course.

By Conan Businge 

Universities all over the country have started admitting students for the next academic year. But for one to succeed in career, there is need to choose the right course. 
 
Some career paths are heating up and still dynamic, yielding a high return on the tuition that you are investing in your university education. 
 
If you are not targeting self employment, the country still has a massive demand for graduates in the fields of accounting, law, medicine, engineering, economics and information technology.
 
Other areas are business, agriculture, finance, hospitality and tourism, governance and public administration, marketing and sales, transportation, distribution and logistics. 
 
Demand for skills
As most investors and employers are now faced with competition and increasing high cost of production, they are constantly demanding for extra skills by potential employees in order to cut down the costs of hiring more workforce, compete favourably, produce goods and services of high quality and maintain a good relation with their clients.
 
Professional knowledge alone does not suffice anymore. On top of this, employers require employability skills and these may include; general life skills to overcome and withstand challenges related to work, writing skills, including report writing and office communication skills, reading skills including comprehending instructions and clients' concerns, basic arithmetic, problem-solving and decision-making skills. 
 
Studies in various sectors show a growing demand for skilled graduates and it is vital for university entrants to take keen interest in the studies before applying for any course. 
 
Architecture and construction
There is a booming construction industry in Uganda. This ranges from road design and construction, bridges, boats, stadia, as well as housing. This is a result of efforts of rehabilitation and reconstruction of run-down social facilities. There is also a general upsurge and demand for facilities like hospitals and schools.
 
Experts estimate that within the next 10 years, there will be a shortfall of 1.6 million housing units to accommodate the increasing population from rural to urban areas, estimated at a rate of 5.6% per annum.
 
Kampala alone needs 100,000 housing units every other year to accommodate the new migrants and growing population. The need for expansion and creation of new roads is high, as the number of road users also increase. 
 
According to the Career Guidance handbook from the ministry, as the population shift from rural to urban and vice-versa, there will always be increase of need of social facilities in the areas of settlement.
 
Agriculture
In Uganda, agriculture forms 80% of economic activities and yet the professional knowledge is lacking in the population engaged in this area. Agriculture being very instrumental to the country's development means that there are still various opportunities for graduates. 
 
 There are issues of soil conservation, protection of water resources and aquatics, management of habitants for birds and wildlife. It also includes animal science, forestry, horticulture and wildlife management and research.  
 
In this cluster, one can easily be a soil scientist, veterinary officer, gardener, florist, farm supervisor, dairy technologist, wildlife manager, botanist, zoologist and agricultural engineer. 

Forestry and Natural Resources 
Uganda has an abundance of forests and natural resources. Some of the woodlands are in private hands, as Government is encouraging development of forest lands to increase on carbon levels, thereby fighting global warming and climatic change.
 
This investment calls for skills for production of quality timbers, making high quality furniture and tree Farming as a business.
 
It provides opportunities for experts in forest biotechnology, natural resource development, and management system, and plantation development and management. There are also opportunities for agro-forestry, and natural resource management, and bio-diversity conservation graduates. 
 
A bachelor's degree in a forestry related subject is typically required to become a forester. In general, a major in forest management, environmental conservation, forest products, or wildlife management should be sufficient to secure an entry-level position. 
 
You will probably take courses in soil science, timber management, wood anatomy, and environmental microbiology. Courses in forest ecosystems, resource management, forest biometrics, and tree pathology. 
 
Information and Communications Technology (ICTs)
There is no serious business nowadays, which is run without the usage of ICTs. From as low as using a mobile phone to run a stall in a food market by  a village woman, to building a massive website centre for a company; we just cannot run away from technological advancement.
 
Marketable areas here are ICT Engineering and its application in specific professions like tele-medicine, tele-radiology, and virtual patient records. 
 
There are several other openings in Web-based computer training and education, including teleconferencing, e-governance, front-line services   and   information sharing and database management
 
Several surveys across the globe indicate that there are some career fields that will continue to thrive in the international labor market, despite the economic down-sizing and the predicted continuous increase of rate of unemployment.
 
These are jobs that can weather even the roughest economic storms and has the fastest growth rate and largest numerical jobs. They cover a wide range of fields and provide the much needed services to the international communities as well as local economies. 
 
Medicine 
Did you know that the country is short of 50% of the required health workers in the public service? If the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), released a couple of years ago is to be taken seriously, Uganda needs 46,977 health workers in public service.
 
The report also showed that most of the health workers were in urban areas, which constitute only 12% to 16% of the country's total population.
 
For a record, you should not fail to get a well-paying job, should you graduate as a health worker in this country or Sub-Saharan Africa. A total of 57 countries, most of them in Africa and Asia, face a severe health workforce crisis.
 
The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that at least 2,360,000 health service providers and 1,890,000 management support workers are needed to fill the gap. Without prompt action, the shortage will worsen, according to the lead health specialist in the World Bank Group, Khama Rogo.
 
Apart from Africa and developing countries, there is indication that this career field will rise 23% and provide 587,000 additional employment opportunities in the US alone, on top of the 116,000 vacancies for registered nurses in hospitals and 100,000 current deficits at nursing homes, including old person's homes.
 
Globally, at a rate of 22%, expected to continue through at least 2018, the nursing employment is forecast to increase faster than that of most other professions. Technological advances, an increasing emphasis on preventive care and an aging population are the main factors driving this growth. 
 
More so, there is a growing need of physician assistants. The growth in this career field is projected at 27% in the region. Physician assistants or medical officers, handle many medical procedures, including diagnosis, examinations, and taking medical histories of patients. They fill in a great deal in situations where doctors are in short supply.
 
Uganda still needs a lot of manpower in the areas of control of communicable diseases, early detection and prevention of non-communicable diseases, telemedicine, and production of drugs, development of natural health or medicinal products, vaccine and antibiotics development for local needs.
 
Accountants and Financial Managers
As the country goes through an increase in the number of audit, it is more reason that you grab a course in this area of study. This is because; there is a growing demand for qualified accountants. 
 
Accountancy job growth is predicted to rise at 18% in the next couple of years. This is largely predicted due to the growth in small scale enterprises, multilateral companies and overseas investments volumes.
 
Report by the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Uganda show that 176 audit firms were active in the country by the end of 2009, but have now increased to 184 in 2012.
 
The current deficit of qualified accountants is estimated at 8,000 compared with a shortfall of 3,000 accountants recorded in 2003, according to World Bank figures.
 
In contrast, the supply of qualified accountants in Uganda is estimated to be less than 1,500; a figure which includes practitioners originating from neighbouring and foreign countries.
 
The number of professional staff employed by these firms also rose from 266 in 2009 to 282 by the close of business last year.
 
In this area of study, there are also careers in commerce and industry such as insurance, finance, investment, banking, and entrepreneurship. It involves planning, services for financial and investment planning, banking, insurance, and business financial management. 
 
Lawyers and Paralegals
The increasing workload of lawyers is putting pressure on the profession to seek the services of paralegal officers. Currently, people seek legal advice as a remedy to difficulties, rather than as a preventive service.
 
This has created a rush for legal services for people in distress. As this is being dealt with, it is prudent that economies employ the services of legal advisers to prevent possible legal battles, at the onset of an undertaking. Projection show a 22% increase in paralegals worldwide in the medium term.

Education sector 
Opportunities for teaching jobs will be more in the primary schools, vocational schools, trade schools, community colleges, universities and for school psychologists and counsellors. This, however, depends on the demands in specific teaching subjects. For instance in Uganda, the demands are for science and technical education teachers.
 
With the increasing set up of schools, and the growth of free primary and secondary education, there is a growing demand for teachers every other year. Government has also started a new education programme, 'Skilling Uganda' which calls for establishment of more technical and vocational institutions which is also hiking the demand for teachers in the country. 

Manufacturing 
Uganda's manufacturing sector is one of the fastest growing sectors in the country with the manufacturing output expanding by more than 10% over the last five years. East African Community states registered marginal growth in industry in 2012, but experts say that the sector will continuously do better, with increased energy supply and improved infrastructure.
 
Opportunities exist virtually in all areas ranging from beverages, leather; tobacco based processing, paper, textiles and garments to pharmaceuticals, fabrications, ceramics, glass fertilisers, plastic, and assembly of electronic goods, hi-technology and medical products. 
 
Jobs in the manufacturing industry involve planning, managing, and performing the processing of materials into intermediate of final products. 
 
Others areas which need attention include finance, budgeting and taxation, governance and public administration, health science, hospitality and tourism, human and social services, marketing and sales, science, technology, and engineering and then transport and distribution.
 
Cosmetologists
It is expected to rise rapidly is the demand for hair dressers, hair stylists and cosmetologists on the human service category. 
 
People are increasingly becoming more conscious about their appearances and looks. There are multi-billion cosmetic industries and the demands for body therapy, including plastic surgery are also on the increase.
 
Employment of cosmetologists is projected to grow faster than average for all professions, increasing 12% through 2016 globally. A growing population and the increased demand for cosmetology services will drive job growth.
 

Your choice of course is your future

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