Dorothy Oyuko: I Scored a Straight A in KCSE, got Biochemistry degree but am still jobless 8 years later

Graduating with distinction from a renowned university marks a significant achievement for many students. However, Dorothy Oyuko Juma, a Biochemistry alumna from Kenyatta University, finds herself confronting the harsh reality that academic success doesn’t always guarantee immediate employment opportunities.

Despite her stellar academic record, Dorothy’s journey post-graduation has been far from straightforward. Having completed her Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry with flying colors, she expected doors to open effortlessly. Yet, eight years later, she finds herself still grappling with the challenges of securing suitable employment.

Dorothy’s academic prowess was evident from her earlier years, where she consistently excelled, culminating in an impressive A- in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) and admission to Kenyatta University. Driven by her passion for Biochemistry, she pursued her undergraduate degree with determination, emerging as a top performer.

However, her transition into the workforce has been marked by frustration and disappointment. Despite her qualifications and efforts, she remains unemployed, struggling to find a role that matches her expertise. In her own words, “I really need a job to provide for my family and also make use of the education I got. It is so hard; I have tarmacked for eight years with no success.”

Dorothy’s plight is emblematic of a broader issue faced by highly qualified graduates globally. Challenges such as limited job opportunities, lack of experience, and fierce competition in the job market often hinder their employment prospects.

Moreover, there exists a disconcerting gap between educational attainment and industry demands, leaving many graduates ill-prepared for the workforce. This discrepancy results in a mismatch between the skills possessed by graduates and those sought by employers, further complicating their job search.

The ramifications of unemployment extend beyond individual hardship; they encompass societal and economic concerns. The loss of potential talent not only hampers economic growth but also exacerbates financial strain for graduates and their families, contributing to social and economic instability.

Addressing the issue of graduate unemployment necessitates a comprehensive strategy. This entails creating more job opportunities, bridging the gap between academia and industry, and providing robust support systems for job seekers.

Initiatives such as internships, apprenticeships, and mentorship programs play a pivotal role in enhancing graduates’ employability by offering practical experience and industry insights.

Furthermore, fostering collaboration between educational institutions and industries is imperative. By aligning curriculum with industry needs, offering relevant skills development programs, and forging partnerships, graduates can be better equipped for the demands of the job market.