East Africa: 5 Promising Career Paths for Recent Graduates in Rwanda

You’ve collected your diploma, tossed your cap in the air, and snapped photos with your family. You’re ready to take on the real world!

But you can’t celebrate for long. Now you’ve got to find a job, pay off your loans, and put that freshly minted degree to good use. Finding employment straight out of university can be tough. You’re competing against people with years of experience and deep professional networks. But there are a handful of industries hungry for fresh talent and youthful ambition.

So we asked the question, “What are the hottest jobs for recent grads?” After talking to the experts, here’s what we found:

1. Computer Programmers/Software Developers

Governments, private industry players, and NGOs are increasingly moving online. They’re building apps, portals, and programs for their clients and donors. They need computer programmers and software developers to help them build effective applications across a wide range of industries, from communications and education to agriculture and banking.

Computer programmers write programs to accomplish specified tasks using computer languages. Software developers look at the bigger picture and use code to develop a product or service.

These jobs are particularly suited for computer science graduates who are familiar with the latest technology and don’t mind putting in the long hours required to perfect a new program.

What you’ll be doing: Common job activities entail reviewing existing software systems and suggesting improvements, designing and coding new systems, and maintaining systems once they’re online.

What’s needed: To land one of these jobs, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree in computer science or software engineering in addition to strong programming skills.

2. Accountants and Auditors

International firms are opening new offices across East Africa, and these branches must meet the standards of their parent companies as well as their investors. Governments too are demanding more rigorous financial documentation. Navigating the maze of financial rules and regulations can be daunting for any business, no matter how established they are. This is where accountants come it. They make sure that a business’ financial records are in order and that taxes and fees are paid properly.

Academic institutions, such as the University of Rwanda and the Kigali Institute of Management, often offer degree programs in accounting that will set graduates up for entry-level positions.

What you’ll be doing: Accountants are primarily responsible for an organization’s financial information. They make sure the business keeps good records, meets its financial obligations, and follows sound fiscal practices. On a day-to-day basis, accountants perform a wide variety of roles, including paying taxes, performing audits, inspecting the books, and suggesting budgetary improvements.

What’s needed: Graduates can enter the field with an associate’s degree in accounting, but many companies prefer a bachelor’s or master’s degree in the field. Many employers also expect their hires to either hold or be working toward professional certification through an internationally accredited organization, such as ACCA.

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