Certain skills, akin to beacons in the ever-evolving employment landscape, capture the attention of employers across various sectors. A recent survey by the Federation of Kenya Employers (FKE) reveals that computer and software engineering stand out as among the most coveted skills in the Kenyan job market. The study remarkably positions these skills at the top, boasting an impressive 30.7 percent which is an intriguing revelation indeed.

The report delves into the specifics, outlining that electrical and electronics engineering closely follows at 27.4 percent, while mechanical and production engineering trails behind at a rate of 25 percent. The evident demand for diverse engineering skills places civil and construction engineering, along with chemical process engineering, and agricultural engineering among other requirements, on the lists of enterprises.

Casting its wide net across FKE-affiliated enterprises, the survey provides a comprehensive view of Kenya’s job market in different regions. The enterprises surveyed, distributed throughout Nairobi, Coast, Western, and Rift Valley, vividly represent an expansive spectrum within the country’s economy.

This insightful study attracted a staggering participation of 521 enterprises, with a notable concentration of 58.3 percent in Nairobi, the bustling capital city. The process for collecting primary data involved meticulously administering a questionnaire with an amalgamation of close-ended and open-ended questions. Beyond traditional methods, both physical and online modes were employed for survey administration, extending the reach of this investigation further into relevant territories.

The report delves into the nuanced skill requirements, highlighting that Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) levels are most in demand for hard-to-fill vacancies within architecture, building construction (2.3 percent), engineering (2.3 percent), and transportation distribution logistics sectors (2.9 percent).

The study illuminates the challenges employers face in filling these critical roles: a quarter of surveyed enterprises, grappling with a prevailing skills deficit, reported it as an impediment to business expansion. Furthermore, 24 percent experienced revenue loss, and 21 percent suffered declining customer numbers.

The report’s closer examination of educational qualifications highlights this: vacancies that demand a first-level university education most rigorously fall within the realms of information and technology (7.1 percent), as well as finance and business management (at an equally demanding 7.3 percent). Conversely, roles necessitating a master’s degree predominantly populate industries such as media, communications; public relations join in at 1%, with fields like science and mathematics actively seeking doctorate degree holders making up only 0.4 percent.

Emphasizing the critical role that computer and software engineering skills play in Kenya’s evolving employment landscape which this survey vividly portrays. As sustainable economic growth and prosperity remain paramount for a nation advancing relentlessly, bridging its skills gap becomes not just essential but imperative.