KAMPALA – Makerere University Business School (MUBS) principal Prof Wasswa Balunywa has said that government has not put in place a proper career guidance framework to help learners make informed choices on careers.
Prof Balunywa while speaking at virtual seminar themed Corona Virus and Careers: Who is in, who is out? Organised by the MUBS Career and Skills Development Centre today said it is important that government rethinks what the future is going to be like and change the education system.
“At times it’s not what you wish but the exams tell you so. For students to be able to be taken into a program at the University, they may be able to be taken into a program that they are not aware of and this means that as they grow up, there is some kind of limitation to what career they should undertake in a sense that they are fixed into the career,” he said.
Balunywa added that students get into University knowing they are really doing different courses like commerce, accounting, or may be marketing and they get stuck in there.
He explained that people need to recognise that changes are taking place in the environment and these are going to lead to career changes.
“There are a few people who normally finish their degrees and abandon that field and go on to do something different from what they studied but invariably many of us pursue careers not because we like them but because we are fixed in. This is a challenge and it will continue for some time but what we need to realise is that the pandemic has changed many things creating chaos in its footpath and right now this is an example of what is happening in the wake of careers.”
Dr Ahmed Walugembe the deputy director MUBS Career and Skills Development Center said in the career concept it is always important that one surely understands what is embedded in the profession they wish to undertake and how they can do better while at it.
“You have to understand a career, carer planning, process and concepts plus the key success factors. The pandemic has presented a new normal of doing things and the impact of the virus on careers has been really felt. People are now looking at skills and jobs in a manner of what is trending and what is phasing out,” he said
Walugembe explained that the concept of a career is developing a vision and goals for an individual and how to achieve them which involves the role one undertakes throughout their life, matching their interests, skills and abilities for both in the long term professional journey or continuous process of learning and development.
“Corona virus has greatly impacted on career in a number of ways ranging from decline in economic activity, reduction in office operations, to the quality and quantity of employment that is going down. There is increased demand for e-learning, the need to work in shifts has also been created which has given rise to increased remote working. There is need to reskill and reposition, increased need for knowledge based professions and a change in customer supplier inseparable operations has been created,” he shared.
Ms Jalia Nazziwa, the MUBS Guild Education Minister said this COVID era has been a window of opportunity as the lockdown presented a time of reflection to her.
She says people were asking her if what she would be able to get a job in the field she studies, a thing that tormented her as it was not the time to for her to start switching careers.
“I was not easy, we had to break off from school and it was uncertain on when we would return. My career goal of finishing and earning this degree in International Business on time seemed not to be happening anytime soon. I am sure most people especially the finalists felt the same way,” she shares.
After making a self-rediscovery, Nazziwa remembered that she was computer illiterate and decided to embark on this to keep herself busy and gaining a skill at the same time.
“I decided that if I have a laptop that was enough for me to start using YouTube videos to learn computer knowledge and upgrade my IT skills to make myself more ready for my career. I also got an opportunity to volunteer in hotels, which helped me to learn how businesses are run. The pandemic showed me that you have to have an idea on different things so that if one closes, you have knowledge on another as being versatile is key.”