Monday, February 22, 2016

Career Guidance ebook for Learners, Educators and Parents.

High Quality Online Resources for students, teachers and Parents.


Introduction to the ebook

Mrs Valerie Wood-Gaiger MBE
I was so impressed when I saw the Careers Guidance Handbook produced by the Ugandan Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Sports. It was so well written and comprehensive. The government is to be congratulated that they ensured that every Senior Secondary School in Uganda would receive two copies.

Wonderful but how could we make sure that every student; every parent; grandparent or guardian; every teacher; clergyman and all those engaged in offering careers advice – the people who really needed this guidance could have a copy? The heavy printing and distribution costs for such a necessarily large book made it impossible for all to be have a hard copy.

We believe uniquely in the World - the KAWA team and Learn with Grandma have taken a bold step into the future and sponsored this excellent e-book version. Not only can EVERYONE access this e-book -  on any device; from a mobile phone to a large screen whiteboard; enabling it to be used in training courses – but also (unlike a printed book) it can be added to as new courses and training opportunities become available. We believe that this is the first digital careers guidance book to be offered in this digital format anywhere in the World. Well done Uganda!

Please do share the news of this great advance. Please also join Learn with Grandma Uganda on Facebook. For information on updates and of new e-books as they are created.

God Bless
Jjajj Valerie
Mrs Valerie Wood-Gaiger MBE

Patron of KAWA

Message from the President of Uganda

 Since many years ago, I have been pointing out to the country the complications involved in providing education that is not aimed at the labour market. At the time of Independence, for instance, when educated people were few, it was not a problem to educate people without targets. This situation is no longer the same.

Since the NRM administration came to power, it has provided stability and peace as a first step to reconstruction of the economy and development of infrastructure and industries; including improvement and expansion of facilities for social services, like education.

This, among others, led to an explosion of educated people, which may partly be attributed to the Universal Primary Education (UPE) and Universal Secondary Education (USE) programmes.

It also led to creation of many local businesses and foreign investments in Uganda, creating more jobs for the youth. Unfortunately, the youth are not aware of such opportunities, and if they are aware, the skills, attitudes or technical knowledge they possess are often not relevant to the available jobs.

                                President Yoweri Museveni Speaks about Education in Uganda

It is, therefore, necessary that the education system should target producing graduates that are needed by the current and future labour markets.

Career Guidance to students therefore becomes very essential so that students learn about those labour markets locally, regionally and internationally, and tailor their education and training to access those labour markets. It is also essential that Career Guidance programmes should target transforming the students from being job-seekers to job creators.

The climate is now favorable, as the NRM administration has put in place special schemes like Plan for Modernization of Agriculture (PMA), National Agriculture Advisory Services (NAADS), promotion of Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs), as well as plans for attracting investors to set up industries and businesses in Uganda, through the provision of advisory and regulatory services, including soft loans facilities. All these programmes are aimed at creating opportunities for employment, for which the youth should be guided to target.

The NRM Government is committed to developing Uganda into an industrialized and knowledge-based society. This is the principle behind the introduction of UPE thirteen years ago and also of USE four years ago. Four flagship programmes are now put in place to actualise this objective:

National Skills Development Programme, to develop the much needed skills required by the labour markets

  1. National Skills Development Programme, to develop the much needed skills required by the labour markets and also enhancement of Technical and Vocational Education and Training;
2. Construction of four Regional Skills Incubation Centres to retool youth with employability skills;
3. Construction of ICT Park and a National Call Centre, to tap the emerging employment opportunities related to ICT disciplines and usage; and
4. Supporting Science Innovations in Universities and Research Institutes in an effort to add value to whole range of products, especially agricultural produce and animal products.

These programmes are meant to enhance employability skills of the youth in a bid to enable them become self employed and also to contribute to adding value to Ugandan products.

Government will, therefore, endeavour to build technical capacities of the would-be entrepreneurs so as to create more jobs. It will also continue with its quest for vocationalisation of education, driven by sound needs of the labour market. Vocational, Technical Education and Training will be emphasized, following the successful implementation of UPE and USE, and in a bid to develop productive skills.

I am happy that Ministry of Education and Sports has come up with this Handbook on Career Guidance. This will make students informed about available opportunities and also the skills required, in the current and future labour markets. This book will be very useful in guiding students on appropriate subjects and good courses to pursue, so as to become employable after completion of their education and training.

Y.K. Museveni

President of the Republic of Uganda

Message from Minister of Education and Sports

Hon. Mrs. Janet Kataha Museveni
Government recognizes the role Guidance and Counselling plays in the cognitive and career development, character formation and emotional health of learners at all levels of education.

Such a platform for career guidance has become necessary since many students and parents are informed about career opportunities available and as a result, enrolled for courses which would not make them get employment easily. Career Guidance is a mitigating factor for averting future youth unemployment, by focusing school youth on key skills demanded in the labour markets.

This publication focuses on the new dimensions in the world of work, the various careers, professional skills and training requirements, as well as the various educational and skills training opportunities available.

I reiterate the commitment of the Ministry of Education and Sports to continue providing relevant information materials to aid Career Guidance service provision in educational institutions; develop capacity of service providers and provide support and guidelines to educational institutions and stakeholders on good practices of Career Guidance, Educational Guidance, Social Guidance, Psychosocial Support Services and Personal Counselling to all learners and school community members.

The Ministry will continue to focus attention on the services that will promote positive development of learners in all aspects of orientation, education, career/vocational, personal, social, psychological, moral and ethical conduct and living.

Hon.  Janet Kataha Museveni

Minister of Education and Sports

January 2015

Message from the Commissioner, Guidance and Counselling

Wirefred George Opiro
There is now more need than ever before to provide robust Career Guidance services to all students, including youth out of school. 

This is to enable them enrol for and select the right school subjects, courses and career fields, which can enable them to gain employability skills, meet their individual career aspirations and eventually apply the learnt skills in productive engagements after completion of their courses.

The need for Career Guidance is even increased by the factors of globalization, regional economic integration, advancement in science and technology, including the ICT revolution and free labour movements, which makes the world of work very competitive and to demand for innovations every time.

Career Guidance Handbook is an attempt by the Ministry of Education and Sports, to categorize all the available opportunities (Career Clusters and Occupational Categories) in regards to careers and corresponding training or education programmes, so as to expose students to them at an early stage. It is intended to enable all students to relate their career aspirations to their subject of studies, courses, interests, and abilities.

Sixteen Career Clusters and Occupational Categories are presented in this Handbook. These are groups of similar occupations and trades, developed to help students organize their career planning, alongside their education endeavours as pathways to those careers.

The Handbook introduces students to an exciting range of available career opportunities in Uganda and the Region and relates those careers and Occupational Categories to student's subjects of studies at their various levels of education, notably, Secondary ‘O' and 'A' Levels), Tertiary, university programmes and professional courses. It, therefore, provides a structure for students to organise their learning according to their broad interests and career goals.

An attempt has also been made in this edition, to relate those career fields within these Occupational Categories, to student's personal characteristics, personal competences and the required skills for such career engagements.

Teachers, Counsellors and parents should encourage students to select the broad careers cluster to explore through course selection at S.2, S.3 and S.5. It is also a good guide to students in selecting co-curricula activities and internship programmes as they advance with their education and training.

The benefit of career clustering and occupational categorization provide clear direction to students in various ways in this hand book: it helps students plan their future, bearing in mind their interests, talents, or desired levels of education; it provides students with focus or flexibility, directing them to specific courses and experiences, while giving them a general view of opportunities available within their scope.

It also maps out the overall manpower needs in Uganda, regionally and globally. Therefore, having this resource at school and more specifically making it available to students for reference and private reading, is to enable them secure their future careers and make meaning out of education programmes they attend.

It should be made known to students, however, that selecting an occupational category is not a permanent commitment. As they gain new experiences, they learn more about themselves and the world of work, they often also tumble over fields they could as well want to explore and so it is okay for them to change or explore other Clusters as well.

Furthermore, as a result of the dynamic labour market demands, new opportunities often come up which may be worth exploring as modern development trends keep creating new occupational possibilities. Some individuals are gifted with many talents and are able to perform in different fields. Contingency plans should always be in place for such situations.

The Career Clusters contained in this Handbook are not rigid in themselves. They are meant to give students a general picture of career and occupation structures in the world of work.

There are some occupations, courses/professions or subject areas which are cross-cutting. These provide wider latitudes for students pursuing such programmes. You will find these repeated under different categories and clusters.

Wirefred George Opiro

Commissioner, Guidance & Counselling

Executive Summary

This Career Guidance ebook is intended to give career information to students, teachers, parents and all stakeholders on career development process; career opportunities within Uganda, the East African Region, COMESA region and Internationally; and challenges in career entry, progression and development.

The book is divided into eight chapters, and the central theme in all the chapters is availing career and occupational opportunities information to young persons. A deliberate attempt has been made in this publication to indicate that there are more career opportunities in the Technical and Vocational Sub-sector of the economy, and that the most employable persons are those with technical and vocational skills and also that out of these opportunities available, more are in the Small to Medium Enterprises, particularly for self-employment.

Chapters One and Two give general information on important issues related to career decisions, choices and development, for an individual who is still at the lower level of education (Primary or Lower Secondary School). It contains information on core subjects and those subjects deemed critical as per the available opportunities for career engagements; key skills required for employment; areas where manpower is still in great need within Uganda, East Africa Region and internationally.

Chapter Three contains information on marketable career fields in Uganda and the region. It also gives detailed information on profiles of skills mixes required by employers and new investors in Uganda. Therefore, key careers areas identified are the following:

1. Health and Medical Sciences

2. Biotechnology

3. Agriculture, Forestry and Natural resources

4. Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Applications

5. Fisheries and Aquaculture

6. Environment

7. Energy

8. Manufacturing and Process Engineering

Global scene

Within the global scene, the following careers are presented as still in demand:

1. Nurses, Nursing Aids, and Olderlies' Attendants

2. Bio-chemists/Bio-physicits/Energy and Computer Soft Ware Engineers

3. Accountants and Financial Managers

4. Lawyers and Paralegals

5. Physician Assistants/Medical Officers and Cosmetologists

6. Skilled Trades and Public Utilities Jobs

7. Post-secondary School Teachers, including Counsellors and School Psychologists

The key skills required by investors and employers are summarized as follows:

1. Self-reliance skills,

2. People skills,

3. General skills, and

4. Specialist skills categories

Chapter Four of the book gives a detailed account of the Career Clusters and Occupation Categories. An illustration on how these sixteen categories fit into the National Sectors of the Uganda's economy (namely, Primary Growth Sector, Complimentary Sector, Social Services Sector and Enabling Sector) has also been provided to aid user's understanding.

Sixteen careers categories in total are identified and these include -:

   1. Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources
   2. Architecture and Construction
   3. Arts, Audio-Visual Technology and Communication
   4. Business Management and Administration
   5. Education, Training and Apprenticeship
   6. Finance, Budgeting and Taxation
   7. Governance and Public Administration
   8. Health Science
   9. Hospitality and Tourism
  10. Human and Social Services
  11. Information Technology
  12. Law, Public Safety, Corrections and Security
  13. Manufacturing
  14. Marketing, Sales and Services
  15. Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics
  16. Transportation, Distribution and Logistics

Under each cluster, an attempt has been made to relate the cluster careers and occupations to various government strategies/programmes, relevant to the field. For instance, for the Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources Careers Category, it is linked to Plan for Modernization of Agriculture, Agriculture Advisory Services, National Forestry Authority, National Environmental Authority, etc.

For each of the Career Cluster, also Courses and Career development prospects are presented to users. Critical subjects at 0' Level and combinations at A' Level are presented for each of the categories.

Courses presented for each category are based on the programmes available in the training institutions in Uganda. Consequently, a list of available institutions for Certificate, Diploma and Degree programmes are also given. Each cluster is concluded by an overview and description of all the available relevant occupations, an A-Z list of them.

A specific chapter has also been devoted to sports, culture and performing arts. This area is gaining popularity and offers many opportunities for employment, ranging from primary to secondary employment opportunities. These are discussed here in details.

Chapter Five is on skills training opportunities. A detailed list of Technical and Vocational School/Centres has also been given.

Chapter Six is on scholarships. Uganda annually receives scholarships for various programmes, especially post graduate studies abroad in critical areas prioritised by Government and are demanded by the national economy. Information on how to access these scholarships, and key areas for the scholarships are presented in this chapter.

Chapter Seven contains information on tertiary institutions and universities in Uganda. The chapter opens with a list of institutions and centres that offer some of the critical international and regional languages like Kiswahili, French, German, etc.

Foreign Languages
Foreign languages are presented in this publication as critical in putting Uganda at a competitive plane as globalization becomes a reality and the East African Community takes shape. It is also important for the operationalisation of the Labour Export Policy adopted by the Government.

All the tertiary institutions and universities recognized by National Council for Higher Education are presented in this chapter, with their contacts and physical locations for ease of reference of the students/teachers.

Chapter Eight of the book presents information on programme requirements and weighting system for admission to any of the tertiary institutions' programmes/courses. The book is concluded by a glossary, where key words are defined.

Chapter 1: General information

Core Subjects in Uganda Secondary Schools
1. Mathematics
2. English Language
3. Biology
4. Chemistry
5. Physics
6. Geography
7. History
8. Physical Education (Non-examinable)

Elective School Subjects

1. Foreign Languages (Latin, Arabic, French, German)

2. Local Languages (Kiswahili, Luganda)

3. Religious Education (CRE,IRE)

4. Literature in English

5. Music

6. Fine Art

7. Agriculture

8. Computer Studies

9. Business Education (Entrepreneurship/ Commerce/ Accounts)

10. Technical Education (Technical Drawing/ Woodwork/Metal Work)

11. Home Economics (Home Management/Food and Nutrition/Clothing and Textile)

Other Critical School Subjects, other than the Core Ones

· Metal Work,

· Wood Work,

· Fine Art and

· Technical Drawing

These are key foundation subjects for the skills training areas. Fine Art for instance, is a critical skills in:

· Industrial and interior designing,

· advertising,

· surgery and laboratory works; metal work is key for steel works/steel engineering while Technical Drawing is key for architectural engineering, medicine, and industrial design.


  • French,
  • Kiswahili,
  • German,
  • Chinese,
  • Arabic,
  • Spanish,
  • Japanese
  • Italian and Greek.

Labour externalization, including working with International NGOs, with UN Bodies e.g., UNESCO, UNDP, WFP, WHO, International Court, etc require additional ability to speak two or more of the international languages.

Individuals with this ability can work as:

  • interpreters,
  • Foreign Service Officers,
  • court clerks,
  • rapporteur, e.g. UN Rapporteur on Children,
  • trade representatives,
  • tour guide,
  • airport and hotel chauffeur,
  • hotel worker,
  • tourist site worker, etc.
Kiswahili is key for the East African Community, especially for one to work at the Secretariat, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, and DR Congo. DRC and Burundi requires additional knowledge of French.

Uganda's trade links with the Far East, especially China, Taiwan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan also requires ability for speaking the Oriental languages, especially Chinese, Korean and Japanese.

Uganda has also adopted a Labour Externalization Programme, regulated by the Statutory Instrument No. 62,

The Employment (Recruitment of Ugandan Migrant Workers Abroad) Regulation, 2005. This means that Uganda can now formally export labour to foreign countries. However, ability to speak the local language at the country of exportation is critical for one to be placed in such a foreign country. It implies that on top of the work related skills, one should also have language skills in one or more of the international languages as mentioned above.

Selection of Courses to Pursue

Whenever you are selecting institution or course of study, you need to consider the following factors:

1. Knowledge provision, technical versatility and a cluster of core competences and generic skills required for career flexibility or adaptation to new ideas, new career opportunities and procedures for steady career development;

2. Relevance of the course you want to pursue and forecast of occupations that will be available and their requirements;

3. Appropriate knowledge balance between subjects required and the theoretical and practical application or aspects of the field of occupation;

4. Ability to enable you fulfill your desired personal and social life style in the future;

5. Inculcation of your values, ethics and personal attitudes and beliefs in preparation for being self-sufficient and a responsible citizen;

6. Interdisciplinary application of your technical knowledge as many occupations now require more than one competence. This can be a good resource for career change or job mobility

7. The social and economic aspects of the career you would wish to pursue, as personality types or personal characteristics and individual social responsibilities are part and parcel of one's career and one should enhance the other;

8. Multicultural aspects, as globalization makes it possible for one to work anywhere in the region and internationally. This may include consideration about foreign language as a study and the study of different cultures and beliefs;

9. General administration, including business management and managerial accounting and entrepreneurial skills as more and more opportunities are now available for self-employment;

10. Skills in computer usage as globally it is one of the primary skills, after literacy, numeracy and Life-Skills; and

11. Minimum entry requirements to the institution or programme of study/course.

Selecting Skills Training Programmes

In terms of employability prospects, skills training is the best option available. This can be in formal training institutions, or through apprenticeship in various workstations like workshops, garages, building sites, salon, industry, etc. They are aimed at giving young people necessary skills for workmanship in a particular trade of their choice.

The graduates of skills training programmes are easily absorbed into the Small to Medium Enterprises, which are numerous in the country. Such graduates can also set up their own enterprises and become employers themselves!

There are a number of Technical and Vocational schools around the country, which offer such skills training programmes, ranging from:

  • Community Polytechnics,
  • Farm Schools,
  • Technical Schools,
  • Vocational Institutes and Technical Institutes
They offer various courses at certificate levels, which can enable one to move on with their education or career development, through to university, and attain the highest academic qualification in one's chosen career field.

For the informal or apprenticeship training, the Directorate of Industrial Training (DIT), which is mandated to regulate skills training In Uganda, has provisions for accreditation of such courses and also offer trade tests for those who engage in them informally.

DIT has also come up with modular courses or skills categorizations in various trades, outlining the competency and skills to be achieved for each module.

They also administer trade tests, which can allow one to join the formal technical or vocational school to pursue a UNEB Craft Certificate, in various trades, and hence enhancing one's chances of joining the normal path to career development and growth, through life-long and continuous learning and education.

The advantage with apprenticeship programme or informal training is that it has flexible entry requirements, including age.

The basic requirement is interest, self drive and determination to learn a skill or an art inadequacies in other areas like numeracy and literacy can be addressed through the various Adult education programmes available, including going back to formal education pathway.


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