Shortcuts to getting your first Degree: Some interesting degree routes not known by many
Below are important affordable career routes that may not require you to attend a four year degree course and that may be affordable in the long run. These routes are mostly useful to people with limited financing; who may not be able to pay the degree fees for four year degree study at once and those who may be interested to work while undertaking their studies.
The objective of the route is to guarantee you a job after you complete the first stages; and then use your income from the job to complete the remaining levels needed to obtain your first degree.
Option 1: CPA and ACCA to Degree
ACCA – You need to sit for and pass nine ACCA papers and a research project to be awarded a Bachelor of Science (Honours) degree in Applied Accounting from Oxford Brookes University, UK.
You however need to be careful if you decide to choose this route because. Although this degree can be completed in 2 years when sacrifice for time to study is made, if you lapse and perform poorly in the ACCA papers, it is very easy to get just a pass grade in the degree to be awarded a third class honors degree.
You should never attend any university to get anything less than a Second class Upper degree. See my article on why you need a high quality degree. You need at least an average score of 58 marks and above in all ACCA papers if you are to achieve a good class of degree.
CPA – After completing CPA (K), you will be exempted from sitting six ACCA papers. Although F8, Audit and Assurance paper is exempted from CPA (K) students, you must to do that paper again in ACCA for you to be considered for Oxford Brookes University Degree. You can study for ACCA papers at Strathmore University, Oshwal College, and Intel College among other colleges if you find this degree route interesting for you.
See guidelines of how you can get exemptions and how to complete your research and analysis project from either ACCA or Oxford Brookes University website.
Option 2: BTEC Higher national Diploma to Degree
• You can complete BTEC level 5 higher National diplomas offered at Intel and Oshwal colleges in Nairobi, Kenya and then proceed to the final year of UK degree studies. A variety of specializations such as accounting, business management, management Information Systems, Computing among are offered.
After BTEC HND, you will have a chance to join the final year of the Bachelor of Science (honours) in Accounting and Financial Management, Business Management or in Applied Computing offered by the University of Sunderland via Intel College Nairobi.
• ACCA part II and CPA (K) students and holders of other recognized Higher National diplomas, such as Association of Business Executives (ABE) and KNEC Higher Diplomas can also apply for Bachelor of Science degree final year or for an MBA for two years at Intel College, Nairobi, Kenya.
Option 3: Bachelor of Science (Honours) Management Information Systems
When computing was a new phenomenon is Kenya in the early 2000’s, many students from high school undertook the Institute for the Management of information systems (IMIS) diplomas, higher diplomas and Graduate diplomas but after completing these diplomas. It became difficult to get a place to convert them to a degree without having to undergo a four years degree programme.
It is now possible to convert your IMIS diploma to a degree in management Information Systems at Staffordshire University, UK online via distance learning as well as in Leicester university campus.
Improving your marketability in the job market
With competition rising to an above average level in the Kenyan job market, you need to have a competitive edge over your competitors when applying for any vacant position in your area of specialization. The following are the minimum must have certifications needed in different fields of careers specializations.
• Marketing – Certificate in Professional Marketing (CIM)
• Finance/Accounting – ACCA/CPA; advantage if you have CISA, CFA
• Investment – CPA/ACCA and Certified Financial Analyst (CFA)
• Business Analyst – Certified Business Analyst; Advantage if you have Project Management Professional(PMP)
• Purchasing and Supply Chain Management – Certificate in Procurement and Supply Operations
• Human Resources – Professional in Human Resources certificate
Key ICT specialization that will guarantee you a job immediately without a degree
You can have the following certifications and succeed without even having completed a diploma or degree in any of the following specializations.
o Network Administrator
You need Cisco CCNA, CCNA Security, Comptia Linux+ and MCSE
o Information Security Professional
You need either of Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) or Comptia Security+ or EC Certified Ethical Hacker/ EC Council Certified Security Analyst or CCNP – Security and CCNA/Comptia N+. Having COBIT or ITIL may also make you a preferred candidate.
o User Support and Maintenance
You need Comptia – A+, Comptia Server+ and Comptia N +/ CCNA and MCSE.
o ICT Management
You need a minimum of University/College Diploma in Computer Science or IT and ITIL/COBIT/PMP certifications. You can complete this diploma in two years in Nairobi University, JKUAT, KU and Egerton, Karatina, Dedan Kimathi Universities among others with options to finish the final two years and obtain the ever competitive and highly marketable Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Science.
In senior ICT jobs, a certificate in Project Management Professional (PMP) gives you an upper advantage over your competitors in the job market.