University of Rwanda should strengthen Career Guidance Services to students

Students should be made aware of career guidance services. Net photo

University plays the most important role in the entire span of a student’s career. It is the place where a student learns the basic tenants of life and education. But, is University of Rwanda doing enough to boost its students’ career?

Maybe they are doing all they can but one thing is for sure, they need to do more to improve career guidance services provided to students by trying to be considerate of student needs.

University Career guidance consists of the services that help students to successfully manage their career development and to pursue what they want to do after leaving school.

Lecturers need to be encouraged to contemplate new ways to merge career contents into the school curriculum to bring life to subjects. This will help in building a connection between class learning and student aspirations.

For instance, highlighting how a particular scientific process is used in industry can increase the perceived relevance of curriculum. This is also an ideal place to involve employers by inviting them to talk about how they use skills acquires from school.

Students shared their thoughts on how best career guidance can be delivered to them. It was later realized that most UR students do not know what career guidance is and what’s for them in it. Sources requested that their anonymity be kept.

A second year student in Geography and Urban Planning insisted that UR students do not have time to think on their careers, all they care is to pass without retaking any course. She suggested that at this extent university should intervene and educate about career guidance.

A fourth year student in Geography and Urban Planning believes that students should be assisted to pursue what matches their majors. In his own words:

” I think career guidance would be more helpful if it helps student chase what matches their passion and talents, as in before students apply into departments they can be given enough details about probable careers to pursue after studies.”

A second year student in Geology shared his experience of when he was choosing his career while he was applying for studying in University of Rwanda:

” After leaving high school my friend suggested me to go for Geology because it was a new course in University of Rwanda which makes it easy to get job. I have done my own research but now I realize that my reason was not enough to go for it”.

He suggested that Career Guidance Center should be concerned in the process of application mostly on student portal so that students are given all the help they need regarding career path they want to take.

He believes that he could have made a better choice if university provided assistance during his university application.

A third year student in Biochemistry thinks that career guidance department is under-resourced that there are few professionals compared to the number of the students in need for an assistance. He said that “if they consider career guidance as an issue they will increase the number of professionals in the sector.”

A fourth year student in Computer Engineering sees the issue not in career pursuing strategies but in the education system instead.

“Our education system forces us to retain instead of understand.  The best minds at memorizing get good grades and smart students get average grades. Most of our lecturers want us to retain instead of understand. That does encourage students to think critically in the context of real life issue,” she said.

Students should not expect the university to find jobs and careers for them. They should have an open mind and stay in touch with the real world market. They should ready themselves to seize available opportunities.

Students want to be successful and they don’t mind getting help, and it is university’s responsibility to help them build strong careers. Having a strong career guidance center in university is the first step in doing that. It is a great first step indeed.