Below we answer the question that often pops up when form 4 leavers are applying for college: Is veterinary medicine marketable in Kenya?
Truth be told, jobs are hard to come by in Kenya and it’s important to do adequate research before committing your money and time to a course.
Sadly, local colleges hardly share any useful information when it comes to the marketability of a course and students often end up doing courses that are already flooded.
Let’s examine the prospects of veterinary courses in Kenya at the moment:
You will also learn a couple of other things including:
- Average veterinary medicine salary in Kenya
- Requirements and where to take veterinary medicine courses in Kenya.
- What else you can do with your veterinary science course.
Is veterinary medicine marketable in Kenya?
The short answer is YES! A degree in veterinary medicine and even a Diploma can be pretty marketable.
The catch is, you have to know what to do with it for it to be helpful.
But what does that really mean?
Continue reading to understand what we mean by this..
Is veterinary medicine marketable in Kenya- the long answer
You see, a vet course has very diversified career options.
For instance, you can become an expert medical researcher or even a scholar- you work as a professor of veterinary medicine in Kenya or abroad.
You can also work in public health, disaster management, food safety/security, and bio-terrorism entities.
Additionally, there are suitable roles for graduates of veterinary medicine in the pharmaceutical industry- you could help in discovering animal medications, become a project manager, work as a quality assurance manager etc.
But to qualify for these opportunities, you must be open-minded and pursue the right educational papers.
Specifically, you may have to take specialized courses after your initial training at the undergraduate level.
Plus, you might require to build more on the job experience – even if it means volunteering- to be eligible for such openings.
Besides, you can be employed by nonprofits dealing with animal health such as FHI 360.
What’s more, the veterinary profession fits well with a couple of other careers including journalism (you become an expert biomedical writer) and security services- there are veterinary graduates currently serving in the military, police service, etc.
Of course, many students only chase vacancies in professional farms and in the few government projects involved in veterinary medicine such as KEMRI hence the assumption that the veterinary profession has no jobs.
The other popular option for fresh graduates who’re unaware of the versatility of the veterinary course is the Directorate of Veterinary Services under the Ministry of Agriculture.
Now we look at a couple of other issues regarding veterinary courses in Kenya.
Bachelor of veterinary medicine requirements
The cut off points for veterinary medicine vary from one university to the next and the best way to confirm is by checking the KUCCPS portal.
Of course, you must have at least a C+ mean grade and have a similar grade in Biology, Mathematics/Physics, Chemistry, and English.
You can also be allowed to join the program with any of these qualifications:
- A Diploma in Animal Husbandry, Animal Health, Range Management, Wildlife Management, and related disciplines.
- A degree course in Biological Sciences.
Universities offering veterinary medicine
For a bachelor of veterinary medicine, you can choose the following institutions:
- Kabete veterinary college (University of Nairobi).
- Egerton University (Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine/Surgery)
Meanwhile, the following universities are accredited to offer BSc. in Animal Health & Production and not a ‘pure’ Degree in Veterinary Medicine:
- Kenyatta University
- Pwani University (Kilifi)
- JKUAT (Juja)
- Meru University
- Mount Kenya University (Thika Campus)
Diploma in veterinary medicine requirements
If you missed out on the university grades, consider starting your career by taking a Diploma in Animal Health and Production because no local institution offers a pure diploma in veterinary medicine in Kenya.
The mean entry grade is C (or a relevant certificate course) and you could be required to have a C plain grade in Mathematics, English/Kiswahili, Physics, and Chemistry/Physical Sciences, and Biology/Biological Sciences.
The following institutions are licensed to offer the course:
- Bukura Agricultural College
- Chuka University
- Kisii University
- AHITI (Animal-Health-Industry-Training-Institute) Kabete
The Diploma is also available from MKU, Chuka University, and Egerton.
Certificate in veterinary medicine requirements
With a C-, you qualify for a certificate in animal health (and not Veterinary medicine again).
The Kenya Veterinary Board (KVB) has accredited several colleges to train students in the certificate course.
- Chuka University
- Kisii University
- Livestock Training Institute (Griftu- Wajir)
Salary of a veterinary officer in Kenya (veterinary medicine salary)
According to estimates, a Veterinary Technician earns about Kshs.80000 per month.
Salaries, however, range from Kshs.45000-140000 inclusive of benefits such as housing, travelling, and more.
Those working in NGOs generally earn more.
Other Jobs where a veterinary medicine course could be useful
- Environmental consultant.
- Nature conservation officer.
- Science writer.
- Veterinary nurse.
- Game ranger.
- Research scientist (medical/ life sciences).
For these, the salaries vary a lot.
Skills that can make your veterinary medicine degree more marketable
Having the following skills could make you more attractive to employers:
- Outstanding interpersonal and team-working skills.
- Good communication skills.
- The ability to critically analyze and evaluate information.
- Customer service skills.
- Problem-solving skills.
- Time management skills.
Many people wrongly believe that veterinary doctors can only work on private farms and their personal veterinary practices and there are no big veterinary jobs in Kenya.
However, as we have seen, no course is entirely worthless and the same applies to veterinary medicine in Kenya.
But, like with many other courses, you have to be smart to avoid joining the ‘tarmacking’ masses out there.
Luckily, this article has given you some beautiful ideas about how to approach this.
Good luck and remember to like our Facebook page here for more informative career guides.