IT courses in Kenya – all you need to know

In this particular post, I will give you a very detailed breakdown of the different IT courses in Kenya…

We shall look at where you can take them, their requirements, their marketability, and how you can stand out in the market with an IT course.

I hope this helps you in making a better decision when it comes to choosing the right IT course for you.

IT courses in Kenya

Before we proceed, let me clear the air by mentioning that there is no difference between Information Technology (IT) and Information Communication Technology (ICT) courses.

That said, the IT/ICT field is quite wide – there are dozens of different IT courses you can choose from such as:

  1. Software engineering
  2. Networking
  3. Cloud computing
  4. Cybersecurity
  5. Animation and graphics design
  6. Web design
  7. Database administration
  8. System administration
  9. System analyst among others
  10. Hardware engineering (maintenance technician)

In addition, some courses are arising from the integration of IT with some other fields. Some of these courses include:

  1. Data science
  2. Machine learning
  3. Digital marketing
  4. Photography and video editing among others

With this wide range of options to choose from, in the end, choosing the right IT course comes down to what career you want to pursue.

Since IT is so wide, the best course will be dependent on what your dream/passion is.

The good thing about IT courses is that anyone can study them – even those transitioning from one job to the IT field.

With that in mind, below are the different options you have when it comes to pursuing IT courses:

1. Take regular IT courses

When I talk about regular IT courses, I mean the courses that we hear on a daily basis:

  • Certificate in IT
  • Diploma in IT (Diploma in ICT)
  • Degree in IT/ICT – this degree is very close to a degree in computer science
  • Specialty degrees such as a degree in software engineering or a degree in cybersecurity

IT course requirements in Kenya

  • Certificate in IT course requirements: Most TVETs require that you have at least a D plain in KCSE to qualify for a certificate in IT course.

Usually, this course will last for around 1 year.

Once you have completed the certificate level, you are open to proceed to the diploma level.

  • Diploma in IT course requirements: Most institutions that offer this course have a minimum entry requirement of at least a C- (C minus) in KCSE. The good thing is that most of these institutions do not have cluster requirements.

Usually, you can expect to complete your diploma in 2 years. After this, you are open to upgrading to an IT degree.

  • Degree in IT course requirements: The minimum entry requirement is at least a C+ but this will vary from one university to the other.

In addition, a degree in an IT-related course will have its own subject cluster requirements. However, the cut-off points will vary from one university to the other – you can always get them from the KUCCPS website.

The good news is that these subject cluster requirements can be waived for you if you’re upgrading from a diploma.


That said, not all people wishing to enter into the IT field take this route. This is more so for people who have done other courses and are trying to transition into the IT field.

Which brings me to the other three ways you can learn IT courses:

2. Attend bootcamps or take specialized short IT courses

Some institutions offer specialized IT bootcamps and short courses.

These options are great if you are looking for specific IT skills such as software engineering, cybersecurity, computer networking, and so on.

In Kenya, we have several institutions that offer some of these short courses and bootcamps such as JKUAT and our own Kenya Online College.

The good news about these institutions is that they offer recognized certifications which increases your chances of landing a job.

At Kenya Online College, we teach several IT short courses. We teach using a fully hands-on approach in addition to working on real-world projects that help build a good portfolio for our learners.

This helps our students to gain the necessary skills required by employers hence why our students rarely fail to land jobs upon graduation.

To learn more about our IT courses, get in touch with our admissions office by calling/WhatsApping us on 0797 532 345.

3. Take professional IT certifications

Basically, these are high-level skill-based IT courses.

I say high-level because the courses are very specialized – they focus on giving you very specific in-depth skills in a certain line.

Some very good examples of such certifications are Cisco’s CCNA and EC Council’s CEH (Certified Ethical Hacker).

CCNA helps establish you as a networking engineer while the CEH certification helps establish you as a cybersecurity professional.

The good thing about these professional certifications is that most of them are internationally recognized.

As a result, you can use the certifications to apply for international remote jobs – they pay more compared to local jobs.

So, where can you take these professional certifications?

Well, it depends on the certification that you’re looking to pursue… Some local institutions offer some of these certifications depending on how well the institution is equipped.

4. Study IT courses as an apprentice

This is an unorthodox way to study IT-related courses.

Here, you approach an organization/IT professional and request to join them as an apprentice and learn under their wings.

Since this method is not widely recognized in Kenya (it’s recognized in some nations), you should only go down this road if your objective is to venture into self-employment.

Otherwise, you might fail to secure a job since most employers will require you to have a certificate to prove you are knowledgeable on the course.


Moving on…

Now, let’s tackle the big questions for any course:

  • Are the courses marketable?
  • Do they pay well?

How marketable are IT courses?

The short answer is IT courses are extremely marketable.


Today, nearly every aspect of the world is run using ICT systems… From businesses to sports to schools to entertainment and so on.

In fact, skilled IT gurus are so in demand that even companies are advertising their jobs internationally (remote) due to lack of enough skilled personnel.

If you quickly skim through remote jobs, you will find out that most of them are IT-related jobs.

But, why do I know several people who graduated top of their class with an IT degree/diploma yet they are jobless?

Well, here’s the hard truth…

In Kenya, you will find out that the curriculum most tutors are using does not match what the industry requires for two main reasons:

  • Either the curriculum is outdated
  • Or it is too theoretical (it does not build on the skills)

This means that by the time you graduate, you won’t have the necessary skills to convince an employer to hire you.

Remember, an employer will hire you to monetize your skills (what you can do for him/her) rather than you learning on the job.

So, how can you improve your marketability if you have done an IT course?

The best way to stand out is by taking short specialized courses or attending bootcamps depending on the IT field you want to venture into.

The good thing about specialized courses and bootcamps is that they help improve your skills since they are usually fully hands-on.

For instance, if you want to become a software engineer, you can take a software engineering short course such as ours – learn more about the course.

Additionally, we provide our students with internships to help them improve their skills while showcasing their talent to potential employers.

But don’t stop there…

Once you acquire the necessary skills, proceed to build a portfolio – you can find possible projects to work on online.

In fact, a portfolio is the most key thing you should have if you want to easily land a job in the IT sector.

This is because a portfolio is usually the first thing potential employers ask you for before they even look at your papers.

Also, don’t forget to network! Go for seminars and workshops that are relevant to your field.

And finally, research on how to find remote jobs since many foreign companies are offering remote IT jobs.

And, these jobs tend to pay better and are more flexible compared to local jobs.

What is the salary for IT-related careers?

To be honest, the amount you earn will depend on the career path you take – some IT careers pay better than others.

Having said that, let me share with you the expected salaries for some of the most common IT career paths (we shall start with those that pay very nicely and their demand is growing quite fast and work our way down):

  1. Cybersecurity: According to recent job data, the demand for cybersecurity researchers and experts will grow at an average rate of 30% for the next few years.

The salary for cybersecurity experts in Kenya starts at around Ksh. 60,000 for entry-level positions to as much as Ksh. 500,000 for experienced personnel.

However, you can earn more if you work for international companies remotely – you can make as much as 12,000 USD/month!

If cybersecurity sounds like something you might want to venture into, we offer a specialized fully hands-on cybersecurity certification – find more about it here.

  1. Software engineering: Being one of the most in-demand IT courses in Kenya, you can expect to earn anywhere from ksh. 60,000 (entry-level) to more than ksh. 500,000 (senior roles) depending on where you are working.

The good thing about software engineering is that you can also work for international companies remotely… Most of these companies will pay you in dollars and you can make as much as USD 10,000 per month.

That said, you can venture into software engineering through a specialized course… The best is the one we offer at Kenya Online College – check it out here.

  1. Data scientists & machine learning engineers: For the most part, people in these careers have studied a combination of software engineering and mathematics.

With that in mind, if you venture into these careers, you can expect to earn anywhere from ksh. 44,000 for entry-level roles to more than ksh. 370,000 as you gain experience.

And like software engineers and cybersecurity professionals, you can also work remotely as a data scientist or as a machine learning engineer… And the pay is also good – you can earn anywhere from 8,000+ USD/month depending on the company you’re working for.

  1. System administrator: Oftentimes, these guys work at managerial levels as IT department managers.

That said, as an entry-level system administrator, you can expect to earn around ksh. 41,000…

As your experience increases, your salary will also increase to around ksh. 318,000 (or more depending on where you work).

  1. Hardware technicians/professionals: It’s important to note that these professionals are not in demand as the ones we have discussed above.

Having said that, at an entry-level role, you can start earning from ksh. 30,000 and climb to around 200-250k per month as your experience increases.

Short IT courses in Kenya

Now, if you want to venture into specialized IT courses, then you are at the right place.

At Kenya Online College, we offer several short IT courses that are recognized in the job market.

We teach our courses using a fully hands-on approach and giving our students real-world projects to work on… These projects help them in creating their own portfolios.

In addition, we link our students with local companies for internship opportunities where they get to improve their skills and network with potential employers.

Having said that, here are some of the specialized short IT courses we offer:

  • Cybersecurity
  • Software engineering
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Graphics design
  • Digital marketing
  • Photography and video editing

To learn more about our courses and curriculum, schedule a free consultation with an Admissions Counselor by calling/WhatsApping the admissions office on 0797 532 345.

Final thoughts on IT courses in Kenya

As the world continues to adopt IT in a big way, the demand for IT gurus continues to rise.

However, you can only take advantage of this increased demand only if you have the right skills and a good portfolio.

At Kenya Online College, we offer some marketable and specialized IT courses (we have mentioned them above).

And, we teach these courses using a fully hands-on approach and real-world projects.

For more information about our courses and their requirements, you can get in touch with our admissions office by calling/WhatsApping us on 0797 532 345.


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