A year after Ramarah Nakungu graduated with a Bachelors of Commerce, she had not found a job. She figured that despite her degree being an honours, she needed to get more qualifications to add weight to it. She thus enrolled at Uganda Management Institute (UMI) for Chartered Public Accountants (CPA). Now an auditor with EFC bank, she does not regret taking on the course.
Although there are not many professional courses in Uganda, there is a chance for graduates to pursue any of the available ones as the membership will not only market you in Uganda but also globally.
Vincent Owori, a lecturer in CPA and CIPS at Venus Business and Communication, says academic qualifications only help one to learn the theory part of the course as there is more to any course practically. “A course such as Certified Public Account (CPA) will make you stand out of the crowd of the many accountants. Students who undergo professional courses are looked at as problem solvers with better knowledge of handling their jobs,” says Owori.
Is there a right time?
Abdullah Mayanja, the head of professional courses department at Uganda Management Institute (UMI), says the best time would be after a degree. Through the degree background, he says, the graduate has already come across some terms that will make concepts at the professional course easy to grasp. “However, one can enroll for a professional course after O-Level such as Certified Public Accountant (CPA),” Mayanja says.
The hiring question
Joweria Nansereko, a human resource and administration manager at Graben 4pl Company in Bugolobi, Kampala, says companies hire professionals because they have edge above plain graduates. “A procurement manager with CIPS is equipped with more knowledge and practicability than one with only a degree,” she says.
Why the fuss?
“Employers and company clients feel more secure and safer with someone they feel is equipped with all competencies necessary for the job,” Nakungu, a CPA, says. Because most professional courses are international, one who pursues it can work abroad if they have to or want to. “ACCA, a UK course, is recognised in more than 170 countries in the world,” says Mayanja.
Some courses offered in Uganda
•Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)
•Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)
•Association of Business Executives (ABE)
•Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)
•Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply
•Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM)