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Careers For Us

Every day in The Republic of The Gambia, thousands of secondary school students ask themselves the same, exact question: “What career shall I pursue during my working professional years in the horizon?” According to the 2018 Gambia Labour Force Survey, the following could be noted:

Working Age Population

The result shows that the working age population is 1,256,859 persons. Among the LGAs, Brikama (46.3%) has the highest proportion, followed by Kanifing (21.3%) and Kerewan (8.4%). By age group 68.2 percent of the working age population is of the ages 15-35 years (youth) and 31.8 percent are between the ages 36-64 years. The results further show that 53 percent of the population is in the labour force while 43 percent are outside the labour force. The labour force participation rate is 53 percent and the proportion was higher in the rural (58%) than in the urban areas (49.2%). Persons who attained diploma and higher level of education had the highest participation rates with 76.9 percent and 76.5 percent respectively, followed by those with vocational education (64.3%) while the least participation rate is observed among persons with lower secondary education (37.9%) and upper secondary education (45.3%).

Employed Population

The number of employed persons is 431,168 (64.8%); of which 275,939 are males and 155,229 females, meaning there are more employed males than females. By place of residence, the proportion of the employed population is higher in the urban areas with 65.5 percent compared to the rural areas (34.5%). Brikama had the highest proportion of the employed population across all the age groups (51.1%) followed by Kanifing (26.2%). In all occupations, more males are engaged than females and difference is more pronounced in plant and machine operation and assembling occupation.

Informal Sector 

The results show that among households engaged in informal activities, 61 percent are male-headed and 39 percent are female-headed households. Furthermore, the urban areas have more households (65%) engaged in informal activities than the rural areas (35%). For the proportion of the employed population in informal activities, about 63 percent are males and 66 per cent are females in the urban areas and 37 per cent (males) and 34 percent (females) in the rural areas. The proportion of males is higher than females for all status of employment in the informal sector. The results of the survey further shows that the proportions of employees, employers or own-account workers are higher in the urban than the rural areas. Analysis of the data by level of education shows that, the highest proportion of those employed in the informal sector has no education (46.4%); followed by those with upper (17.5%) and lower (15.2%) secondary education.”

These numbers speak for themselves and enlighten us on the harsh realities to be remedied in order to sensitize and increase the awareness amongst the future leaders of our nation. Organisations such as the one at www.gambiaeducation.info are quite engaged in that arena as they have the following guidance published for students seeking clarity:

“…Come and explore the education guide to Gambia that provides all inclusive free unlimited resources and information on the entire gamut of education. It is a one stop for a rich source of information on schools, colleges and higher research studies besides opening doors to a variety of career options and paths. Find all you need to know about applying to the college of your dreams, achieve your academic goals and excel in your chosen career field…Choosing your career is an important decision, based on several factors which would include interests, skills, education qualification and personality. Today, students are spoiled with choices. Making a career choice has therefore become a very difficult task. You need to spend some time and energy into making an informed decision

Assess Yourself: Before making a choice, you should understand your likes and dislikes. If you are clear about your personality traits and interests, selecting your career becomes very simple. If you are a creative person, you should choose a career from media and communications. Similarly, if you like to build machines or work on computers, a career in engineering would suit you.

Educational Qualifications: Now that you have your degrees, it is better to have a career commensurate with your qualifications. Certain careers like management, finance and engineering require specialized qualifications.

Set your Goals: You should set goals for your life. You should have a plan for the next five years and work towards your career accordingly. If you know what you want to do in life and where you wish to see yourself five years from now, choosing your career will become simple.

Career Viability: You should opt for a career which has excellent job prospects. Though almost all careers have good job prospects, you might have to struggle in the initial days as far as some careers are concerned. If you wish to be a writer, it is advisable to work as a technical or a content writer for some time before you can establish yourself as a fiction writer…

Explore career options in different areas 

Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Agriculture, Architecture and Engineering, Computer Science, Legal and Paralegal Services, Psychology, Consumer Services, Hospitality, and Tourism, Liberal Arts and Humanities, Sports, Culinary Arts and Personal Services, Management, Technology, Education, Manufacturing and Production, Transportation and Distribution, Visual and Performing Arts, Business and Finance, Community and Social Service, Healthcare, Media Communications and Entertainment…”

The students in The Gambia have quite a variety of options to consider in their career choices nowadays. Internet technology has given them the option of accessing information at the speed of light as well as the opportunity to work at a distance for organisations located in other parts of the globe. Furthermore, for those that have the entrepreneurial spirit, they can create their own companies and create jobs for individuals in the Gambian labour force as well as foreign workers in just about any nation on the planet. Globalisation is a reality and participating sustainably in that dimension of things is a must if the future leaders of our nation want to have a highly performing and growing economy.

Many are the measures that should be adopted within our institutions in The Gambia educational system. The teachers and various staff members should be fully equipped thanks to seminars, conferences and workshops to better shape the minds that they have been entrusted with by the communities.

Last, but not least, the proper budgets should be allocated in the parliamentary sessions at the national assembly level. The various institutions in our nation should have the capability of implementing innovation without facing financial obstacles. Investing in education and in the students of today can definitely proactively remedy the obstacles of tomorrow for the 3rd Republic so that it becomes the one that turns the chapter in our history books and puts The Gambia on the map as the saying goes.

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