90% of high school graduates end up following a totally different career path from what they dreamt of when they joined college. Blame the education system, rigid minded parents and life. It’s either your cluster points weren’t adequate or you didn’t have money for school fees or both. However, at the end of the day we all get a career, not our calling, but something to take us through life. Usually, people find this ‘something’ after trying many options and wasting a lot of money and time.
Let’s take an instance in a finance career. You can decide to take a degree in BCom, Actuarial Science, Business Magt, Accounting etc. These degree as much as they are different, they could lead you to the same destination. For example, a degree in BCom (insurance option) could make you an underwriter, so would a BSc Actuarial Science. For this reason you need to consolidate your degree with a professional exam to prove specialisation. Most people however begin taking these professional papers without a clear career plan ending up with almost every qualification.
Before you begin your career development, you should ask your self exactly what you want. Do you want to be an Accountant, An Underwriter, An Actuary, Financial Auditor or an Investment Analyst. If your long term goal is to be an Actuary but you think it will take a while to achieve it, decide whether you want to go on a single path or you want diversity. If you want to build a career in Accounting, you will have to take CPA qualification. If you want a career in auditing you will need the CSIA qualification. If you want a career in insurance you might consider a DIIK qualification. If you want a career in Investment Analysis, consider a CFA. If you want a career in Actuarial Services you will have to take the Actuarial qualification. Any of these qualifications plus any of the degree above will lead you to the respective career.
You can decide to begin as soon you finish high school. The earlier the better.
CPA: Certified Public Accountant
CSIA: Certified Securities and Investment Analyst
DIIK: Diploma in Insurance (Kenya)
CFA: Chartered Financial Analyst