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15/04/2013

6 of the worst Jobs for 2013 and beyond.

Although the unemployment rate in Kenya is still high, certain jobs are still struggling more than others- and will continue to suffer for the remainder of the decade and beyond. Here you'll find ten job fields that are projected to lose large numbers of positions at rapid rates in coming years. The pay for these professions is also below average. To lend a hand to workers in these fields, we've also identified viable career alternatives.

Some of the jobs on our worst list might come as a surprise. Others reflect recognizable trends including advances in automated technologies, and shifts to online services. Take a look.

1. Switchboard Operator/Call Receptionist
Typical education: college certificate or equivalent

Automated answering services are rapidly replacing their human predecessors as switchboard operators, and the trend shows no signs of flagging. Note: These are not call center jobs. These are the people who answer the phone for businesses.

Alternate career: As a customer-service representative, you can still assist people over the phone, and
you'll likely get paid a little better.

2. Post Office Clerk
Typical education: college certificate or equivalent

Post office clerks have among the worst job prospects in Kenya. The Kenyan Postal Service has been losing business steadily to other delivery options, including private delivery courier companies like G4S and the Internet, through emails and other electronic forms of communication. With the usage of mobile money, a function that services like money order and postal order used to perform, employment in the postal industry is expected to head only one way- down.

Alternate career: Demand for mail clerks is growing outside the postal service, but those jobs pay less than what the post office does. A better bet is to become a shipping and receiving clerk for a government agency. Some of the duties are similar, and the job security is also high.

3. Factory electronic personnel.
Typical education: college diploma.

Manufacturing as a whole is projected to experience a significant employment growth in Kenya over the coming years, but certain manufacturing jobs are less promising because much of the work can be done more efficiently by machines. Some of the tasks will in future be replaced by robots, which are more adept at working on the increasingly smaller electronic equipment and maintaining a sterile work environment.

Alternate career: Consider becoming an electronic engineering technician. The position typically requires a diploma from college, as well as manual dexterity, critical-thinking skills and a propensity for math and science. Demand for electronic engineering technicians is projected to grow slightly, with more opportunities arising in the computer systems design services industry.

4. Printing Press Technician
Typical education: college certificate.

As more readers reach for digital versions of books, newspapers, and magazines, workers at various rungs of the printing process are facing a drop in demand. Prepress technicians, who prepare publications for the printing press, are particularly vulnerable as their functions are becoming more automated or being picked up by office employees.

Alternate career: Switch from paper to plastic…or metal. Workers who operate machines that cut, shape and form metal and plastic materials are looking toward a more prosperous future with demand for their roles expected to grow significantly. Computer-controlled print machine operators should see the biggest jump in employment numbers, but the work environment may be louder and more dangerous.

5. Desktop Publisher
Typical education: college diploma.

Another casualty of the print industry's struggles, desktop publishers are quickly losing their seats. Improved publishing software is making it easier and more affordable for other individuals to perform the functions of a desktop publisher, including laying out the design for printed materials such as brochures and mailers. Companies may also increasingly outsource these tasks in an effort to cut costs.

Alternate careers: You can make use of your desktop skills by working with engineers and architects as a draftsman. As a drafter, you'd create technical drawings and plans based on their designs.
If you'd rather stay in publishing, graphic designers are more sought after and the pay is more rewarding. But to be a highly sought after graphic designer, you typically need a bachelor's degree in Computer Science/IT to get started in this field.
6. Journalism Reporter
Typical education: bachelor's degree

The ongoing shift toward the digital consumption of news continues to pressure newspaper and magazine publishers, as well as television and radio broadcasters. While it's true that more money is being earned online as a result, it's not enough to offset the revenue lost to circulation and viewership declines. Adding to reporters' woes, the rise of large media companies has made news anchors and arm-chair analysts to be more effective than on the ground reporters. Additionally, in Kenya at least, media companies are trying to make news anchors to also be reporters, in the process cutting down on the number of staff.

Alternate careers: Try jumping on the other end of the press release, and pick up a gig in public relations. As a PR specialist, you'd still be in media and communications, but you'd be in much higher demand and earn more than your journalistic counterparts.

If you're set on staying in journalism, consider a switch to broadcast news analyst. You can work on-air as a newscaster or behind the scenes as a news director. Broadcast news analysts are paid better than reporters and correspondents.

Acknowledgements: Some of the ideas have been adapted from Yahoo Finance.

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