Is Software Engineering Marketable in Kenya

ByKenneth Nyabora

Sep 1, 2023
Is Software Engineering Marketable in Kenya

The demand for software engineers is at an all-time high thanks to the ongoing digital evolution. According to, the average salary for a software engineer in Kenya is KSh 1,027,879.

The world is increasingly relying on technology and software to improve how we live and work.

As a software engineer, you’ll be at the forefront of innovation. But before you dive into coding and building the next big app, you need to get the right education.

In Kenya, there are a few options for learning software engineering.

This guide will walk you through what’s required to become a software engineer, how much it costs, and the top colleges offering programs in Kenya.

By the end, you’ll know if software engineering is a marketable skill in Kenya and how to land your first job in the field.

The tech industry is booming across the globe, and Kenya is no exception. There’s never been a better time to start a career as a software engineer.

Let’s get into what you need to know to join this growing industry.

Software Engineering Course

Software engineering is a field that involves designing, developing, and maintaining software systems. It is a lucrative and fulfilling career path, especially for people who are passionate about finding solutions to humanity’s problems.

In Kenya, software engineering is a highly marketable field, both locally and abroad.

Here’s what you need to know about the course.

Course Requirements

To pursue a degree in Software Engineering, you’ll need a minimum KCSE mean grade of C+ with C+ in Mathematics and Physics or Computer Studies. Some colleges may require higher grades.

The course takes 4 years of full-time study to complete a Bachelor’s degree.

You’ll take classes in programming languages like Java and C++, software design and architecture, database systems, and software testing. There are also general education requirements.


Tuition fees range from Ksh150,000 to Ksh500,000 per year depending on the college.

Top public and private universities charge on the higher end of the scale. Additional costs include accommodation, learning materials, and transportation.

Some institutions offer scholarships and student loans to help make this field of study more accessible. It’s worth applying to see if you qualify for financial assistance.


Reputable colleges for Software Engineering include University of Nairobi, Kenyatta University, Strathmore University, JKUAT, and Zetech University. These schools have dedicated IT departments with experienced lecturers and offer internship opportunities.

A degree in Software Engineering can open up many career paths. With hard work and persistence, you’ll gain the knowledge and skills to land an exciting, well-paying job in Kenya’s growing tech sector. If you have a passion for programming and building innovative solutions, this could be the ideal course of study for you.

Top Software Engineering Colleges in Kenya

There are several universities and colleges in Kenya that offer software engineering courses, including Strathmore UniversityJomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, and University of Nairobi.

When it comes to software engineers, Kenya has some of the top colleges on the continent.

The University of Nairobi is a pioneer in IT education and offers both undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in Software Engineering.

Their program provides a strong foundation in programming, software design, and project management. With affordable fees and a proven track record, UoN is a top choice.

Strathmore University is a leading private university in Kenya known for excellence in IT and Business courses.

Their Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering covers emerging technologies like cloud computing, mobile apps, and web services.

Strathmore has partnerships with tech companies like Google, Microsoft and Cisco, so students get opportunities for internships and employment.

Kenya Methodist University offers a market-driven curriculum focused on developing in-demand software engineering skills.

Their program includes specializations in areas like big data analytics, cyber security, and fintech. KMU partners with the Kenya Private Sector Alliance to ensure students are well-prepared for careers in the tech field.

Technical University of Mombasa is one of the most affordable options, with a Bachelor of Technology in Software Engineering.

Their program focuses on practical skills for developing, testing, and deploying software systems.

TUM students can participate in national and international hackathons, coding bootcamps, and internships to build experience.

With affordable fees, courses focused on emerging tech, and partnerships with industry leaders, Kenya’s top software engineering colleges provide students the knowledge and experience to succeed in today’s digital world.

The opportunities for rewarding careers in this growing field are abundant.

Software Engineering Curriculum and Course Requirements

To pursue a degree in Software Engineering in Kenya, there are a few requirements and prerequisites you’ll need to be aware of.


The curriculum typically involves a mixture of technical and theoretical coursework. You can expect classes in:

  • Programming languages like Java, C++, and Python
  • Software design and development
  • Data structures and algorithms
  • Database systems
  • Operating systems
  • Software architecture
  • Engineering mathematics

In addition to the core software engineering courses, you’ll take general education classes in areas like English, communication, and business.

Most programs also require students to complete an internship or capstone project to gain hands-on experience.

Admission Requirements

To be admitted into a Software Engineering program, you’ll need:

  • A high school diploma with minimum grades in mathematics and science subjects.
  • Strong analytical and logical thinking skills.
  • Proficiency in English and mathematics.
  • An aptitude for problem-solving.

Some colleges may require you to take additional tests like the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service exams.

Applicants with a background in IT or computer science may be given preference.

Program Fees

The cost of a Software Engineering degree can vary significantly between colleges. Public universities typically charge lower fees than private institutions.

You can expect to pay between 70,000 to 250,000 Kenyan Shillings per semester for a Bachelor’s degree.

Additional expenses will include books, supplies, accommodation, and living costs if studying away from home. Scholarships, bursaries, and student loans may be available to help cover program fees and related costs.

With the right dedication, a Software Engineering degree can open up many career opportunities. But make sure you understand all that is involved before embarking on the program.

If you have the necessary skills and resources, it can be a very rewarding field of study.

Estimated Fees for Software Engineering Programs

Software engineering programs in Kenya typically range from KES 300,000 to KES 1,000,000 per year, depending on the school and program.

Public universities like Kenyatta University, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, and University of Nairobi tend to charge lower fees, around KES 300,000 to KES 500,000 per year.

Private universities and colleges usually charge higher fees, from KES 600,000 up to KES 1,000,000 annually.

The costs for software engineering programs in Kenya can differ based on where you want to study and what level of learning you’re aiming for.

For example, if you’re interested in the diploma course at the Kenya Institute of Software Engineering, it’ll cost you Ksh 19,200 for each semester.

To join the degree course, you need to have achieved a mean grade of C+ in your K.C.S.E exams. For the diploma course, you should have a C-minus as the minimum requirement.

The degree program takes four academic years, which is equal to eight semesters. On the flip side, the diploma course is shorter, lasting for six semesters or 18 months.

If you’re thinking about certificate courses, they can be completed in just six months.

Kenyatta University

Kenyatta University offers a Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering for around KES 320,000 per year.

Their 4-year degree program provides a solid foundation in software engineering, including software design, web and mobile app development, database systems, software testing, and project management.

Africa Nazarene University

Africa Nazarene University has a Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering program for approximately KES 680,000 per year.

In addition to core software engineering courses, their curriculum also includes business and IT courses to provide a well-rounded education.

They emphasize software solutions for businesses and organizations. Internship opportunities are also available.

Strathmore University

Strathmore University is a popular, private institution offering a Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering for about KES 950,000 per year.

Their program focuses on developing high-quality software and IT solutions, with courses in areas like software architecture, machine learning, and cybersecurity.

Strathmore aims to produce graduates ready for careers as software engineers, web developers, and IT project managers.

In summary, while software engineering programs in Kenya may require a substantial investment, the field continues to grow rapidly with many promising career opportunities.

With hard work and perseverance, the financial reward of a career as a software engineer can offset the initial costs of your education.

Is Software Engineering Marketable in Kenya

Yes, Software engineering is one of the marketable courses in Kenya and most lucrative careers in Kenya today.

With many tech companies setting up offices in Nairobi and an increasing demand for local tech talent, software engineers are in high demand.

In summary, software engineering is a highly marketable field in Kenya with exciting career opportunities and a high demand for skilled professionals.

Job opportunities

There are many job opportunities for software engineers in Kenya, especially in Nairobi. Major companies like Anthropic, Microsoft, IBM, and Google have engineering offices in Kenya and are always on the lookout for top software engineering talent.

Local startups and mid-sized companies also employ many software engineers across a range of industries like fintech, healthtech, Safaricom, Airtel and edtech.

Salary potential

According to recent surveys, the average pay for a software engineer in Kenya is around Ksh 70,000 and Ksh 240,000 per month. Senior software engineers and engineering managers can make Ksh 800,000 per month or more.

In some cases, engineers are offered benefits like healthcare, paid time off, stock options, and bonuses. The high demand for software engineers means strong salary growth over the course of a career.

The average salary of a software engineer in Kenya ranges between Ksh 70,000 and Ksh 240,000 per month.

However, some of the highest-paid software engineers in Kenya work for companies such as Andela and Safaricom

Required education

To become a software engineer in Kenya, you typically need at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science, software engineering, or a related field.

Some software engineers get started with an associate’s degree or coding bootcamp, but a 4-year degree is preferred by most employers.

Coursework in data structures, algorithms, programming languages, and software engineering are especially useful. Strong skills in languages like Java, C++, and JavaScript are important for most software engineering roles.

In summary, software engineering is a rewarding career path in Kenya with many job opportunities, strong salary potential, and options for career growth over the long run.

If you have a mind for solving complex problems, software engineering could be an excellent field to pursue.

Job Prospects for Software Engineers in Kenya

The job market for software engineers in Kenya looks promising.

According to recent reports, the tech industry in Kenya is growing rapidly, with many international companies setting up offices in Nairobi and hiring local talent.

Growing Demand

There is a shortage of software engineering skills in Kenya, so the demand for software engineers is high. Many companies are hiring software engineers for jobs like:

  • Web developer
  • Mobile app developer
  • Data scientist
  • Cloud engineer

Competitive Salaries

Salaries for software engineers in Kenya are very competitive. According to Glassdoor, the average pay for a software engineer in Kenya is Ksh 500,000 to Ksh 1,000,000 per year.

Senior software engineers and engineering managers can make significantly more.

Career Advancement

There are many opportunities for career growth as a software engineer in Kenya. With a few years of experience, you can become a senior software engineer, team lead or engineering manager.

You can also move into specialized roles like data scientist, security engineer or solutions architect.

Remote Work Available

Some companies hire Kenyan software engineers for remote positions, allowing you to work from home or a coworking space.

This provides more flexibility and opportunities to work for international companies. Many remote software engineering jobs are also available on freelance job platforms like Upwork and Fiverr.

To succeed as a software engineer in Kenya, continually strengthen your technical and soft skills. Keep up with new technologies and languages, build a strong portfolio of work, and grow your professional network. The future is bright for software engineering careers in Kenya, with many opportunities for those willing to work hard and gain valuable experience.


So there you have it — an overview of how you can pursue a career as a software engineer in Kenya.

The demand for tech talent is only growing in the country, so now is the perfect time to skill up. Even if you don’t have a technical background, the coursework is designed to teach you everything you need to know to land an entry-level job.

While the fees aren’t cheap, the salary potential down the road makes the investment worthwhile. If you’re curious about working with the latest technologies and passionate about building solutions to help businesses and people, software engineering could be a great path for you.