What you need to know about Civil Engineering in Kenya

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Written By El Gwaro

Who is a civil engineer? What does a civil engineer in Kenya do? Does a civil engineer work in an office or in the field? Is civil engineering in Kenya good?

These are probably some of the questions bullying your mind as you try to make a sound career choice.

In your quest to find answers, you have stumbled into this article which by the way will not let you down while I share my experience so far as a student in the field.

Civil engineering might as well be the cradle of civilization since we can trace it back to the very first time man found shelter and up to now, all these manmade structures you see around are courtesy of civil engineering.

So far, this confirms that civil engineering is here to stay; the world depends on it for development and survival. In a nutshell, it is the science of designing and constructing structures meant to sustain people’s activities.

For instance, buildings offer shelter, bridges offer passage and roads offer transport of people and their goods.

A civil engineering student is tasked with studying the science behind structures and implementing the learned principles to come up with ideas that make construction of any kind and purpose achievable.

This is a technical job and requires great determination for one to be a good-enough engineer.

Have you been fascinated by skyscrapers in Nairobi and wondered who are the minds behind them, hoped to meet them and wanted to be like them?

Are you a favorite of construction documentaries like Mega-structures?

Well, you can be part of the structures game by pursuing this fancy career of civil engineering.

When you secure the course for your college degree, you might anticipate that as soon as you commence, you will start designing tall buildings like the KICC or huge dams like Kindaruma but lest you realize that there is much work behind the scenes.

First, you have to be prepared to conquer complex topics in advanced levels by doing closely related disciplines like high school calculus, physics, chemistry and computer studies while in your freshman year. Don’t panic because these courses are very important as you will realize later.

The second-year signals the start of civil engineering; you will meet advanced calculus, delve into complex physics like fluid mechanics and be given a taste of construction through the theory of structures and strength of materials.

At this point, you are most vulnerable; it might be your gain or ruin. This is when most students give up and others get lost due to lack of organization.

When you complete this year (as I have currently), you will be too involved to give up the course hence you will have to be strong to tackle the more challenging courses.

For instance, Theory of structures goes from one up to seven in the fifth year. By the time you successfully reach level seven, you will be a person of a different caliber. I mean, people should respect you just for that.

The rest of the three years will be characterized by a lot of studies and mind-numbing tasks. I don’t say this discourage you from following your dreams, I say this to prepare you for the adventure ahead.

There is a lot of fun when you struggle with friends to complete projects and do assignments. The course might be tough but when you have colleagues, you can moonwalk through to graduation.

I have to include these statements from a couple of colleagues who we fight together in this tough journey.

It requires someone to be self-driven in order to survive. You have to be foresighted when studying so that when a lecturer introduces a topic in class, as a good engineer, you should have a good idea what it deals with. Another important component is networking; the people you relate with will determine how far and wide you will reach and cover.

Brian Odhiambo Odhiambo

An innovative mind is integral for survival as an engineer, one should always be thinking great and wide about structures and come up with ideas never seen before. Also, as you study, you need endurance to understand concepts, not everybody is a genius. Take your time and you will be a master in your specialization.

Enock Sharia Tinga

Have any questions left unanswered yet? Talk to me in the comments section and I will surely get back to you sooner than you expect. Let’s work together and be the people we dream to be.


  1. Civil engineering commands respect just by its name,one has to put alot of effort so as to succeed,team work is also vital in this course…you cant do it all alone.

  2. Very few or no stones at all were left unturned by the writer of the article.In my opinion better than the previous articles .Great work


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