10 High Income Skills in Kenya 2024 (Soft & Hard Skills)

June 24, 2024 · 10 min read

There are many factors that affect your chances of getting a high-paying career. This includes small-scope ones like educational attainment and your professional network and also bigger ones like the current state of the economy. One such factor is having the right skills. Skills that are in high demand but are short in supply. Knowing which in demand skill that fits perfectly for you can give a much needed boost in increasing your chances at getting a good job.

High Income Skills In Kenya - Top 10

This list is divided into two subgroups: soft and hard skills.

Soft skills are skills and competencies that are non-job specific and are relevant to many industries. Hard skills or technical skills, on the other hand, are job-specific skills that you need to thrive. They can be relevant to other industries but to a limited degree


Top 3 High Income Soft Skills In Kenya

1. Communication

Good communication skills are a great way to land a high paying career. Being able to effectively communicate with people from all walks of life is a great skill to have. Written, spoken, and visual communication plays a vital role in today's business landscape. That is why businesses and organizations from different industries put a high premium on effective communication

Master communicators are effective in roles that require much exchange of information. These can be client-facing roles or internal communications ones. Good career choices would be Marketing Communications Specialist, Digital Marketing, Public Relations Officer, and Internal Communications Specialist among others. 

2. Problem-Solving

Most technical positions need one to be able to address any and all problems encountered on a daily basis. In many organizations, whether large or small, challenges do come up from time to time. Being able to proactively and creatively provide solutions to these challenges is a highly sought-after skill.

While being a problem solver generally makes you great for most positions, your skill is a premium in highly technical fields like Network Security, Medicine, Finance, and many more. Good problem solvers can succeed as a Project Manager, Surgeon, Engineer, and Digital Marketing Specialist. Learn this skill if you want a career that is both mentally challenging and stimulating

Problem-solving skills

3. Leadership

Being able to manage a team and make them work cohesively and effectively is a highly prized skill. It takes a considerable amount of experience, understanding, and insight to make people from different backgrounds harmoniously work for a single goal. That is why good leaders are highly valued in whichever field they may be in. A leader's ability to lead and manage can sometimes spell the success or failure of a project.

Having good leadership skills can land you good paying positions that are often considerably up the corporate ladder. This includes Managerial positions, Team Leaders, Department Heads, and all the way up to CEO to name a few.

Top 7 High Income Hard Skills In Kenya

1. Software Development

Software developers are professionals that develop and design apps that are used in many of our devices these days. they are best known for developing mobile apps for the many portable devices that are out on the market. They also help develop websites and webapps especially when they are also accessed through mobile devices. Having a good grasp of software development can open many opportunities for you.  Aside from the obvious Mobile App Developer roles, software development skills can also land you good roles such as Web Developer, Software Developer, UI/UX Designer, Quality Assurance Officer, and many more.

2. Data Security Engineering

In today's highly connected world, data security has become a bigger concern everywhere. The constant threat of malicious actors online and the desire to protect valuable data will only ramp up in the coming years. Having a good grasp of data security and having the correct knowledge to address security issues can land you good and highly paid positions. Some of these positions include Data Security Administrators, Penetration Testers, Chief Technology Officers, and Data Security Consultants. 

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3. Copywriting

Copywriting is the bread and butter for many businesses. Knowing how to persuade your potential customers is key to generating sales and ultimately making any business profitable. Copywriting, as opposed to content writing, is a style of writing designed to persuade or convince people. They are written in a way that calls people to do specific things or subscribe to a specific idea. This is done through various print media such as newsletters, newspaper ads, email campaigns, etc. As a copywriter, you can go corporate as a dedicated Email Marketing Specialist, SEO Copywriter, Digital Marketer, or Social Media Copywriter. Alternatively, you can also become a full-time freelance copywriter and be independent.

4. Sales

Sales are how a company generally makes money through products and services. Having a good sales sense is a great way to fast-track your way to a lucrative career. Because it has such an impact on how well a business earns, salespeople enjoy compensation packages that incentivize them to seal more deals. These compensation packages can be in the form of commissions or profit sharing just to name a few. People with great sales skills will do well in sales roles such as Sales Representatives, Sales Managers, Social Media Marketing, Account Executives, and B2B Sales Specialists.

Sales Skills

5. Web Development

Web development is a skill set that includes programming languages such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP, and SQL; web frameworks such as Bootstrap and Ruby on Rails and other web technologies. This can be broadly divided into two categories: front end and back end. Frontend development includes design and user experience while backend development includes various database and functionality. Having good web development skills lets you enjoy careers in Web Development, UI/UX Design, Graphic Design, and many more.

6. Data Analysis

Data Analysis is a high-income skill where large pools of data are analyzed to gain insight and produce actionable solutions. This involves collecting data, detecting trends, recognizing patterns, and extrapolating other information. This is a vital process, especially in today's environment where data is a valuable resource. People with good data skills can work as Data Analysts, Data Scientists, or Statisticians.

7. Trade Skills

You don't need to chase a fancy degree just to get a shot at a high-paying career. Learning a trade and being good at it can also net you incredible income. Trades can be Mechanics, Plumbers, Electricians, Inspectors, etc. While not everyone who goes into a trade will earn a six-figure salary, it's still not far off. With enough expertise, good marketing, and savvy handling of business, one can easily grow their earning potential.

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Want to take your career even further? Consider how a BBA or MBA can help you develop these skills and increase your earning potential.


What Are High Income Skills

Simply put, high income skills are skills that have the potential to be lucrative short term or in the long run. These skills are found in some of the top-paying careers in the market. Some of them are even a must-have. While these skills do not guarantee a well paid job, they certainly increase your odds of landing one of the many high-paying jobs in Kenya. It can be tempting to just focus on a hard skill given one's limited time and resources. However, soft skills should also be given enough attention as they are more flexible and relevant in almost all settings.

How To Choose The Right High-Income Skill For You

Learning a new skill and developing it to competent levels is certainly no easy feat. While some might be better than others, you still need to invest time, effort, and resources to learn them. That is why it is important to be mindful of what skills to pick. To pick a skill, consider 2 things: your interest and your motivation. 

Fortunately, these two are related. High interest usually means high motivation and vice versa. An easy way to pick a skill is to pick something that you show interest in. This can be an industry like computers or business or a career like industrial design or architecture. Then figure out a skillset that most highly paid professionals in that field have. This can be coding or networking for the tech industry or visual design and CAD for architecture for example. 

Developing high income skillsets

How To Develop High Income Skills

Now that you've chosen a skill to learn, it's time to hone and develop it. The key to this is practice, practice, and more practice! Fortunately these days, it is much more convenient to do thanks to technology and the internet. You can either start by watching free online tutorials available on websites like YouTube. Many content creators are sharing thousands of tutorials online most of them free of charge. 

Another good thing you can do is find a mentor. Having a skilled mentor and apprenticing for them is a great way to learn skills. This means you get a dedicated teacher that can teach you by example. Apprenticeships are also great ways to get hands-on experience. No wonder this has been the norm for centuries before industrialization.

For more highly specialized skills that require extensive instruction, your best bet is to apply for courses. The traditional route is going to tertiary schools like colleges or universities or to specialized trade schools. These institutions have a detailed curriculum that is designed to help students gain the needed competencies for a future career. These days, you can also enroll in online universities. You get the benefits of traditional schools with the convenience of location and time independence.

Where To Learn High Income Skills In Kenya

If you want to learn a skill especially completely from scratch can be quite overwhelming. As mentioned above, there are tons of information available online. YouTube is a treasure trove of tutorials and instructional videos about almost any skill one can think of. There are all sorts of free courses available on the site such as web design, content marketing, video editing, and search engine optimization.

Online schools and universities are also great ways to learn a skill with the help of qualified instructors. Complex subjects like data science and data analytics are available through a pre-recorded online course or real-time virtual instruction. 

Learn how to develop the most in-demand skills for your future career!

Discover how you can acquire the most in-demand skills with our free report, and open the doors to a successful career. 

Download the free report today!

What’s The Easiest High Income Skill To Learn

The "easiest skill to learn" is subjective. It depends on many variables including access to resources, personal affinity, and interest. While there is no one best answer, you can certainly figure out what's the "easiest" for you. Objectively, the easiest skills to learn are the skills you already know. Take copywriting for example. It is a form of writing that focuses on persuasion and connecting with your target audience. Now, this is a specialized skill but the underlying basic skill, writing, is something that most of us know how to do. By learning a skill that's related to a skill we already know, we exponentially increase our odds of picking up the skill quickly.

What High Income Skill Is Most In-Demand

Other in-demand skills in Kenya include: data science, software development, web development, digital marketing, project management, customer service, financial management, business analysis, and analytics. Additionally, there is a growing demand for skills in sales, engineering, and construction.

What’s High Income Skill Is Best For The Future

Your best bet for future-proof skills is in app development, marketing, and sales. If you want to go the unconventional route, you can give content creation a try. Social media is a growing platform and is seen to continue to grow. As of 2022, Twitter has over 368 million subscribers. Instagram has over 1.28 billion and is projected to grow even more. These are all potential markets that you can tap into with content creation.


While learning a well-paying skill is a great way to increase your chances of landing a good career, it's not all there is to it. It takes dedication, perseverance, the right resources, and a bit of luck.

Regardless of which skill you want to focus on, it still depends on what you do with it that would determine your success.

If you're looking to expand expand your skillset and develop a successful career that you're passionate about, it's crucial that you acquire the right skills, in an attainable time-period.

Discover how you can acquire the most in-demand skills with our free report, and open the doors to a successful career. Download the free report today!

Looking to potentially take your career even further? Consider how an Online BBA or Online MBA can help you develop these skills and increase your earning potential.

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