Determinants of Career Choice among Secondary School Students in Kachia Local Government Area of Kaduna State
Career selection is one of many important choices students will make in determining future plans; this decision will impact them throughout their lives. This has constituted a problem as students often make wrong choice. But presently there is scanty research on the influencing factors such as gender, home background and student learning outcome on choice of career among secondary school students. Hence, this study was prompted by the present problems of change of subjects and course among students and undergraduates in the Nigeria secondary schools and universities respectively. The aim of the investigation is to find out if there exists some significant relationship between gender, home background and student learning outcome on student’s choice of career. It is also the intension of the researcher to identify some of the parental factors that influence student’s educational aspiration, such as: Educational and professional background, Economic factor, occupational and cultural factors. To accomplish the task, questionnaires were distributed and data collected. The total number of 109 students, were administered to in the four school used for the study. Information concerning student’s career choice and parent’s occupation and educational background, Economic status and cultural background were derived from the questionnaire. Data collected were analyzed using mean and frequency analysis. Students with involved parents no matter what their income and background are more likely to make more rational career choice. Also parents who are actively involved in their children education, helps to guide the children career choice. Parents should not allow their professional and educational background to overwhelm their children intellectual abilities in making choice of career. Parents should not encourage their children to choose high rated occupation because of its or their Economic Status but should engage more in guiding them to choose courses that suit their intellectual abilities. Intelligent children from poor socio-economic background should be encouraged by the government to take professional courses through scholarship, which will help them, enhance to a brighter future. Teachers should also be allowed to identify the best course for each child through continuous assessment and career counselling. Orientation workshops and seminars should be organized for parents and students aimed at changing their mind set on gender streaming. Sources of influence, such as parents or mentors, should be brought into a circle of counselling and discussion to help the student form a comprehensive career plan. Industries should invest resources for the purpose of training students, while still in secondary schools. Students should follow a career plan of informed decision-making. Teachers should also avoid being gender-biased in their appraisal of performance in class.
1.1 Background of the Study
Career choice has become a complex science with the advent of information technology, the emergency of post industrial revolution and job competition. And as such, education is universally recognised to be the answer to socio-economic problems of the world. Nation and individuals look up to education to provide a clue or possibly, a cure for poverty, ignorance, jobless, hunger, bad governance, poor communication system and inadequate shelter among other things. Every nation of the world aspires towards quality of life and social status. Most student who are in secondary schools do not have adequate information about occupational opportunities to help them make appropriate career choice. This has led to so many swing of career path after graduation from the university. Hence, this has highlighted career selection as one of many important choice students make in determining future plans; these decision will impart them throughout their lives. Hence it is important to figure out the factors or determinant of career choice among secondary school student; so as to see if it can help to guide student to make the right and rational career choice. Thus, with the advent of information technology, the emergence of post industrial revolutions and job competition, the choice of career has become a complex science (Okafor, 2012). These have given rise in interest to scholars on the factors influencing career choice not just among student alone, but among adults. The essence of who the student is, will revolve around what the students want to do with their lifelong work. No matter ones age, the choice of career or desire is an important question for everybody. A lot of students in secondary schools believe that their future is a glorious adventure in which they are bound to succeed (salami and salami, 2013). Many of them have the idea that they would be able to work in the public or private establishments as soon as they complete their secondary education. Student in secondary schools like many other young adults are always worried about what they will do with their lives. They are concerned about early entry into the occupational world and finding productive and rewarding place in and out rapidly, fast changing societies where employment is unlikely to be available on a scale sufficient to absorb more than a small fraction of the young people when they arrive at the labour market. How the young people of today meet the problem for tomorrow will depend upon the amount of success they make in planning for that tomorrow.
Today one has not only to make due career planning but also exhaustive career research before making a career choice so as to adjust with the evolving socio-economic conditions. (Wattles, 2009). According to Kerka (2000), career choice is influenced by multiple factors which include personality, interest, self concept, cultural identity, globalization, socialization, role model, social support and available resource such as information and finances. Hewitt (2010), suggested that most people are influenced by career that their parent favour, others follow the career that their educational choice have opened for them, some choose to follow their passion regardless of how much or little it will make them; while others choose the career that gives high income. McQuaid and Bond (2003) cited that student perception of being suitable for particular jobs also has been found to be influenced by a number of factors which include ethnic background, years in school, level of achievement, choice of science subject, attitudes and difference in job characteristics. However, research show that the choice of career among secondary school student is determined by a combination of personal abilities, personality type and other factors (Okafor, 2012). This is why Onayase and Onayase, (2009) suggested an investigation into other factors which include some environmental factor such as family background, school environment, religious and peer group influence. Career according to Cambridge Advance Learner’s Dictionary (2005) refers to ‘‘job or series of job that you do during your working life’’. Thus, choosing a career, simply means choosing a life job. However, all career have their subject requirement, personality characteristic and personal abilities while are supposed to be fully assessed before individual can be deemed to be qualified to go into specific career (Onayase and Onayase, 2009). Career choice is influence by multiple factors include personality, interest, self concept, identity, globalization, socialization, role model, social support and available resources such as information and finance (Kerka, 2000). Bandura, Barbaranelli, Caprara, Pastorell, 2001) cited that each individual undertaking the process is influenced by several factors including the context in which they live in, their personal aptitudes, social contacts and educational attainment.
Hence, factors that influence career choice can either be intrinsic or extrinsic or both. Most people are influenced by career that their parent favour, other follow the career that their educational choice have opened for them, some choose to follow their passion regardless of how much or little it will make them while other choose careers that give high income. Student percept of being suitable for particular jobs also has been found to be influence by a number of factors including ethnic background, year in school, level of achievement, choice of science subject, attitudes and differences in job characteristic(McQuaid and Bond, 2003). In a study by Perrone, Sedlacek and Alexander (2001) on role model influence on the career decisiveness of college students it was found that role model supportiveness and quality of relationship contributed to the career choice of students. The same study indicated that majority of the student selected same gender. In a study by Natalie (2006), young adult through interaction with the context of family, school and community learn about and explore career which ultimately lead to their career choice. One consistent finding in research suggests that adolescent aspirations are influenced by their parent’s aspiration or expectations. Parental support and encouragement are important factors that have been found to influence career choice. Children may choose what their parents desire simply to please them (Taylor, Harris and Taylor, 2004). According to Oyamo and Amoth (2008), studies in Kenya showed that rural students tend to seek help from parents more than urban students and that parents more than teachers plays a major role in the career choice of students.
Hence, Okafor (2012) cited that generally, the choice of a career is influenced by parents, friends and counsellors. Variations occur from one population to the other. In Kenya, every secondary school student (SSS) makes their career choice before sitting for West African Examination Council (WAEC). The result of this final examination determining who joins University since admission into careers are determined by grades obtained from it. When these students graduate from the universities, some of them enter into occupations that are totally different from the ones they had chosen and trained for. The aim of this study is to look at how gender, home background and student learning outcome influence choice of career among Secondary school students in Nigeria, using some selected schools in Kachia Local Government Area of Kaduna State as a case study.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Nigeria is rapidly developing her technological education, which has made the society more complex than it was in the past. The number of occupation has increased greatly and also there are many careers within one occupation. For instance, farming which was a simple occupation some years ago is now a very complex occupation within many careers to choose from.
These included poultry, farming vegetable farming, e.t.c the implication of this is specialization. This is why the family, peer group, school environment and even the larger society influence the decision any student might make in choosing a life career. This constitutes a problem as students often make wrong choice.
But presently there is scanty research on the influence of environment factors such as gender, home background and student learning outcome on choice of career among Secondary school students.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The main purpose of the study was to examine the determinant of career choice among secondary school students in Nigeria.
Other specific purposes are to:
- identify the influence of home background on career choice among secondary school students.
- examine the effect of students learning outcome on the choice of career among secondary school students.
- investigate the influence of gender in choice of career among secondary school students.
1.4 Research Questions
This research work sought to provide answers to the following questions:
- What is the role of home background and how does it affect career choice among secondary school students?
- Is student learning outcome an important factor in determining choice of career among secondary school students?
- What influence does gender have in choice of career among secondary school students?
1.5 Significance of the Study
It has been recognized recently that for a person to make realistic decision, his level of self-efficacy can indeed be very influential. It is one thing to demonstrate interest in a particular occupational field; it is another thing to have confidence in one’s ability to successfully undertake the task involved.
Most students who are in secondary school do not have enough information about occupational opportunities to help them make rational and appropriate career choice. Hence this research work is sought to help the student understand and explore other options in making career choice.
A student tends to learn and accept information more from their teacher. Hence an uninformed teacher will tend to mislead or shy away from counselling the student with respect to career choice. This research seeks to help teachers to explore real career possibility of each student and guide them accordingly putting certain factors into cognizance.
Teachers will guide and counsel student from there own perspective. If there are no laid down guideline by the school system. Hence this research seeks to help curriculum developer to understand the role of career choice to student and to help inculcate it in the curriculum of the school. This will in turn help the student explore the career opportunities available and make rational choice of career.
1.6 Scope of the Study
It would have been ideal to stretch the scope of this study to cover more schools in the chosen local government (Kachia Local Government Area) in Kaduna State, but for the minimum resources available and time factor, the area of the study of this project is limited to four (4) schools under Kachia Local Government Area in Kaduna State namely: GSS Kachia Urban, GSS Katari, GSS Korontshuwa and GSS Ariko.
1.7 Definition of Terms
For clarity, the terms used in the study were clarified as follows:
Career choice: The broad opportunities that exist for lifelong vocations. These vocations are set out in a frame work of strategies moving towards personal goals.
Environment: the complex physical factors that make up our surrounding (Britannica, 2002) and in turn act upon us for the purpose of this study they would include the forces of family, social and economic issues that both typical and non-typical students may deal with on a day-to-day basis.
Motivation: forces acting on or within a person causing an initiation of behaviour (Britannica, 2002) or what it is that moves us. In this study we will deal with the issues that help or hinder students in making career choices.
Opportunity: those choices in one’s life which are exposed either in a subtle or obvious manner. These choices or paths give the individual a selection between two or more outcomes. The outcomes of one’s choosing may or may not exceed one’s present abilities.
Personality: a characteristics way of thinking, feeling and behaving (Britannica, 2002). The personality is the collection of impression in the appearance of the student’s body and the impression believed to have been made on others, good or bad. Ones personality may embrace attitudes and opinions that affect the way we deal with interactions of people and in particular to this study, the situation of choosing a career.
Gender: not biological in nature but psychological, psychomotor feature or attributes associated to an individual weather male or female by sex.
Culture: the custom, arts, social and religious institutions and achievement of a particular people or nation.
Family: the people one lives with and sees daily.
Peers: peers are adolescents who are about the same age of maturity level.
Students: in this study, it refers to individuals who are officially admitted and registered in the secondary and non-secondary school system as full time candidates.