Career Choice And Its Effects On Secondary School Students

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Career Choice And Its Effects On Secondary School Students


The study examined career choice and its effects on secondary schools students. Questionnaire was used to obtain information from the respondents. The entire population was used as sample because of the size of the population and the simple percentage was used to analyse data obtained. The study revealed that the initial course of most of the students was not library and information science they all had their career prior their admission, the students could not meet up with the required WAEC and JAMB scores hence the present course of study. The study also revealed that majority of the student’s performance was on average which therefore means that the choice of course had influence on the academic performance of the students. The study therefore recommends that institutions, admission officers should carefully admit students into their programme of choice.

Chapter One


1.1 Background of the Study

Career selection is one of many important choices students make in determining future plans. This decision will impact them throughout their lives because; the essence of who the student is revolves around what the student wants to do with their life-long work. Super, Savicks, and Super (1996) maintains that initial career decision-making is a cultural developmental task that students are expected to have accomplished by the end of their high school year. Career selection has become a complex science with the advent of information technology, the emergence of post industrial revolution and job competition. At secondary school level, a student is expected to have knowledge of what he or she intends to do in the future, this in turn guides the choice of subjects the West African Certificate (WACE).

This decision – making is very important and students must be allowed to choose their careers because it will create awareness in the students mind for the challenges ahead (Joans, 1986). The younger generation is the future of any society. Therefore, their career choices should help them develop the knowledge, skills and attitude needed to successfully examine their lives, while exploring and evaluating a wide range of career options to attain goals in the future.

Ini Local Government Area came into existence in September 23, 1991. Ini people are known for their rich cultural heritage which bears strict similarities with those of other Ibibio communities in the state. They are predominantly farmers who cultivate their products in commercial quantities. Their specialization in mat making has introduced them into trading, which not only takes them to the width and breath of Akwa Ibom but beyond causing them to interact with people from other countries. In this modern and computer age, Ini people have adjusted to other occupations like nursing, teaching, engineering etc. This has given rise to multiple careers and choices from which the students in the Local Government can make.

Participation in activities at home, school, community, gives room for interaction among the students and this opens their minds to possibilities, placing factors or determinants to their choices of career. These factors guides them to choose careers they can excel in, because in the future, a career choice a student had made must be able to sustain him or her through times of financial, emotional family, political and educational needs etc. Clearly, career choice is purposeful or necessary and must be carefully done to avoid regrets. Students forced into any career find it difficult to embrace and adjust to the challenges that come, thereby leaving the student at a choice of being stagnant or retreating as the case may be.

This also discourages the student and puts him or her in a position of not wanting to try anything new or different in a case where the student cannot excel to maximum expectation. Indeed, career choice is for development and the choice of a career must satisfy the expectations of the student(s) to attain higher heights as he or she strives to succeed. This work is hinged on the determinants of career choice among secondary school students in Ini Local Government Area.

1.2 statement of Problem

Choosing a career according to Issa (n d) “is a path or course of action which essentially boils down to a career decision-making process”. That is to say the choice of career is decision made by an individual. Career choice according to Aminu and Timothy (2014) help to prepare the behavior of students in choosing any course of study and also reveal what is obtainable in the course chosen. Most students fail in a course because of wrong choice of course. The life of a student could be influenced by the choice made in the course of study throughout his life. Watson, Macmahon, Foxcros . and Els (2010), Mashige and Oduntan (2011) and Olamide and Olawaiye (2013) as cited in Fatoki (2014) acknowledge that “students often experience problems when deciding on their career choices. The career choice that a student makes can impact on the student’s enjoyment of such career in the future as it will impact on students throughout their lives”. According to Issa (n d), People fail in jobs for psychological reasons, as just having the requisite skill is not a sufficient condition for success in a job. The significance of career in the life of an individual is a lifetime issue and it is what cannot be estimated. Fatoki (2014), Shumba and Naong (2012) explained that when the right choice concerning a career or a profession is made, it will help in either being satisfied or detestable about the course in future times. Also, Navin, (2009) as cited by Koech, Bitok, Rutto, Koech,Okoth, Korir & Ngala (2016) opined that investigating about a course before choosing it for study will help to make the right choice, get satisfied and be successful in the future. This implies that if a student makes a wrong choice, it will affect his performance in school which will also affect his future life in terms of job.

In Nigeria, according to Salami, (1999) as cited by Issa and Nwalo (2008), “many youths go into unsuitable careers due to ignorance, inexperience, peer pressure, advice from friends, parents and teachers or as a result of the prestige attached to certain jobs without adequate vocational guidance and career counseling. When this occurs, these youths constitute nuisance to themselves and their employers and are unable to contribute meaningfully to the society”. Issa and Nwalo (2008) as cited by Abayomi and Olawale (2010) also supported that when a course is wrongly chosen it brings feelings of annoyance to individuals and also lead to poor result.

Tella (2007) as cited by Abayomi and Olawale (2010) also gave some factors which bring about the choice of a course as good salary, conducive working environment, security in terms of the job. Agumanu (1989) in Abayomi and Olawale (2010) conducted a study on factors that influenced the students choice of librarianship in Imo State University Library School. The study shows that 80% of the respondents were admitted into the course of study because of their inability to be admitted into other professional courses and 20% of the students chose the course because some of their family members are librarian. Issa and Nwalo (nd) in their study interviewed some library science students in Nigeria and most of their response was on their preference on other courses rather than studying library and information science. It was also found that by Issa and Nwalo that majority of the new students offering library science as a course were those that could not make it into other discipline of their first choice because of their low grades and were refused admission, library science then stand as their place of last hope. A study carried out by Amoor and Aliyu (2014) “on an empirical analysis of factors influencing the career choice of Undergraduates in secretarial option of business education programme in Nigeria Universities”. Some of the Students who eventually choose secretarial option do so on the account of their failure to be registered in accounting option because of entrance requirement of mathematics. It has also been observed that students who could not perform very well in other faculties such as Science courses or social science courses tend to withdraw from their department into library studies and the result revealed that majority of the students perform poorly and constitute nuisance to the department and after graduation the same set of students who could not perform well constitute nuisance to their employers and the society generally. This is in line with the study carried out by Aminu and Timothy (2014) that there has been decline in the performance of Microbiology students in Ahmadu Bello University Zaria as indicated by their low cumulative grade point average (CGPA) scores and many carryover courses. Also a high numbers of students are moving from other faculties such as medicine because they are unable to meet up with the CGPA required. These simply mean that most of the students did not choose their present course of study that is why their performance is very poor. Observation from most universities is that most students in library science came in because they fail to secure admission in their preferred course of study and as a last resort. When this occur in most cases it affect the academic performance of the students hence this study tend to find out the initial choice of course by students, the reason for choosing library and information science as a course of study, how students become aware of the course of study and performance of student in relation to the course.

1.3 Objectives of the Study

The study has the following objectives

  1. To ascertain initial choice of course made by the students
  2. To find out Reasons for choosing library and information science as a course of study
  3. To ascertain academic performance of students in relation to their present course of study

1.4 Research Questions

The following research questions were raised

  1. What was the initial choice of course made by the students?
  2. Why did the students choose library and information science?
  3. What is the academic performance of the students in relation to their present course of study?

1.5 Significance of the Study

The universities globally will utilize the results of this study to form a basis for proper information and training during university open days before students join the higher institutions of learning. The results of this study will be of significance to the Government as it will unearth the factors that influence students to choose specific careers therefore forming a basis for proper information, education and communication among the youth. This research will benefit Nongovernmental organizations that fund youth programs as this will necessitate capacity building among the youth and their significant others. Scholars and academicians will find the results of this study helpful as it will form a basis for further research. The results of this study will be of significant importance as this will determine the intervention strategies that can be put in place in order to ensure that sponsored youth make informed decisions regarding their career.

1.6 Scope of the Study

This study targeted students in secondary school moving to tertiary institution.

The scope of this study was also limited to specific variables of the study that influence career choice among undergraduate students sponsored by compassion International. These variables are: Parental influence, Peer influence, role models and gender influence on career choice.

1.7 Limitations of the Study

According to Mugenda and Mugenda (2003), a limitation is some aspect of the study that the researcher knows may negatively affect the results of generalizability of the results, but over which he/she has no control. Some of the limitations of this study included the influence of socialization process and stereotyping by the respondents. This was overcome by reassuring the respondents of confidentiality of the information.

Chapter Five

Conclusion and Recommendations

The study examined career choice and its effects on students in Nigeria. The study showed that majority of the students never chose the present course of study from the beginning; this was as a result of the subject passed in secondary school and JAMB which did not qualify them into their choice of course. The study also revealed that the choice of course influenced the academic performance of the students in a way that students performance was on the average. The study therefore recommended that institutions, admission officers should carefully admit students into their programme of choice.

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