Pattern Of Career Aspiration Among Senior Secondary School Chemistry Students

Project and Seminar Material for Chemistry Education

Pattern Of Career Aspiration Among Senior Secondary School Chemistry Students


This project work is on pattern of career aspiration among science students of selected public secondary schools in Shomolu Local Government Education district area of Lagos State. A random sampling technique was used to select some schools in Shomolu Local Education District to ensure true validity of the study and the necessary data were collected and analyzed. A descriptive survey design was used, the statistical method used was the Pearson product moment to determine the pattern of career aspiration among senior secondary school students of the selected schools based on their academic achievement and the type of school (based on gender).

From the data obtained it was observed that career aspiration of students towards popular profession was high as the aspiration of their profession based on their gender and type of school they attend in terms of gender was observed. It was observed that boys/male aspires more of mechanical oriented profession as the females aspires toward emotional and personal relationship oriented profession. Students academic achievement should be a determinant of their career aspiration and not the popularity, social respect and lucrativity of the profession however, gender should also not be the determinant of career choice of students as observed in the collected data rather, gender inequality should be exhibited in their choice of career with this the type of school should not also be a determinant of their career choice.

Chapter One


1.1 Background Of The Study

Educators and psychologist continue to ponder on reasons why students are not doing so well in the science subjects, many factors have been identified as the cause of this menace both in developing and the developed countries with the major once being cognitive and non cognitive. More attention is still required on these factors so as to maintain and improve on the scientific and technological state of the world, Nigeria inclusive. Chemistry has been one of the core science subjects in which a credit pass is required before a student can be admitted into any tertiary institution for any science based discipline.

However statistics on students enrolment and achievement in the west African senior secondary school examination (Source West African Examination Council) have shown that despite the low rate of students enrolment in science subjects for the examination, only few percentage of them passes the subject particularly chemistry at a credit level to qualify them to purse courses in the science, technology, basic medical sciences and or agriculture at the tertiary level despite the continuous clarion call for technological growth in the country.

Many reasons have been attributed to this problem of students’ enrolment and achievement in science (subjects) in West African and particularly in Nigeria. There has been idea of students perceiving science subjects as being difficult (Obioha, 1987), this has led man students into avoiding science and consequently into low enrolment and poor performance in the subjects. Other factors identified include: career aspiration misconception, attitudes and motivational traits, self concept, confidence and control among others. Although, many of all the factors are considered attitudinal, Educators and psychologist believes that certain factors apart from the cognitive ones, are responsible for different achievement in chemistry, part of which includes aspiration, motivation, perception, intelligence, attitude, seriousness and purpose of individual and personal characteristics of the learner (Abe 1995) (Osokoga 1990).

Another school of thought believes that personality and psychological factors are operative in academic performance. Interest level of aspiration, study habit, self concept and anxiety are some of the factors being identified based on this consideration. However (Bakare, 1975) reported that forestation between these personality factors and academic performance are found to range between 1 and 3. Gender difference has also been identified as one of the major/key player in low enrolment and poor performance in science subjects. Available data pointing to this on Education in Nigeria (Longe and Adedeji, 2003) points to the fact that female students tend to have more interest in areas of study regarded as feminine and therefore shy away from scientific and technological field. Also, male students are drifted towards outdoor and mechanical activities.

This difference could be attributed to the degree of propensity to take risk by males than the females. Female students negative attitude could be attached to their believe that by myth, boys are better than them in the science subjects (Adedeji and Longe 2003) also added that, some communities believes that exposing girls to the world of science implies immersing the girls in male environment. Males are found to prefer risk-involving and hazardous occupation.

Generally, achievement as a measure of school productivity is the concern of teachers, parents, students and the policy makers. Inspite of government investment and incentives on science and technology education, in pursuit of one of the stated goals of science teaching, students still perform poorly and below expectation in science courses and blames are placed on teachers and or school administrators, not bearing in mind the students emotional, psychological and personality characteristics.

The world is turning technological, Nigeria like the rest of the world depends mostly on what science could give. It is therefore of high necessity to probe into some of the non-cognitive characteristics of students which is part of major possible threat to success of science subjects, identify their relative effect on core science subjects like chemistry achievement.

1.2 Statement Of The Problem

This study sought to determine the patterns of career aspiration as it affects the academic achievement of senior secondary school chemistry students.

1.3 Purpose Of Study

The main purpose of this study is to: explain the possible influence of students’ career aspiration on their academic achievement. Determine the relative popularity of different career aspiration among students and determine relative patterns of career aspiration among chemistry students based on (1) gender and (ii) school type.

1.4 Significance Of The Study

The study tends to throw more light on pattern of career aspiration among students offering chemistry at the senior secondary school (Based on the school type and gender). Think of specific significance of your research work to the students, parents, society, stakeholders.

1.5 Research Questions

In a bid to explain the possible influence of students career aspiration on their academic achievement, the study sought to answer the following questions:-

  1. What is the correlation between career aspiration and academic achievement of students in chemistry?
  2. What is the pattern of career aspiration among students offering chemistry at senior secondary school?
  3. To what extend and how does gender and type of school affects the career choice of students?

1.6 Delimitation

The study will be descriptive and correlational in nature. Samples that will be used for this study will be limited to Somolu Local Government, where some number of schools will be selected. A single sex school and a co-educational school (from the same strata) will be selected. However, number of students will be selected from the sampled school using a random sampling method this will make the study a purposeful one.

Parents of the selected students will also be included as part of the samples to be used during the course of the study as their contribution also count in the success of the result of the study. A career aspiration questionnaire and parent career choice questionnaire for their children will be administered so as to know their opinion of students and parents on their career aspiration and choices independently. This will be strictly limited to science student only.

1.7 Definition Of Terms


This is a job or profession that one has been trained for, and which one usually do for a long time or one under training intend to do latter in future.


The level of relating and or process if knowing, understanding and learning something.


This is the change in someone or situation that is not related to learning or the physical attribute that changes outside learning


This refers to people in charge of informing individuals or group of people (School or outside schools) e.g parents, teachers, evaluators, administrators etc, in order to bring out a desired result or change in behaviour


These are people who studies the way people’s mind work and their nature. Their study ask the question why, when and how human being put up a particular action or Behaviour.

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