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Factors Determining Career Choices Of Secondary School Students In Owerri Imo State





The study investigated the factors determining career choice of secondary school students in Owerri Imo State. Four research questions guided this study. The descriptive survey research design was adopted in the conduct of the study. The study area was Owerri Imo State. The population of the study consisted of 7987 students in selected 13 senior secondary in Owerri Imo State. The instruments used for the study were a questionnaire. The questionnaire was subjected to face and content validity. Arithmetic mean and standard deviation was used to analyze data in respect of the research questions. The study revealed that Student’s home determine their career choice, teachers related factors determine students’ career choice, peers determine student’s career choice and gender contribute to student’s career choice. The study recommended that school counseling should be able to advice the students not to be forced to select career by their parents and teachers but be guided on the career path they wish to pursue.



In this chapter the researcher discusses the background to the study, the statement of the problem, scope of the study, purpose of the study, significance of the study and research questions.

Background to the Study

Career choice has become a complex science with the advent of information technology, the emergence of post industrial revolution and job competition. It was a common practice in the old days to find feudalism and relating same into a family affair where the son of a blacksmith was destined to become a blacksmith and a feudal was born a leader. Industrialization has made it possible for one to be richer as long as one has due skills and knowledge (Wattles, 2019).

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. The idea of what motivates an individual into career choice and repels one from others is definitely not novel. Motivation sustains one’s interest and zeal, in the pursuit of set goals. Goal attainment in turn carries with it feelings of pride and satisfaction (Alkinson, 2017).

Most students who are at the secondary school level do not have accurate information about occupational opportunities to help them make appropriate career choice. According to Kerka, (2019), career choice is influenced by multiple factors including personality, interests, cultural identity, role model, self-concept, globalization, socialization, social support and available resources such as information and financial resources. According to Hewitt, (2010) can be intrinsic or extrinsic or even both. Hewitt further explained that most students are influenced by careers that their parents are into, others follow the careers that their educational choices have in store for them, some choose to follow their passion regardless of how much or little it will make them while others choose the careers that give high income. Students perception of being suitable for a particular job also has been found to be influenced by a number of factors including ethnic background, year in school, level of achievement, choice of subjects, attitudes and differences in job characteristics (Mc Quaid and Bond ,2013).

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In a study by Perrone, (2011) on the role model influence on the career decisiveness of college students, it was discovered that role model supportiveness, and quality of relationship contributed to the career choice of students. The authors’ study also showed that majority of the students selected same gender role models. Research on the role of spirituality and religion in career development although limited in scope has suggested that such factors relate positively to desirable career development outcomes such as career decisions. For a whole lot of people with spiritual or religious commitment, faith plays a crucial role in their career decision making process (Duffy and Dick, 2019).

A study on career choice by Stebleton (2012) indicated that secondary school students had an external locus of control and believe that there are numerous external factors which influence their career choices. These external factors include; political and economic considerations, influence of key individuals in their lives. Pummel, Harwood and Lavelle (2018) reported that external influences that help to shape an individual’s career choice are also influenced by significant orders through social support from peers. In a study by Natalie (2015), young adults through interactions with the context of family, school and community learn about and explore careers which ultimately lead to their career choices, Students may choose what their parents desire simply to please them( Taylor, Flynn and Ezeocha 2014).

Career choice differs with people from different social classes, People from low income families usually differ from those from the high income groups or families in making career choices. Ginsberg in Onyejiaku (2013) observed that four variables strongly influence career choice a reality factor, the educational process, emotional factors and personal values. Within these four variables the author analyzed three; fantasy, tentative and realistic choices. This implies that at various ages, some students choose to be lawyers, teachers, doctors, sailors, politicians, architects or even traders. These career choices are restricted by occupations they have heard or seen. These are fantasy choices and nothing more. These are mere expression of wishes, with no consideration of their abilities and their aptitudes.

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Denga (2013) opined that external pressure and internal pressure act as factors that influence career choice. External pressures include environmental, teachers and also other significant factor include high salary, social influence, environmental pressures and mass media. The internal pressures include ability utilization/ educational qualification, altruistic reasons, value system, physique and sex. In continuation to this view, some occupations such as engineering, building, architecture and mining are more suitable for males while occupations such as nursing; hairdressing and dressmaking are more suitable for females.

As peers come together, they hear discussions about past students who have secured admission into universities or excelled in different professions and businesses. These may motivate them to follow such trends. Equally, one may wonder if such environmental factors as have been identified by scholars are also applicable to secondary school students of Owerri local government area of Imo State. The study seeks to determine the factors of career choice of secondary school students in Owerri.

Statement of the Problem

Some students in Secondary schools forget to consider their intellectual abilities, interest, ambitions, aptitudes, and capabilities in making career choices. There is also influence of parents and peers while making these career choices. As a result, most of them make career choices they do not fit into appropriately leading to job dissatisfaction and job fight. The major problem that they encounter is that of choosing the subjects that will qualify them for their life career. Some of them depend on either their parents or peer groups to choose for them while others just base the choice on their own personal decisions.

The reason why students find themselves in such problems of career choice is based on the absence of guidance and counseling units in most secondary schools. Where they are present, their activities are not felt, as experts are not employed to handle the unit. According to Chike (2017) the results of the situations have not been favourable to both students and their parents, since majority of them as a result of wrong subjects find it difficult to gain admission into universities to start their career and others who manage to enter into universities after graduation are unemployable. The problem of the study therefore is that the factors influencing career choice of secondary school students in reference to environment, personality and opportunity factors are still a mirage.

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 Scope of the Study

The study is delimited to factors determining career choice of secondary school students. The study will cover the secondary schools in Owerri Imo state Nigeria.

Purpose of the Study

The main purpose of the study was to find out the factors determining career choice of secondary school students in Owerri Imo State. Specifically, the study determined:

  • Contribution of home on career choices.
  • Contribution of school related factors and students’ career choices.
  • Contribution of peers influence on students’ career choices.
  • Contribution of gender influences on career choices.

Significance of the Study

It is believed that the findings of the study will be significant to students, parents, practicing counselors, curriculum planners and industries. The findings will help the students understand their personality type, choose the best careers that suit their status, and, have the knowledge and understanding of self and in the world of work. It will help them to understand their strengths and weaknesses, know which career that suits them and which to avoid. This will help them to become independent and self-reliant in character, have the courage to be themselves and not be shadows of others.

Parents and guardians will find the findings of this study useful as they could be brought into a circle of counseling and discussion, through the Parents’ Teachers Association (PTA) in helping the students form a comprehensive career choice. The findings of the study will also enlighten parents on the dangers of pushing their children or wards into taking careers choices they have no interest in. The curriculum planners in the school system will have better information that will bring about desirable changes in the school curriculum.

Research Questions

The following research questions guided the study:

  • What are the mean rating scores of student’s home background and their career choice?
  • What are the mean rating scores on student peers related factors and their career choice?
  • What are the mean rating scores on contribution of student teachers related factors and their career choice?
  • To what extent do gender related factors contribute to student’s career choice?

    Pages:  60

    Category: Project

    Format:  Word & PDF         

    Chapters: 1-5                                 

    Source: Imsuinfo                            

    Material contains Table of Content, Abstract and References.



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