FACTORS INFLUENCING THE CHOICE OF SCIENCE CAREER AMONG SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS
This work is aimed at investigating the factors affecting the choice of science career among secondary school students. It is also to see the extent to which each of these factors can influence students choice of career in particular, science career.
200 students were randomly selected from four secondary schools in Gbonyin Local Government of Ekiti State constitute the sample for the collection of the data. Data analysis was carried out by the use of mean, standard deviation, simple percentage and the T-test statistics.
Relevant literature on factors affecting students choice of science career were reviewed and discussed.
The findings revealed that:
- a) There is no significant difference between the general attitudes of male and female students towards science career choice.
- b) There is no significant relationship between parents career and students’ career choice.
- c) There is no significant relationship between academic attainment of students and their career choice.
- d) There is no significant difference between science career made by the students in SS 2 and SS 3.
- e) There is no significant difference between peer group influence and students is career choice.
Based on the findings, some recommendations were made:
- a) Enlightenment programmes on Television and other mass media should be given to parents.
- b) Students should be given constant advice on the danger of associating themselves with peers of doubtful characterize. In one word there upbringing of the children.
- c) The students should be given adequate assistance when it comes to the choice of science career.
- d) It should be made a priority to ensure that all the laboratories in schools are well equipped.
- e) Educators as well as parents should not force certain vocations on students; rather they should be encouraged to make their choice willingly.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Table of contents
Introduction and Background to the study
Statement of the problem
Purpose of the study
Limitations of the study
Significance of the study
Definition of terms
Review of Related Literature
Reliability and Validity
Administration of the Instrument
Results and Discussion
Suggestions for further studies
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The Background to the study.
The school certificate had been given a good position in the world of Education. This is because it is the standard certificate for giving admission to the Universities and other High Institutions like College of Education, Polytechnics and so on. The students do not just go in for Examination. They are given the opportunity to make realistic choices of their own subjects for which they will be presented as candidates. It is this choice that will determine their career in life.
Science career education and science career guidance are becoming high priority items in Nigeria. Many experts in the area of science career guidance seems to see students science career development as unifying theme and primary goals of science career education efforts. It was in the content of these states, national interest and the new impetus in science career education and science career guidance that this study is being undertaken.
The importance of science career guidance for Nigerian students has not been sufficiently appreciated by Nigerian educators.
According to Hinchlife (1973) Nigeria’s ecnomics future will not be adequately met until youths are guided effectively into areas of occupational education for the acquisition of functional knowledge and the better utilization of the nations manpower resources.
Science career guidance in Nigeria secondary schools, according to him can make a substantial contribution in drawing up students’ background and experience, students will be better able to adjust to the influences and circumstances of their immediate environment. He contends that career guidance can help interest in their respective courses.
Also by stimulating their hopes and aspiration, science career guidance can help the students discover their latent capacities and abilities.
Further more, he concluded that career guidance programmes can be utilized to advice students in secondary schools on at least a tentative choice of career in which science career is not excluded.
There is a growing difficulty on the part of Nigerian graduates to secure appropriate employment. This derives from the fact the nation’s schools have not been adequately linked up with the labour market. It is also indicative of the fact that the importance of science career guidance for students have not been sufficient appreciated. One major deficiency in the Nigerian employment market is the weakness of system of occupational information. In a study by Durojaye (1970) the following factors were shown to affect students’ choice of science career like parents, friends, scholarship awards and teachers. It was found that printed information was the most important single factor influencing students’ choice of an occupation. They study emphasized the significance of introducing science career counseling into the secondary schools at the earliest possible date.
It is a well known fact that the machinery for collecting and appraising labour market trends in Nigeria is limited. There is no system developed for informing employers of the manpower supply. Trainees are not informed regarding the labour market and the opportunities available to them in terms of career prospect. Most students generally had to fight for themselves. With the indication of friction and difficulties in the labour market and in the face of the sizeable expansion in post primary institutions, the need for adequate science career guidance becomes a matter of genuine concern.
Students have shown over the years that various factors contribute to the students choice of science career. Therefore, students do not choose science career arbitrarily from the study of Olayinka (1973) he showed parents influence as a major factor affecting the choice of science career.
Ferron (1973) also discovered that student choose certain careers to their attitude towards it.
Generally, a Nigeria young boy in secondary school had favourable attitude towards education. These individuals acquire skills and knowledge. The application depends largely on the attitudes of the individual and the society as a whole.
Therefore in any educational system, it is very essential to develop the wholesome attitudes. The determination of the students’ choice of science career most especially at the senior secondary schools depend largely on the attitude held by individuals and the society as a whole towards they are acquired or applied.
The Nigerian secondary schools have been presenting candidates for SSCE in all schools. The certificate awarded has become the yard stick for measuring the standard of students performance. It is also used to gain admission to Universities and other institutions of Higher learning. The students at this level needs to be guided because they are mainly adolescents. This guide will be in such a way that the choice of the career especially on science career will reflect the attitude for the students. Therefore, this study aims at identifying the factors affecting students in Gbonyin Local Government Area of Ekiti State.
Statement of the Problem.
Some of the factors influencing science career choice are likely to include interest, parental influence, peer group or socio behavioural influence, values, teachers attitude, attendance, etc, it is therefore not clear whether there is clear distinction in the factors influencing science choice among secondary school students. Therefore, the study aims at finding solutions to the following research questions.
1) What is the general attitudes of male and female students towards science career choice?
2) What is the relationship between parents’ career and science career choice of the students?
3) Are there differences between science career choice made by the students in SS 2 and SS 3?
4) Does science career choice depend on academic?
5) To what extent does peer group influence affects the choice of science career attainment or advancement?
6) To what extent does extracurricular participation affect the choice of science career.
7) To what extent does the relationship between teachers, student and their friends affects the choice of science career.
Based on this, the following hypothesis are tested:
1) There is no significant difference between the general attitudes of male and female students towards science career choice.
2) There is no significant difference between the parents career and students science career choice.
3) There is no significant difference between science career choice made by the students in SS 2 and SS 3.
4) There is no significant difference between academic attainment of students and their science career choice.
5) There is no significant difference between peer group or social behaviour influence and students science career choice.
6) There is no significant difference between the extra – curricular participation and students’ choice of science career.
7) There is no significant difference between the teacher, students and their friends relationship and science career choice.
Purpose of the study.
The purpose of this study is to identify factors affecting the students choice of science career in Gbonyin Local Government Area of Ekiti State. This study will cover five secondary schools in Gbonyin Local Government Area.
The study will also cover the services of the guidance counselors in the schools mentioned above and the influence on the students’ choice of science career. It is also to look into the influence of the peer group on the choice of science career.
Limitation of the study.
This study could not cover all secondary schools in Gbonyin Local Government Area due to the time constraint. Four secondary schools in Gbonyin Local Government Area were examined.
- a) Ojugbaye Comprehensive High School, Imesi Ekiti.
- b) Ile Owuro High School, Agbado Ekiti.
- c) Aisegba Community Grammar School, Aisegba Ekiti.
- d) Ode Ekiti High School, Ode Ekiti.
Since limited number of students are to be observed. In comparison with the total number of students in all secondary schools in Ekiti state, it therefore means that there is limitation as to the extent to which generalization can be made about factors that can influence students’ choice of science career in Gbonyin Local Government Area of Ekiti State.
Significance of the study.
The study is of relevance for the following reasons:
1) Science career development enables individuals to implement his life image and this can contribute to his self actualization especially when his vocational development is in harmony with the fulfillment of his other life goals.
2) The study is important because it will help the various factors affecting secondary school students choice of science career in Gbonyin Local Government Area with the view of helping the students in their choice of science career.
3) It will create the awareness in student, of the various factors that can affect students’ choice of subjects leading to their choice of science career and the implication.
4) Teachers will find this study useful in the sense that they will be aware of their roles in helping students to choose the subjects that will lead to their choice of science career.
5) The teacher will find this study useful in the sense that they will be aware of their roles in helping students to choose the subjects that will lead them to their choice of science career.
Parents in particular will be well informed about the implication forcing students to take a particular profession because of their own interest.
More, importantly, their study will help to project the importance of guidance counselor in the school system in helping students to choose the right type of science career.
Lastly, this research will aid other researchers to build upon the findings there form.
Definition of Terms.
Some of the terms that will be used for the purpose of this study are defined below:
Vocation: Activities, trade or occupation and others constituting a life style expressed in time, energy and ability.
Science: The study of nature and the study physical world by testing, experimenting and measuring.
Career: The totality of work one does in his life time and are person centered.
Occupation: This is one’s principal employment, business, vocation, trade or other means of live hood. It is a specific job or work activity. It is society centered.
Work: This is the systematic pursuit of an objective valued by oneself and desired by others.
Occupation Information: These are facts about jobs for use in vocational guidance. All kinds of information useful for a person who is choosing an occupation.
Vocational Aspiration: The work goal the child sets for himself which has personal significant for him.
Labour: Task that gives pleasure to the person that engaged in it.
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