FACTORS AFFECTING SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN CHOOSING AGRICULTURAL SCIENCE AS A CAREER AFTER THEIR SECONDARY EDUCATION.
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Background of the Study
Career is the sequence of occupation, job or position occupied by a person during his entire life. Therefore, it is an accepted fact that one should choose and prepare for a carer ealy enough in life. Hence, Secondary school agricultural students need to be exposed to career opportunities in agriculture.
Agriculture according to Egbe (2004) is an art, a science, a business, profession, occupation and industry for production of food and fibre for man’s use. It is very extensive in scope and has many career opportunities. Egbe (2004) listed the careers open for students of agriculture in the areas of (i) Self-reliance in production of various crops, fishery, poultry, pigery, rabitary, or distribution of farm produce. (ii) Civil service work in Ministry of Agriculture, National Directorate of Employment, Agricultural agencies e.t.c. (iii) Research Stations (iv) Agro-allied industries like detergents, processing, supplies, textiles, feed meals e.t.c.
The choice of any of these careers may be influenced by certain factors. Okorie (2010) said that factors that limit choice of occupation are the things that prevent individuals from entering into the occupation. He stresses further that those factors as the nature of preparation, job remunerations, returns to the occupations, motivation and incentives, technicality involved in the occupation and the status of the job. In a similar manner, Eze (2014) enumerated factors that limit students choice of agricultural occupations as the level of exposure to carer occupations, quality of teaching agriculture, returns to agriculture projects, availability of inputs for agricultural enterprise, and public image of agricultural occupations. In this study, factors that affect choice of agricultural career by secondary school students refer to cause of poor retention of graduates in agric jobs.
In the past, students who had an interest in agriculture went home to work on the family farm after graduating from high school or college. Some students even went on to start a small farm with the idea of expanding. There was less variety among jobs in the agricultural field in the past compared to present day agriculture (Thiesse, 2012). Farming in the past was more out of necessity than source of income. Farm families were often large to support the labor needs of the farm (Steadman, 2012).
Today, agriculture is more advanced and the job field has expanded opportunities for graduating students. Agriculture represents 1.6% of all jobs in the United States and 5.9% of jobs in rural areas of the United States (USDA, 2009). Agriculture affects U.S. employment indirectly by supporting industries such as agricultural services and agricultural processing and marketing (USDA, 2009). Students now have opportunities to work in specific concentrations instead of going back home to work on the farm (Thiesse, 2012). Students now have the option to work in many areas including teaching (for example, working as extension agents to educate local farmers), marketing for companies such as machinery and crop production service companies, commodity trading, or working in agricultural production.
Many factors can influence come into play when college students choice of career path. Students will typically take into account the quality of life they want when they are older. Factors such as interest in field, academic ability, familiarity, economic stability, and influential people can all play a role in the decision.
Some students grow up knowing what they want to do in life. These are the students who will go the extra mile to reach their dream job. However, students often settle on a different path due to many factors they can’t control. Students will research their chosen career path and explore everything about it. The salary and benefits of that job do not play a role in this decision. In a research study the factor “match with interest” rated over job characteristics, major attributes, and psychological and social benefits in importance when students choose a major (Beggs et a ., 2015). Students will seek out schools that are well known for that major or trade.. Most students today are more concerned with the amount of money they can earn. However, there are a few students who pursue their dreams (Mcglynn, 2007).
Many students choose their major based on their academic ability (Beggs et al., 2008). However, some students do not have the ability or the work habits to succeed in some majors that may require more study than other fields of studies. These students may find a better fit in a less work intensive major that requires fewer difficult classes. This affects the career paths of these students. Other students have the ability to handle majors with greater workloads and choose the career path that will lead to a job requiring more education. Examples in this category include veterinarians, doctors, or lawyers. For jobs such as these, students need more than one degree.
On the other hand, some students have the drive to put in the work in very labor intensive fields but do not have the intelligence to perform the tasks that are needed for their chosen field (Beggs et al., 2008). These students often receive help from tutors, special education teachers, and special exceptions when taking exams and doing homework. Students are given every opportunity to excel and work in their field.
Statement of the Problem
It has been generally observed that the number of secondary school graduates taking agriculture as a career is low as majority of farmers in the study area are adult farmers. There must be some variables which are responsible for the low choice of agriculture as a carer by secondary school graduates. These variables or factors have not been determined in the study area because there is no record on the causes of low choice of agriculture as a career. As the factors militating choice of agriculture as a career are not determined. It is very difficult for the teachers and stakeholders of agriculture education programme to improve the teaching of agriculture so that graduates of the course can choose it as a career. If this problem is allowed to continue, it will adversely reduce the workforce and agricultural productivity. It is therefore necessary to determine factors affecting choice of agriculture as a career by secondary school graduates for the purpose of improving agricultural programmes, food production and retention of graduates in the job
The general purpose of the study is to determine those factors that are affecting secondary school students in choosing agricultural science as a career after their secondary education.
The specific objective will determine
- The factor affecting students choice of agricultural science as a career after secondary school
- If teacher character influence secondary school students in taking agriculture as a career choice after secondary school
- To find out what influence students in taking Agriculture as a career choice
- To find out if gender influence students in taking agriculture as a career
The following research question were stated to guide the study
- What are the factor affecting students choice of agricultural science as a career after secondary school?
- Does the teacher character influence secondary school students in taking agriculture as a career choice after secondary school?
- what influence students in taking Agriculture as a career choice?
- does students gender influence their choice of taking agriculture as a career?
the following null hypothesis were tested at 0.05 level of significant
- There is no significance difference on the factors affecting students choice of agricultural science as a career
- Teachers character does not have significant effect on students choice of taking agriculture as a career choice after secondary school
- There is no significant difference on the factors influence students in taking agriculture as a career
- Gender does not influence students in their choice of career
The study is of relevant for the following reasons:
- .Career development enable individual to implement life image and this can contribute to actualization especially when vocational development is in harmony with the fulfillment of life goals.
- The study is important because it will help the various factors affecting secondary school students choice of career in ———- Local Government with a view of helping the student in the choice of career.
- It will create the awareness in students of the various factor that can affect students choice of career and the implication.
- Teachers will find this study successful in that they will be aware of their role in helping students to choose the subject that will lead to their choice of career.
- It will help parent not to force some career on their children who might not be good in the subject area more important, the study will help to project the importance of a guidance counselor in the school system in helping students to choose their type of career.
SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study could not cover all secondary school in —– Local Government due to the constraint of time which the study his posed to the researchers.
Five secondary school in ——– Local Government. Was examined.
- Wiloogun Grammar School, Ilupeji, Ijan-Ekiti
- Ayo-Daramola Memorial School, Ijan-Ekiti
- Ijamodu High School, Ijan-Ekiti
- Romic International Group of Schools, Ijan-Ekiti
- Community Grammar School, Ijan-Ekiti
Since limited number of student are to be observed on comparison with the total number of students in all secondary schools in Ekiti State, it therefore meant that there is limitation as to be extent to which generalization can be made about factors affecting choice of agricultural science as a career choice after secondary school
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