Determinants of Career Choice and Its Influence on the Career Decision of Secondary School Students
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Almost every individual is to face the challenge of career choice and decision making at one time another of his or her life. The selection or choice of a career is one of the most important decisions an individual always makes.
However, students are particularly to encounter such problems while battling with selection of study programs. The research study entitled “Determinants of Career Choice and its Influence on the Career Decision of Secondary School Students”, had as purpose to find out to what extent these determinants of career choice has an influence on the career decision of secondary school students.
The researcher formulated three questions to guide the study as follows: To what extent does parental influence affect students’ career decision? How does career orientation influence students’ career decision? How does personal interest influence students’ career decision?
The researcher reviewed a number of books on what other authors have written in relation to the study. The target population of the study was 306 lower sixth students of selected public secondary schools in Kumba III municipality.
The sample size was made up of 150 students from two secondary schools in Kumba III with the use of the purposive and simple random sampling technique to draw the sample.
Questionnaire was used in collecting relevant information and the data from the respondents were analyzed using the descriptive and inferential statistics. Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) was used and the Pearson’s Correlated coefficient was used to test the formulated hypothesis.
The findings show that there is a positive significant relationship between parental influence and students’ career decision with r=0.82. The findings also show that there is a strong positive significant relationship between career orientation and students’ career decision with r=0.90.
It goes further to reveal that there is a positive significant relationship between personal interest and students’ career decision with r=0.71. Hence, it was concluded that determinant of career choice have significant influence on students career decision in the selected school in Kumba III municipality.
It was recommended that students should not be forced to choose a particular career; rather they should be encouraged to choose a career according to their intellectual ability. Also school counselors should intensify career counseling to students so that students can identify career that are suitable to them and to make appropriate decisions.
Lastly students should be assisted to choose a career that they love and to know their personality type that is a reflection of their talent.
This chapter introduces the study, it also focuses on the background of the study, the statement of the problem, presented the hypothesis as well as the objectives of the study not forgetting some operational definition of terms and the significance of the study.
Education is universally recognized as the answer to socio-economic problems in the world at large. Nations as well as individuals look up to education to provide a solution to many vices plaguing the society for instance; poverty, joblessness, ignorance, amongst others.
(Friesen 1981) Career selection is one of the most integral choices made by students which have an effect in determining their future.
In Kumba generally, career choice has been a serious problem among the secondary school students this is because just like adults, many have plans to become medical doctors, engineers, accountants and so on. It is important to note that students’ general orientation into the world of work is very important.
It could be through the curriculum, or other means. The kind of career the youths pursue can affect their lives in many ways. Take for instance it can determine where the individual lives and the type of friends he keeps, not forgetting the kind of education the student gets and the amount of money he earns.
Career choice is a significant issue in the developmental live of youths because it is reported to be associated with positive as well as harmful psychological, physical and socio economic inequalities that persist well beyond the youthful age into an individual’s adult life( Robertson , 2014; Bubic and Ivanisevic, 2016).
The term “youth” is described by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization(UNESCO) as a more fluid category than a fixed age group and it refers to young people transitioning from the dependence of childhood to adulthood independence and awareness of their interdependence as members of a community(UNESCO,2017).
The complexity of a career decision-making process increases as age increases (Gati & Saka, 2001). Younger children are more likely to offer answers about ideal career which may represent their dreams and aspirations about what they want to do when they grow up (Howard & Walsh, 2011).
As children get older, they are more likely to describe a career decision as a dynamic interplay of their developmental stages and the prevailing environmental circumstances (Howard & Walsh, 2011).
Youth career decision making is required to go through a processof understanding by defining what they want to do and exploring a variety of career options with the aid of guide and planning (Porfeli and Lee, 2012). Proper handling of the process affirms individual identity and fosters wellbeing, job satisfaction and stability (Kunnen, 2013).
Choosing a career is an extremely important decision that impacts an individual’s entire future. Research has suggested that, exploring career options before committing to a career increases the possibility of future career success and satisfaction.
Choosing a career is often considered a major turning point in a young adult’s life. This decision alone has the potential to open the door for success or close the door for opportunity.
Often seen as the individual’s choice, research suggests that there are a variety of influences on student’s career choice such as family, school, community, not forgetting socio-economic factors. Among these factors, students report that parents have the greatest influence on which career they choose (Kniveton, 2004).
The need to make a good choice of career becomes important if one needs satisfaction as well as happiness, but at times it is the contrary because you see people rushing to careers they cannot cope with instead of choosing those that suit their intellectual abilities, which often leave them very confused.
Historically and even till date, it was and is still believed that an individual going through late adolescence would be developing their independence and slowly eliminate constraints. In effect, the person would make career decisions based on his or her own interests, career or occupational goals as well as his study with little or no external influence.
However, this picture fails to include the notion that not every decision will happen like that for each and every individual. Infact, even when adolescents move away from home, family, or even their culture are likely to still have a strong influence over their life especially when it comes to their career.
Since the 1980s, family therapists and career counsellors have gathered more information about the significant influence parents have on their children’s development of vocational choice later in life (Kinier, Brigman & Noble,1990).
Even though adolescents actively begin demonstrating their independence from their parents in their high school years, they are still very much dependent on their parents for their career growth. (Peterson, Stivers & Peters, 1986).
It is important to note that parents create the strongest impression on their adolescent’s vocational choice more than any other group including counsellors, teachers, friends or even mentors. (Bardick, Bernes, Nagnusson & Witko 2004).
The concept of career choice involves more than just choice of occupation; although that choice forms the basis from which one’s career evolves. Most of an individual’s walking hours are spent pursuing occupational activities which are connected with economic security and a means of survival.
The word career has been a derivative of French and Latin origin. According to (Ahmed & Ahmad, 2017), career is defined as the occupational, commercial or industrial activity that a person may adopt during his educational life or in some parts of his life.
It also clarifies career as the application of a person’s cognition and capabilities, providing command over profession. Timely work expertise and a basis of developing and bettering one’s life. For many students, choosing a career is a straightforward task and it involves the difficult process of decision-making.
Career decision-making on the other hand pertains to the ability to make a good career decisions, taking into consideration knowledge, thoughtfulness, intelligence and skill in determining and evaluating outcomes.(Burskik, 1976).
It can also be seen as the process by which an individual comes to choose between two or more alternative courses of action. This process reflects the process through which individuals take in, weigh and make judgements about themselves in relation to their world of work. (Gati, (1986).
It is therefore in line with aspects of career choice and decision making, that this study would be reviewing the concepts of career choice which will include; parental influence, career orientation and personal interest, which are seen as major factors that determine students’ career choices.
In Cameroon, guidance and counselling can be traced back to the 1940s with the In-service Unit in counselling opened in Public Works(Ndongo & Leke 2000). However, career choice is still a rarely discussed topic nationwide.
But with the evolution of guidance and counselling in Cameroon, it can be looked into and greatly improved. The implementation of Guidance and Counselling Services makes it easier for career guidance or counselling to be carried out thus lightening the burden of career decision making by the students.
Although studies pertaining to career counselling in Cameroon have not been a point of focus, a good number of studies like that of (Etoundi, 2008), shows that to an extent, the implementation of counselling services thus career guidance, as well as emphasizing on the role of a counsellor, can go a long way not only to make they the students become aware and oriented career wise, but also go a long way to help them make better career decisions.
Theoretically, the study was informed by Albert Bandura’s Social Cognitive Learning Theory and John Holland’s Theory of Vocational Career which provided a theoretical foundation for the current study.
The two theories were chosen because of their relevance to career issues especially career development. They include both social and cognitive factors while being sensitive to cultural aspects.
Students live in a social world where they interact with the environment as they seek guidance towards careers. These theories deal with the cognitive aspects of the students by making them aware of their decisions.
Empirically, several researchers’ ideas were reviewed on the determinants of career choice and their influence on secondary students’ decision. The factors looked at are; parental influence, school orientation and personal interest.
Statement of the problem
When people grow and reach adulthood they already know what to do or become after school, while others keep drifting to jobs where they may become frustrated or unhappy. Parents have a tendency to force their children to get into high rated profession such as medicine, engineering, law, without considering if the child’s interest is there.
It is of crucial importance to understand the factors influencing career choice and how they play a role in students’ career decision. It is worth noting that ignorance about one’s career path is not bliss, and planning one’s career is better than leaving it to chance.
Despite all the efforts put forth by families and other external factors, many young people still encounter difficulties in the transition from the world of school to that of work. Choosing a career is a major turning point in students’ life and yet many students are unable to express any choice of career.
Some students insist on studying courses where they lack basic foundation, or are pressurized by family, to some it is their interest that pushes them to want to exert in a particular profession.
It is against this observation that the researcher is interested in investigating the influence the determinants of career choice has on the career decision of secondary school students in some selected schools in the Kumba III municipality.
-To investigate the determinants of career choice on students’ career decision.
-To investigate if parental influence affects students’ career decision.
-The role of career orientation on students’ career decision.
-To investigate if personal interest influences students’ career decision.
-To what extent do determinants of career choice influence students’ career decision within the Kumba III municipality?
-How does parental influence affect students’ career decision?
– How does career orientation influence students’ career decision?
– How does personal interest affect students’ career decision?