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This study was sought to find out career aspirations and factors that are responsible for students choice of career among secondary school students in Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta State. To carry out this work four research questions where asked. The questionnaire was the only instrument used for data collection and but population comprises 240 students male and female. 120 copies of the questionnaire where administered to a sample of 120 students comprising SS1-III in Ughelli North Local Government Area. Distribution where fully completed and returned. Chi-square was used for analyzing the data. The research results revealed that 1.There is strong relationship between the sex and students choice of profession this shows that the sex of a students influences choice of career very greatly (x2 = 5.34, p 0,05). 2. The level of Education of parents did not influence the occupational aspiration of majority of the students (x2 = 80.77, significant). 3. There is relationship between subjects studied in the school and occupational choice of secondary school students. That school subjects were found suitable for the professional choice of students (x 2 = 78.54, o 0,05) 4.There is no relationship in career choice among SSI-III students in secondary school (x2 = 0.38 not significant). 5. The following reasons were found to be responsible for student’s choice of career in order of importance. i. Good working condition 47.9  ii. Economic reward (high salary and allowance) 29.2 iii. Social prestige or status of the job 9.17 iv. Easy way to become wealthy 4.17. the following recommendation were made based on the findings: 1. Government should provide guidance and counselors in our school to supplement the advice given by parents on career choice. 2. Guidance services should be provided and taken very serious in our schools to aid the students to be able to choose more realistic jobs.



Background Of The Study

Career choice is a very vital process in the life of an individual, particularly among secondary school students. Most students at this stage fall into the adolescence age-group and underlying most of the development task in this period of transition is striving for long term goals. They are greatly concerned about choosing a means of implementing self concept.

Involved in this choice is a decision not only of the type or class of persons one wishes to become. Preparation for adult life means preparation not only for earning a living but for spending time. Secondary education itself is a process of initiation into all aspect of living. Good career education is in fact good secondary education. We are living in an age of knowledge explosion.

The industrial society has become more and more complex. We are always faced with the problem of choice of vocation out of the numerous existing ones. This choice demands that alternative should be clear and the important factors given due weight in order that decision process can be easier. In the light of current events in Nigeria, there is need to express serious concern and adopt an appropriate approach to the issue.

Choice of career is a social problem the next step is to examine thoroughly the factors that combined to generate it. Social problem is an issue popular among scholars in academic cycles of the society. This social resulted from the gap between aspiration and choice career expectation and the facts of economic environment. The sum total of the problem is the unrealistic choice of occupation guidance made available to secondary school student during their school days.

To this extent we feel that it is not enough to suggest a relationship between attitude to school subject and vocational choice, Wilson (1953) because it is also important to think about the factors responsible or that lead to the formation of such attitude toward subject for instance it is necessary to find out whether it is school environment or peer – group influence that lead to negative attitude towards subjects.

In this great country (Nigeria), it could be seen that there is mass unemployment of graduates of institutions of higher learning which is partly attributed to the wrong choice of course among students of lower and higher schools. Career choice is a very important process in life of every individual, especially among students of secondary level. The choice of career influenced almost every aspect of a person’s life.

It can change the individuals value, ideas, and standards. The individual’s choice of career determines his satisfaction and success in life. Generally, nobody can undermine the influence of socio-cultural environment on the thinking process of individual in the society. A student who find himself in a poorly equipped school that is without adequate labouratory equipment will hardly develop likeness for basic science bearing such mind, the society ought

to examine herself before blaming students for irrational decision making. It is worth nothing that the secondary school students fall within twelve to nineteen (12-19) years of age. This is the period of adolescence. The period is notably characterized by the problem of deciding on a future career. Durojaiye (1970) and Olayinka (1973) showed that the educational choices of pupils are very unrealistic.

Most of their studies showed that the extent of occupational choice is dependent upon many factors. Some of these factors include: parental Pressures and encouragement, peer-group influences, prestige and value of career, sex and subjects studied at school. It has been recognized that the decision to choose as specific vacation is influenced by the individual’s value system, family background, his abilities, interests and opportunities available to him Yoloye (1976) and Balogun (1984).

They found out that the order of Priority for motivation for career choice were: Personal reference factors, overcoming financial barrier to education, public image of the job and influence from peers. Lockwood (1958) cited some common factor that are responsible for the choice of an occupation among youth as listed, includes the following; age, intelligence, course of study provided (school subjects) school marks experiences, amount of

occupational information, environment, physical status economic status, nature and degree of occupational counseling, motivation or drives, sex, self knowledge, values and vocational data. In choosing a career, the chooser must understand himself, know his own natural aptitudes and limitations and he must know the requirement of the occupation in order to gain success in the vocation.

The parents and teachers also has a very important role to play in helping their children to choose a career, that is know the interest of the child as he is growing up. Watch the child closely and know the particular things he likes doing, or that he drives joy while doing, encourage the child. Little vocational information limits the adolescent and often forces him to select an occupation not well suited to his interests and abilities.

Too much information may confuse him and delay his vocational choice. information that stresses the undesirable aspects of an occupation may discourage him from selecting it, even though he was strong preference for such work. As people including youths become better educated, they want a higher standard of living, they expect educational and psychological benefits as well as material and physical gains.

The expectation is that young people will go to school and then having reached their academic limits, will secure a suitable employment, marry and establish and independent house hold. And thereafter re-enact the lives of their aged parents with the hope that they would have attained a socio-economic plane some what higher than that of their parents.

This set of assumptions is made obsolete both by changes in the society and by changes in young people them selves. The choice of career has been one of the major problems facing Nigeria secondary school students over the years occurs, students at this level is Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta State are not left out of this problem.  It has been noted that students at this level simply drift into quite unsuitable career through chance, ignorance,

inexperience, ill-advice from parents, friends, relatives and inadequate counseling from teachers. This study is therefore designed specifically to reflect on the factors that combine to determine the choice of career of individual members of the society and Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta State.


Statement of the Problem

The fact that choice of career is a problem in schools is a known fact discernable from simple observation and by review of related literature. Bearing this is mind, many diversed factors are accepted as being influential in the choice of careers of secondary school students in Nigeria. The inculcation of social values particularly occupational prestige are reflected in the students job aspirations but intellectual ability is an important consideration since

individual may find entry into occupations that require considerable educational preparation completely barred. In Nigeria, the family occupations such as fishing and farming is no longer accepted by the children as the country is fast changing from traditionally agricultural country to an industrial one. This change has made choice of career a complex one among secondary school students in the country.

This process of career choice of adolescents is specifically difficulties because of ignorance of available job opportunities, environmental influences, such as pressure from parents, pressure from peer groups, school subject, prestige value of occupations, sex difference and some other factors which directly or indirectly responsible for student choice of career.

The choice of career influences almost every aspects of a persons and standards. The investigator therefore identify the following questions for the study:

  1. To what extent does sex affect the career choice of secondary school students in Ughelli North local government area?
  2. To what extent does the parental education attainment affect the choice of career of the secondary school student in Ughelli North local government area?
  3. To what extent does the subject studied in the school affect the career choice aspiration of secondary school students in Ughelli North local government area?
  4. To what extent does the relationship among students in SS I-III affect the career in Ughelli North local government area?

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study was to carry out research on the factors responsible for choice of career among some secondary school students in Ughelli North local government area of Delta State. Specifically, the study will

  1. Enable students to make proper choice of subjects.
  2. Provide information about other institution or higher education, the course offered and examination requirements within the reach of the student.
  3. Also to determine interpersonal relationship among staff and students, teacher/teacher, teacher/principal and above all school/parents community relationship.
  4. Introduce orderly planned career programme in the school time-table so that all students have the opportunity of interacting with the guidance counselor.
  5. That all secondary schools should be provided with guidance counselor by the state of ministry of education. 

Research Questions

  1. Is the sex of students responsible in the choice of career of secondary school students in Ughelli North Local Government Area?
  2. Is parental education attainment responsible in choice of career of secondary school students in Ughelli North Local Government Area?
  3. Does the subject studied in school responsible for the choice of career aspiration of secondary school students in Ughelli North Local Government Area?
  4. Is there any relationship between the choice of career among SSI-III students in Ughelli North Local Government Area?


          Based on the above research questions the following hypothesis are postulated and tested to guide the study.

  1. There is no significant different between the career choice of male and female students in Ughelli North Local Government Area?
  2. There is no significant different between the parental educational attainment and career choice aspiration of students in Ughelli North Local Government Area?
  3. There is no significant different in career choice among SSI-III students in Ughelli North Local Government Area?
  4. There is no significant different between subjects studied in school and the choice of career aspiration of the students in Ughelli North Local Government Area?

Significance of the Study

This study is aimed at investigating the major factors that are responsible for career choice amongst secondary school students in Ughelli North Local Government Area: A good knowledge of these significant factors that are responsible for youth vocation will help parents, teachers and career counselors in guiding the youths to the desired job decision.

Such significance will provide information about much that has been done and how they were done in this field that currently focus our interest. This study will also provide the much need solution that will guide students choice of career that will better their future lives. It is expected to be of use to career counselor and educators, in guiding and helping students to make realistic career choice, thereby, reducing the disappointments in jobs and checking pitiable

wages among secondary school students. Another major significance of this study is that it is also contributed to the general understanding of the process of adolescents career choice. The study will also throw light on the amount of knowledge adolescence’s have about jobs available here in Nigeria.

Scope/ Delimitation of the Study

This study was confined to students of six (6) selected secondary schools in Ughelli North Local Government Area. The samples was draw from two only female school, one only male school and three mixed secondary grammar schools. These schools were selected because they were oldest in the local government. The schools had, had a large turn out over the year.

The study is aimed at investigating only the pattern of factors responsible for career choice among students and the influence of specific variables on the choice.

Limitation of the Study

There are two major limitations of this study; Time and financial constraints. Time constraints which constraints which is as a result of short period of time allocated to the researcher to carryout this research work more effectively and secondly financial constraint on the part of the researcher. Also, there is the constraint of unavailability of adequate information materials that are made available source in Nigeria information and communication system in Nigeria is poor.

Thus, this has resulted to some set back in the research work of the researcher. Further more, another limitation of this study is that the study is confined to students of only one particular year, there is focus on previous years to know the educational changes that has taken place and the impact of this on the social lives of the students.


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