PROJECT TOPIC- PARENTAL INFLUENCE ON CAREER CHOICE OF STUDENTS IN SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN AFIKPO NORTH LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF EBONYI STATE
This research work was designed to examine Parental Influence on Career Choice of Students in Senior Secondary Schools in Afikpo North Local Government Area of Ebonyi State. Four research questions were posed to guide the study. The researcher adopted a descriptive survey research design in carrying out this study. The population for the study consists of all the 4,285 teachers and students in all the twenty two (22) secondary schools in Afikpo North Local Government Area of Ebonyi State. The sample consists of 300 respondents. Simple random sampling technique was used to select the sample for the study. Structured questionnaire were used as an instrument for data collection. Statistical mean (X) was used to analyze the data collected. Findings among other things revealed that; attitude of parents towards the career choice,formal education of parents, economic background of parents, and physical environment of parents influence their children career choice.From the findings it was recommended that:parents should positively direct and train their children on the career of their choice and not to influence them based on their occupation, parents should see reasons by motivating their children who has chosen career of their choice without using formal education as a tool for discouragement and that government should effectively assists most parents with low economic background in training their children. Finally, suggestions for further studies were made.
Background to the Study
Education is a continuous process in life. It is the process of training and developing the knowledge, skill, mind and character of people. It is also the process by which the latent abilities of individuals are developed so that they may be useful to themselves and the society (Olaniyonu, Adekoya and Gbenu, in Temitope 2015).Education as an instrument for the socio-economic and political development of any nation is never in doubt. Education is the transmission of what is worthwhile to individuals to make them knowledgeable and contributing members of the society (Odo, Ede and Ben 2010).
Kalu (2012), refers to education as the acquisition of certain behavioural characteristics such as skill, attitudes, beliefs, tastes, ability to reason, knowledge and any other trait which enable one adjust and interact effectively with other individuals. Education involves a combination of physical training with character building and manual activities with intellectual training. Education is also embracing all experiences through which an individual acquires knowledge or ideas, develops his intellect and strengthens his will. Agi (2010) put it that modern nations of the world have proved that for economic advancement, political democracy, industrial, technological and scientific breakthrough as well as character development to take place, the highest premium must be placed on education.
From the above definitions of education, it points out that the scholars emphasize on what education is all about and its importance in the national development. Through education, an individual will develop the capacity to contribute meaningfully to the growth and development of his country. For education to play its important roles, it must be functional and effective. Functionality and effectiveness in the sense that it brings desirable changes in what people think, the way people feel and interact with their physical, social, economic, cultural and political environment (Ocho, 2005).
Ocho further maintains that functionality in education will equip the citizens of a nation, who are found worthy in character and in learning to participate and contribute maximally to the development of the country. Education has been recognized as a tool par excellence and the spring board for effecting desired national economic growth and development. Education as an instrument par excellence which is the center of national development and individual advancement vehemently affect students choice of career through parental influence on what to study and what not to study.
Career as the progress and actions taken by a person throughout a lifetime, specially related to that person‘s occupations. A career is often composed of the jobs held, titles earned and work accomplished over a long period of time, rather than just referring to one‘s position (Olaosebikan, 2014). Hornby (2008) defines career as an occupation or profession, especially one requiring special training, followed as one‘s lifework.
It also defines career as a person‘s progress or general course of action through a phase of life, as in some profession or undertaking. Career could also be defined as the sum total of life experiences including paid and unpaid work, community, volunteer and family activities. Microsoft Encarta defines career as somebody‘s progress in a chosen profession or during that person‘s working life, or the general path of progress taken by somebody.
Choosing a career is an extremely important decision that impacts an individual‘s entire future. Career exploration is defined as the extent to which possible careers are researched and considered. Navin (2009) asserts that exploring career options before committing to a career increases future career success and satisfaction most atime. Generally, (Hairston in Olaosebikan 2014) parents‘ career aspirations aid children in selecting occupational goals, influence their knowledge o foccupations, and familiarize them with occupational roles and requirements.
Whether the child internalizes those aspirations is greatly determined by numerous values found within the home. Lee, in Olaosebikan (2014) also agrees that the occupational orientations of parents familiarize children with occupational roles, while the value orientations of parents provide the learning environment that motivates the aspirations of children. In recent times, there has been growing interest in the interrelationships between career and parental influence. Most importantly the focus has been on the factors that tend to move an individual towards a career.
The achievement of children as they grow up has always been a matter of intense interest to parents, (Perrone, 2010). The problem of career choice has implications for national development. In every society, the quality of workers as well as their degree of job satisfaction contributes directly or indirectly to economic stability and the smooth running of the affairs of the Nation. If workers are unable to derive satisfaction from their job, frustration sets in with accompanying decline in productivity and civil unrest due to workers thwarted goals.
Education, economic incentives and parental influence are sometimes used as pressures to induce the young adolescents into predetermined careers, regardless of the potentials, actual need and ego of the child. The glamour associated with some careers often turn out to be an illusion. Trost and Levin (2009) opines that family influences the behaviour or character of a child.
Tella (2013) assertsthat parents play an invaluable role in laying foundation of their children’s career. Edwards (2009) states in his research that matching personal interest with career choice often leads to job satisfaction in which 48.3% of his respondents strongly agree while 22.9% agree that their choice were influenced by their interest. Less than 20% disagree that there career choice was influenced by their interest. These results are in agreement with those of Mtburgh (2009) who reports that their student’s interests provide the main motives for their career choice.
Notwithstanding, it is believed that the primary motive behind the pursuit of various occupations is the fundamental human need to make ends meet to satisfy needs. While this has some truth in it, the contemporary society with its dynamic and sophisticated social and economic systems have taken the problem of occupational choice a step further by making it both complex and intriguing, (Onyejiaku, 2011).
On the other hand, many are the variables that operate to decide which occupation an individual chooses. Practically, every effort put forth to decide an occupation translates, in the light of significant factors, to an effort to limit oneself from entering into a wide array of careers. In other words, occupational choice made imply foregoing several alternatives. A number of these factors tend to impact more strongly than others.
A universal hierarchy of these factors in order of extent of influence eludes us because, at least no two individual are the same. What may significantly influence the occupational preference of one person may have less significance for another. However, while it is difficult to determine the relative potency of variables, it is true that there is some form of interaction among them where one modifies the other. While some of these variables are psychologically and biologically rooted, others have socio-economic undertones. Still, it is uncommon for individuals to get into an occupation by accident or chance (Onyejiaku, 2011).
Olaosebikan, (2014) reviews the following as the variables that influence students‘ occupational goals (family, level of parental education, school, peers, personality, and socioeconomic status). Olaosebikan stated that,there are significant family influence factors that affect a child‘s career and educational decisions. These significant factors are: geographic location, genetic inheritance, family background, socioeconomic status, family composition, parenting style, and parent-work related attitudes.
Splete (2010) regards the first-four factors as having a strong influence on a child‘s physical and mental abilities, educational, and employment opportunities, and financial resources, the last three have a profound effect on a child‘s personality type, preference for certain types of interpersonal relationships, work attitudes, and willingness to pursue a non-traditional career. Other family variables that have been shown to influence career aspirations include the parents‘ occupation (Downey, 2009). The father‘s occupational status is highly correlated with his son‘s occupation (Blau, 2012).
Family size also appears to influence students career aspirations because parents with large families tend to have less money to aid the older children in attending higher institution, while younger children may receive more financial assistance since the financial strain is less once the older children leave home. In the same light, Wikelund (2012), points out the more intensively parents are involved in their children’s learning, the more beneficial are the achievements effects.
Moreover, Oyebode (2012) notes that irrespective of parental educational level and support, children choose jobs that are highly rated in the society. Parental influence is a source of pressure which induces the young adolescent into pre-determined occupations, sometimes with little or no considerations on the potentials, actual needs and ego of the child. Career choices are decisions that should be carefully made because it affects the entire life of an individual; hence it is necessary that such as this should be carried out in order to study the parental influence on career choice of students in secondary schools in Afikpo North Local Government.
PROJECT TOPIC- PARENTAL INFLUENCE ON CAREER CHOICE OF STUDENTS IN SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN AFIKPO NORTH LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF EBONYI STATE
Statement of the Problems
Career choice tends to be a persistent problem for the students in the contemporary society. That is why it is not uncommon for students to get into occupations that are not quite suitable to their abilities. Parental background on the other hand tends to be the single most influential factor in students career choice. More often than not, parents owing to personal idiosyncrasies, pressure their wards into taking up family occupations and other careers even when they do not possess requisite abilities. What usually obtains in the end is job dissatisfaction, under performance, if not complete malfunction, frustration and inefficiency, all of which translate in the long run to National economic crisis. Therefore, study investigates’what are the parental influence on career choice of students in senior secondary schools in Afikpo North Local Government?
Purpose of the Study
The main purpose of the study is to find out the parental influence on career choice of students in secondary schools in Afikpo North Local Government Area of Ebonyi State. Specifically, the study aims at finding out whether:
- The attitude of parents towards the career choice of students in Afikpo North Local Government.
- The educational status of parents influences the career choice of students in Afikpo North Local Government.
- The economic background of parents influences the career choice of students in Afikpo North Local Government.
- The physical environment of parents influences the career choice of students in Afikpo North Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.
Significance of the Study
The study will be of immense benefit to parents and students:
From this research, parents will through the PTAs (Parents Teachers Association), be dissuaded from compelling their children into taking up occupations that are not at par with their personal characteristics and abilities.
The findings of this study will also enable the students to findout their right in choosing a career. For the fact that many students today suffer a lot of academic set back as a result of studying a particular discipline that they dislike but jump into the discipline due to their parental influence to read their desire course. So, the findings of this nature will aid the students to know their right over career choice.
Scope of the Study
This study focuses on parental influence on career choice of students in secondary schools. The contents covered: parent attitude towards their occupation, parents’ level of education, parents’ economic background and physical environment of parents. This research work will be restricted to secondary school teachers and students in Afikpo North Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.
Based on this, the study is guided by the following research questions;
- What are the parents’ attitude towards the career choice of senior secondary school students in Afikpo North Local Government?
- How does parents’ educational status influence the career choice of senior secondary school students in Afikpo North Local Government?
- How does parents’ economic background influence the career choice of senior secondary school students in Afikpo North Local Government?
How does physical environment of parents influence the career choice of senior secondary school students in Afikpo North Local Government?