BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Education is commonly accepted as the solution to the world’s socioeconomic challenges. Education, among other things, is looked to by nations and people to offer a remedy for poverty, ignorance, drought, excessive rains, mental inadequacy, joblessness, terrible government, a poor communication system, starvation, and inadequate housing. Secondary schools in Nigeria may be traced back to numerous missionary organizations. In the creation of most post-primary schools in various sections of the country, the Church Missionary Society (C.M.S.) took the lead, and was followed by other missions. According to Fafunwa (1974) in Onoyase and Onoyase (2009), there was a consistent curriculum across the missions, with the topics mostly consisting of the four RS: Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, and Religion. According to Oroka (1998), with the increased government participation in education from 1882, the curriculum material was enlarged to include courses like as Latin, Greek, European History, Economic History, and English Literature. These topics were designed to promote British culture. In reality, this was the curriculum passed down from the colonial overlords to Nigeria. University graduates were held in great regard throughout this time period. The situation has changed, and the number of vocations has grown dramatically, and the current tendency is for students to specialize in a certain subject. This was one of the elements that led a shift from the 6-5-4 educational system to the 6-3-3-4 educational system, which prioritized technology education.
Every country in the world strives to a high standard of living and social standing. With the development of information technology, the post-industrial revolution, and employment competitiveness, career selection has evolved into a sophisticated science. It was normal practice in the past to turn feudalism into a family issue, with the son of a blacksmith bound to become a blacksmith and a feudal born a leader. Industrialization and post-industrialization have made it feasible for the average individual to become affluent as long as she or he possesses the necessary skills and information (Wattles, 2009). Today, in order to adapt to changing socioeconomic situations, one must not only conduct thorough career planning but also extensive job study before choosing a professional decision (Wattles, 2009).
One of the many critical decisions students will make in choosing their future goals is career choice. The term “career” refers to all of the positions that individuals play throughout their lives, including those of students, parents, employees, retirees, and employers. As a result, a person’s profession might be viewed as a lifetime endeavor. Career theorists such as Super (1957), Ginsburg et al (1951), Tiedeman and O’hara (1953), and Gelatt decision making model (1962) in Eremie acknowledged the complexity of individual career choice making earlier (2015). All of the theories mentioned above agreed that individual decision-making methods play an important role in the overall process of job development, and that gender, personal interests, and learning experiences are all variables influencing students’ career choices. They realized that personality, hobbies, self-concept, cultural identity, globalization, family, and social support all affected students’ profession choices. According to Geciki (2002), a career is an occupational, commercial, or industrial activity that a person may pursue during his or her school life or in some other period of his or her life until death. Career is defined by Redman and Wilkinson (2001) as the application of a person’s cognition and competencies, offering mastery over profession, timely job knowledge, and a foundation for creating and improving business networks.
The appropriate career path for students entering professional education is crucial, since it has a large influence on their professional life and future accomplishment. This is the tipping point: intuition, preconceived beliefs, wild imaginations, or popular concepts cannot be relied on. When not aligned with the expectations, a misperceived career decision puts all individual efforts and resources in the incorrect direction, which is not only irritating but also exhausting of human energy and waste of resources. A re-alignment is doable, but it will have major consequences in terms of time, money, and motivation. Students’ profession choices must be founded on solid knowledge, full information, and being effectively directed, as well as matching individual personality type and other intrinsic and extrinsic criteria. Students must be informed about new developing trends, future prospects, and problems in the context of professional alternatives. They must be aware of current market trends and practices, as well as the employment market in various areas (Kazi, Nimra and Nawaz, 2017). According to Hewitt (2010), the variables that influence profession choice might be internal, extrinsic, or both. A variety of factors, including ethnic origin, year in school, degree of accomplishment, choice of science subjects, attitudes, and disparities in work qualities, have been found to impact students’ perceptions of being fit for specific careers (McQuaid and Bond, 2003).
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Nigeria’s technology education is fast increasing, making the society more sophisticated than it was previously. The number of occupations that have sprouted up as a result of technological advancement has also expanded significantly, and there are several professions within one occupation. For example, farming, which was once a basic employment, is today a fairly complicated occupation with numerous career options. These include poultry, vegetable farming, fruit farming, fisheries, piggery, and so on, with the result being specialization.
Scholars have a lot of questions and solutions about the subject of profession choice among secondary school pupils. The matter has been delicate, and it must be treated with caution. There is no obvious method through which secondary school pupils choose a job. According to media reports and findings from certificate examination agencies such as the West African Examination Council (WAEC), the National Examination Council (NECO), and the Joint Admission and Examination Board (JAMB), the incidence of failure among secondary school pupils is frightening. Universities have complained that many students who choose a certain topic of study underperform in that discipline. This is due to a combination of innate and external variables. Most secondary school pupils do not have adequate knowledge about employment options to assist them make suitable career choices. According to Kerka (2000), personality, interests, self concept, cultural identity, globalization, socialization, role model, social support, and accessible resources such as knowledge and financial resources all impact employment choice. According to Bandura et al. (2001), each individual involved in the process is impacted by a variety of elements, including the milieu in which they live, their personal aptitudes, social interactions, and educational achievement. As a result, the purpose of this study is to look at psychological factors and secondary school students’ job choices.
OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The main purpose of this research study was to investigate “psychological variables and students career choice in public secondary schools. It will also look into the following in relation to the research study:
i. To ascertain whether students’ self-concept influence their career choice in secondary schools.
ii. To ascertain whether students’ career perception and Students’ cognitive ability influence their career choice in secondary schools.
iii. To ascertain whether students’ motivation for occupational preference impact their career choice in secondary schools.
iv. To ascertain whether peer pressure affect students’ career choice in secondary schools.
The research is guided by the following question:
i. Does students’ self-concept influence their choice of career in secondary schools.
ii. Does students’ career perception and Students’ cognitive ability influence their choice of career in secondary schools.
iii. Does students’ motivation for occupational preference impact their choice of career in secondary schools.
iv. Does peer pressure affects student choice of career in secondary schools.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study will be significant to government, guidance counselors, students and parents in the following ways
It will help reemphasized the need for government to provide an enabling teaching/learning environment for both teachers and students so as to ensure that adequate information about careers is disseminated to student in order to make their career choice easy and worthwhile. It will help reemphasized the need for parents not to force their children against their area of career interest, as this may make not to function optimally in their parent’s preferred career choice. It will help sensitize students on the need to also consult their school guidance counselors as this will help them obtain basic, adequate and proper career information regarding their career area of interest. It will enable the researcher to make concrete recommendations to the government on areas to improve upon about psychological variables determining the choice of career among students especially now that the rate of unemployment is high.
It is believed that the findings of this study will enable the researcher to make recommendations for further research on the issue of psychological variables and how it influence career choice among secondary school students.
SCOPE OF STUDY
The scope of this research study borders on “psychological variables and students career choice in public secondary schools. The study will cover variables such as self-concept, career perception, motivation for occupational preference and peer pressure and their impact on student choice of career. The study is however delimited to selected public secondary schools in Otukpo Metropolis Benue State. Nigeria.
LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
Like in every human endeavour, the researchers encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. The significant constraint was the scanty literature on the subject owing that it is a new discourse thus the researcher incurred more financial expenses and much time was required in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection, which is why the researcher resorted to a limited choice of sample size covering only public secondary schools in Otukpo Metropolis Benue State. Thus findings of this study cannot be used for generalization for other public secondary schools in other states within Nigeria. Additionally, the researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work will impede maximum devotion to the research. Howbeit, despite the constraint encountered during the research, all factors were downplayed in other to give the best and make the research successful.
DEFINITION OF TERMS
Career: This is a an occupation or profession, especially one requiring special training, followed as one’s lifework:
Psycho-social: The psychosocial approach looks at individuals in the context of the combined influence that psychological factors and the surrounding social environment have on their physical and mental wellness and their ability to function.
Career choice: This is the process of choosing a career path which can involve choices regarding education and training for a given career usually on the basis of such factors as parental guidance, vocational guidance, identification with admired figures, trial or part-time jobs, training opportunities, personal interests, and ability tests.