Background to the Study
Both men and women’s professional growth is divided into two categories: job choice and career adjustment (Betz, Muiz, 1994). The subjective context of an individual’s preferences, aspirations, images, and intentions is referred to as career choice. On the other hand, career adjustment refers to the objective context of societal and economic conditions, as well as sociological factors like family and education. A person’s profession choice is influenced by both subjective and objective factors (Schreunder and Theron, 1997). This means that a person’s career choice is influenced by a variety of factors, including both personal and societal factors. According to Bandura et al. (2001), the context in which an individual is making a career decision influences their decision. This means that one’s career choice is a social phenomenon as well as an individual one. Thus, a female student’s interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics is molded by her particular ability, but it may also be influenced by instructors who can act as counselors and monitor her progress in scientific-related topics, eventually leading her to science vocations. Traditionally, men were expected to work while women were expected to stay at home and raise their children. Work was considered a career, whereas homemaking was not, and thus a carrier for women was not a topic of discussion. However, as society changed, women became more important players in the workplace, and the issue of career choice among them grew in importance, even if it had to be developed from the perspective of men who had already been recognized as workers and career holders (Brown, Brook and Associates, 1990).
Students learn about their interests, abilities, values, and aspirations in school, which is where carrier development usually begins. Subjects and fields of study help to develop these interests and abilities. Students in secondary schools, in particular, explore subjects and field options, as well as develop an educational and career plan that outlines the occupational preparation needed to pursue their chosen career (Perry and VanZandt, 2006). Male students’ career development has been focused on mathematics and science related subjects such as basic and advanced mathematics, biology, chemistry, physics, and technology, which sometimes lead to clerical careers, while female students’ career development has been focused on art subjects such as language, history, and music, which sometimes lead to clerical careers, while female students’ career development has been focused on mathematics and science related subjects such as basic and advanced mathematics, biology, chemistry, physics, and technology, which sometimes lead to management, engineering Female students’ interest in other subjects, such as science and mathematics (Osborne et al., 2003), as well as men’ interest in arts and humanities professions, has been sparked by this vocational split. For a long time, the study of female students’ attitudes toward science has been a significant part of the scientific education research community’s work (Osborne et al., 2003).
Through both its basic evolution and its enabling function for science, engineering, and technology, mathematics is a critical science for the future. Dramatic breakthroughs in communications, bioinformatics, recognizing uncertainty, and coping with massive data sets demonstrate this (Lemaire Manila, 2003). Prof. Philippe Tondeur, the former Director of the Division of Mathematical Sciences at the National Science Foundation in the United States, believes that the mathematical sciences will have more prospects in the twenty-first century. In a data-driven future, mathematical cognition and ideas will become the key navigational tools (Lemaire Manila, 2003). Mathematical knowledge has become crucial for individual achievement as well as the prosperity and security of countries as a consequence of technological innovation in today’s cultures.
A good foundation in secondary school mathematics is required for success in post secondary education and beyond (Cappellari, Lucifora, & Pozzoli, 2008; Steinberg, Varua, & Yong, 2010). Despite the relevance of mathematics in everyday life and in the study of other sciences, the number of students enrolling in tertiary mathematics courses in India and Western nations has decreased (Mishra, Zaiab, 2011, Smith Agwu, 2011). When talented students skip studying mathematics, their career prospects are limited, and the nation’s scientific and technology resource base is harmed (Hembree, 1990).
Statement of the Problem
The issue of secondary school pupils’ profession choices has prompted a slew of inquiries and responses from academics. The problem has always been a sensitive one that must be handled with care. Secondary school pupils have not followed a defined procedure for deciding on a professional path. Secondary school pupils should have the chance to investigate all of their options in order to make a well-informed professional decision.
According to the existing body of research (Office of Science and Technology Policy, 2013; Hamilton at el (2010); and Ogutu Ahmed, 2012), experts have only been presenting a negative image of women in science. Many secondary school pupils have been seen to struggle with deciding on a good professional path. This is shown by low academic performance, a lack of enthusiasm in studying, and a history of academic dropouts, among other things. The lack of professional information provided by such social contexts of upbringing is supposed to aid the student’s conscientious career selection, which is required for survival in the world. As a result, students are left with few options for professional pathways that are compatible with their innate abilities, and they must rely on uneducated sources such as friends and family to make the crucial decision of picking appropriate career paths.
Objectives of the Study
The general objective of the study is an investigation of factors that determine science related career choices among senior secondary schools. However, the specific objectives of the study are:
i) To evaluate the influence of parental factors on the choice of science related career choice among secondary school students.
ii) To examine the peer groups influence on the choice of science related career choice among secondary school students?
iii) To evaluate the influence of the school environment on the choice of career among secondary school students.
iv) To find out the influence of school counsellor on the choice of science related career among secondary school students.
The following questions have been prepared for the study:
i. Does the influence of parent affect the choice of science related career choice among secondary school students?
ii. Does peer groups influence the choice of science related career choice among secondary school students?
iii. Does the school environment influence the choice of career among secondary school students?
iv. Does school counsellor influence the choice of science related career among secondary school students?
Significance of the Study
This study is significant to the school management as they will be exposed to the need of having counsellors who will help guide senior secondary school student in the path of choosing career either mathematically related or not.
This study will also be significant in guiding the academia and act as an incentive for conducting further research in the field.
Scope of the Study
This study will evaluate the influence of parental factors on the choice of science related career choice among secondary school students. The study will also examine the peer groups influence on the choice of science related career choice among secondary school students. The study will further evaluate the influence of the school environment on the choice of career among secondary school students. Lastly, the study will find out the influence of school counsellor on the choice of science related career among secondary school students. Hence this study will be delimited to Ika North East, Delta state.
Limitations of the study
Just like any other research, unavailability of needed accurate materials on the topic under study, and inability to get data were among the constraints the researcher encountered in the cause of this study. Financial constraint was equally faced by the researcher, in getting relevant materials and in printing and collation of questionnaires. Furthermore, time factor pose another constraint because the researcher have to shuttle between writing of the research and engaging in other academic work which made it uneasy for the researcher.
Definitions of Terms
The following terms were used in the course of this study:
Career choice: The broad opportunities that exist for lifelong vocations. These vocations are set out in a framework of strategies moving toward personal goals.
Students: In this study, it refers to those individual who are officially admitted and registered in the secondary and non- secondary school system as a full time candidates.