The study investigated the effects of parental influence on the career choice of students in Odeda Local Government Area of Ogun State. The sample comprised of 100 students randomly selected from two secondary schools in Odeda Local Government Area of Ogun State. A questionnaire was constructed for each respondent by the researcher and administered to elicit responses from the respondents. There hypotheses were formulated and tested at 0.05 level of significance using chi-square statistical method to determine the significant influence of the effects of parental influence on the career choice of students. From the analysis of the data collected, the findings of the study shows that: there is a significant influence of parents’ attitude towards occupation on students career choice, there is significant influence of parents’ level of education on students career choice, there is significant influence of parents’ economic background on students career choice, there is significant influence of family background on students career choice, there is significant influence of environmental factors on students career choice. Based on the findings, it was concluded that parents should educate their children on how to make a career choice and not impose on them their own preferred career choice.
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
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.
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. Empirical findings have confirmed to a greater extent the impact of the family goals and objectives on his or her choice of career. Trost and Levin (2000) opined that family influences the behaviour or character of a child. Tella (2003) also found that parents play an invaluable role in laying foundation of their children’s career. Edwards (1995) stated 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 (2005) and Perrone et al. (2001) who reported that their student’s interests provide the main motives for their career choice.
Generally, 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.
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, 2001).
In the same light, Wikelund (2006), pointed out the more intensively parents are involved in their children’s learning, the more beneficial are the achievements effects. Moreover, Oyebode (1980) noted 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 relationship between parental influence and career choice of secondary school students in Odeda Local Government.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM.
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 the effect of parental influence on the career choice of secondary school students in Odeda Local Government.
1.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY.
The purpose of the study is to find out the extent to which parental influence affects the career choice of secondary school students in Odeda Local Government Area. Specifically, the study aims at finding out whether:
- The attitude of parents towards their occupation influences the career choice of students in Odeda Local Government.
- The level of formal education of parents influences the career choice of students in Odeda Local Government.
- The economic background of parents influences the career choice of students in Odeda Local Government.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS.
Based on this, the study is guided by the following research questions;
- What are parents’ attitude towards occupation and the career choice of students in Odeda Local Government?
- How does parents’ level of education influence the career choice of students in Odeda Local Government?
- How does parents’ economic background influence the career choice of students in Odeda Local Government?
- How does family background influence the career choice of students in Odeda Local Government?
- How do environmental factors influence the career choice of students in Odeda Local Government?
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY.
The study is significant in that it would expose the influence of these variables namely; attitudes towards occupation, level of formal education, economic background, family background and environmental factors on the career choice secondary school students in Odeda Local Government Area, where students could be helped to make realistic occupational choices. Furthermore, 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. Also from this research, government should provide guidance and counselling unit in every public secondary school to help guide students on career choice.
1.6 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY.
This research work will be restricted to two secondary schools in Odeda Local Government Area of Ogun State.
1.7 OPERATIONAL DEFINITION OF TERMS.
- Effects – A charge that results when something is done or happens.
- Parent – Parents are first-degree relatives.
- Influence – A power affecting a person, thing or course of events, especially one that operates without any direct or apparent effort.
- Career Choice – the power, right or liberty to choose a desired profession or occupation.
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