FACTORS INFLUENCING THE CHOICE OF SCIENCE CAREER AMONG SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS

FACTORS INFLUENCING THE CHOICE OF SCIENCE CAREER AMONG SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS 
ABSTRACT
This work is aimed at investigating
the factors affecting the choice of science career among secondary school
students.  It is also to see the extent
to which each of these factors can influence students choice of career in
particular, science career.
200 students were randomly selected
from four secondary schools in Gbonyin Local Government of Ekiti State
constitute the sample for the collection of the data.  Data analysis was carried out by the use of
mean, standard deviation, simple percentage and the T-test statistics.
Relevant literature on factors
affecting students choice of science career were reviewed and discussed.
The findings revealed that:
a)                
There
is no significant difference between the general attitudes of male and female
students towards science career choice.
b)               
There
is no significant relationship between parents career and students’ career
choice.
c)                
There
is no significant relationship between academic attainment of students and
their career choice.
d)               
There
is no significant difference between science career made by the students in SS
2 and SS 3.
e)                
There
is no significant difference between peer group influence and students is
career choice.
Based on the findings, some
recommendations were made:
a)                
Enlightenment
programmes on Television and other mass media should be given to parents.
b)               
Students
should be given constant advice on the danger of associating themselves with
peers of doubtful characterize.  In one
word there upbringing of the children.
c)                
The
students should be given adequate assistance when it comes to the choice of
science career.
d)               
It
should be made a priority to ensure that all the laboratories in schools are
well equipped.
e)                
Educators
as well as parents should not force certain vocations on students; rather they
should be encouraged to make their choice willingly.



TABLE OF CONTENTS
Title page                                                                                
Certification                                                                           
Dedication                                                                              
Acknowledgement                                                                  
Abstract                                                                                 
Table of contents                                                                   
CHAPTER ONE
Introduction and Background to the
study                             
Statement of the problem                                                       
Purpose of the study                                                              
Limitations of the study                                                                   
Significance of the study                                                                  
Definition of terms                                                                           
CHAPTER TWO
Review of Related Literature                                                  
CHAPTER THREE                                  
Methodology                                                                          
Research Design                                                                    
Sample Procedure                                                                            
Research Instrumentation                                                       
Reliability and Validity                                                           
Administration of the Instrument                                           
Data Analysis                                                                         
CHAPTER FOUR
Results and Discussion                                                          
CHAPTER FIVE
Summary                                                                               
Conclusion                                                                             
Recommendations                                                                            
Suggestions for further studies                                                       
REFERENCES                                                                     

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CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
The Background to the study.
          The
school certificate had been given a good position in the world of
Education.  This is because it is the
standard certificate for giving admission to the Universities and other High
Institutions like College
of Education,
Polytechnics and so on.  The students do
not just go in for Examination.  They are
given the opportunity to make realistic choices of their own subjects for which
they will be presented as candidates.  It
is this choice that will determine their career in life.
Science career education and science
career guidance are becoming high priority items in Nigeria.  Many experts in the area of science career
guidance seems to see students science career development as unifying theme and
primary goals of science career education efforts.  It was in the content of these states,
national interest and the new impetus in science career education and science
career guidance that this study is being undertaken.
The importance of science career
guidance for Nigerian students has not been sufficiently appreciated by
Nigerian educators.
According to Hinchlife (1973) Nigeria’s
ecnomics future will not be adequately met until youths are guided effectively
into areas of occupational education for the acquisition of functional
knowledge and the better utilization of the nations manpower resources.
Science career guidance in Nigeria
secondary schools, according to him can make a substantial contribution in
drawing up students’ background and experience, students will be better able to
adjust to the influences and circumstances of their immediate environment.  He contends that career guidance can help
interest in their respective courses.
Also by stimulating their hopes and
aspiration, science career guidance can help the students discover their latent
capacities and abilities.
Further more, he concluded that
career guidance programmes can be utilized to advice students in secondary
schools on at least a tentative choice of career in which science career is not
excluded.
There is a growing difficulty on the
part of Nigerian graduates to secure appropriate employment.  This derives from the fact the nation’s
schools have not been adequately linked up with the labour market.  It is also indicative of the fact that the
importance of science career guidance for students have not been sufficient
appreciated.  One major deficiency in the
Nigerian employment market is the weakness of system of occupational
information.  In a study by Durojaye
(1970) the following factors were shown to affect students’ choice of science
career like parents, friends, scholarship awards and teachers.  It was found that printed information was the
most important single factor influencing students’ choice of an
occupation.  They study emphasized the
significance of introducing science career counseling into the secondary
schools at the earliest possible date.
It is a well known fact that the
machinery for collecting and appraising labour market trends in Nigeria is
limited.  There is no system developed
for informing employers of the manpower supply. 
Trainees are not informed regarding the labour market and the
opportunities available to them in terms of career prospect.  Most students generally had to fight for
themselves.  With the indication of
friction and difficulties in the labour market and in the face of the sizeable
expansion in post primary institutions, the need for adequate science career
guidance becomes a matter of genuine concern.
Students have shown over the years
that various factors contribute to the students choice of science career.  Therefore, students do not choose science
career arbitrarily from the study of Olayinka (1973) he showed parents
influence as a major factor affecting the choice of science career. 
Ferron (1973) also discovered that
student choose certain careers to their attitude towards it.
Generally, a Nigeria young
boy in secondary school had favourable attitude towards education.  These individuals acquire skills and
knowledge.  The application depends
largely on the attitudes of the individual and the society as a whole.
Therefore in any educational system,
it is very essential to develop the wholesome attitudes. The determination of
the students’ choice of science career most especially at the senior secondary
schools depend largely on the attitude held by individuals and the society as a
whole towards they are acquired or applied.
The Nigerian secondary schools have
been presenting candidates for SSCE in all schools.  The certificate awarded has become the yard
stick for measuring the standard of students performance.  It is also used to gain admission to
Universities and other institutions of Higher learning.  The students at this level needs to be guided
because they are mainly adolescents. 
This guide will be in such a way that the choice of the career
especially on science career will reflect the attitude for the students.  Therefore, this study aims at identifying the
factors affecting students in Gbonyin Local Government Area of Ekiti State.
Statement of the Problem.
          Some
of the factors influencing science career choice are likely to include
interest, parental influence, peer group or socio behavioural influence, values,
teachers attitude, attendance, etc, it is therefore not clear whether there is
clear distinction in the factors influencing science choice among secondary school
students.  Therefore, the study aims at
finding solutions to the following research questions.
1)               
What
is the general attitudes of male and female students towards science career
choice?
2)               
What
is the relationship between parents’ career and science career choice of the
students?
3)               
Are
there differences between science career choice made by the students in SS 2
and SS 3?
4)               
Does
science career choice depend on academic?
5)               
To
what extent does peer group influence affects the choice of science career
attainment or advancement?
6)               
To
what extent does extracurricular participation affect the choice of science career.
7)               
To
what extent does the relationship between teachers, student and their friends
affects the choice of science career. 
Based on this, the following
hypothesis are tested:
1)               
There
is no significant difference between the general attitudes of male and female
students towards science career choice.
2)               
There
is no significant difference between the parents career and students science
career choice.
3)               
There
is no significant difference between science career choice made by the students
in SS 2 and SS 3.
4)               
There
is no significant difference between academic attainment of students and their
science career choice.
5)               
There
is no significant difference between peer group or social behaviour influence
and students science career choice.
6)               
There
is no significant difference between the extra – curricular participation and
students’ choice of science career.
7)               
There
is no significant difference between the teacher, students and their friends
relationship and science career choice.
Purpose of the study.
The purpose of this study is to
identify factors affecting the students choice of science career in Gbonyin
Local Government Area of Ekiti State. This study will cover five secondary
schools in Gbonyin Local Government Area.
The study will also cover the
services of the guidance counselors in the schools mentioned above and the
influence on the students’ choice of science career.  It is also to look into the influence of the
peer group on the choice of science career.
Limitation of the study.
This study could not cover all
secondary schools in Gbonyin Local Government Area due to the time
constraint.  Four secondary schools in
Gbonyin Local Government Area were examined.
a)                
Ojugbaye Comprehensive
High School
, Imesi Ekiti.
b)               
Ile Owuro
High School
, Agbado Ekiti.
c)                
Aisegba Community
Grammar School
, Aisegba Ekiti.
d)               
Ode Ekiti
High School
, Ode Ekiti.
Since limited number of students are
to be observed.  In comparison with the
total number of students in all secondary schools in Ekiti state, it therefore
means that there is limitation as to the extent to which generalization can be
made about factors that can influence students’ choice of science career in
Gbonyin Local Government Area of Ekiti State.
Significance of the study.
The study is of relevance for the
following reasons:
1)               
Science
career development enables individuals to implement his life image and this can
contribute to his self actualization especially when his vocational development
is in harmony with the fulfillment of his other life goals.
2)               
The
study is important because it will help the various factors affecting secondary
school students choice of science career in Gbonyin Local Government Area with
the view of helping the students in their choice of science career.
3)               
It
will create the awareness in student, of the various factors that can affect
students’ choice of subjects leading to their choice of science career and the
implication.
4)               
Teachers
will find this study useful in the sense that they will be aware of their roles
in helping students to choose the subjects that will lead to their choice of
science career.
5)               
The
teacher will find this study useful in the sense that they will be aware of
their roles in helping students to choose the subjects that will lead them to
their choice of science career.
Parents in particular will be well
informed about the implication forcing students to take a particular profession
because of their own interest.
More, importantly, their study will
help to project the importance of guidance counselor in the school system in
helping students to choose the right type of science career. 
Lastly, this research will aid other
researchers to build upon the findings there form.
Definition of Terms.
Some of the terms that will be used
for the purpose of this study are defined below:
Vocation:
Activities, trade or occupation and others constituting a life style expressed
in time, energy and ability.
Science: The
study of nature and the study physical world by testing, experimenting and
measuring.
Career: The
totality of work one does in his life time and are person centered.
Occupation:
This is one’s principal employment, business, vocation, trade or other means of
live hood.  It is a specific job or work
activity.  It is society centered.
Work: This is
the systematic pursuit of an objective valued by oneself and desired by others.
Occupation Information: These are facts about jobs for use in vocational
guidance.  All kinds of information
useful for a person who is choosing an occupation.
Vocational Aspiration: The work goal the child sets for himself which has personal significant
for him.
Labour: Task
that gives pleasure to the person that engaged in it.



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