FACTORS INFLUENCING THE CHOICE OF SCIENCE CAREER AMONG SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN IKERE LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA, EKITI STATE, NIGERIA

FACTORS INFLUENCING THE CHOICE OF SCIENCE CAREER AMONG SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN IKERE LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA, EKITI STATE, NIGERIA 
ABSTRACT
This research studied the factors influencing
the choice of science career among senior secondary school students in Ikere
local Government area, Ekiti
State.  A good number of students have been facing
problems in the choice of career due to some factors influencing the choice of
science career among students such as parental factor, teachers factor,
personal interest and peer group influence. 
The purpose of the study is find out parental influence, influence the
choice of science career, teacher influence the choice of science career, personal
interest influence the choice of science career, peer group influence the
choice of science career of the students.
Survey design of the descriptive
research was used to elicit information on the research topic, two hundreds
students from five selected secondary schools in Ikere – Ekiti were used as
sample. Therefore forty (40) respondents were selected from each school using
sample random sampling technique.
The researcher designed self
variables.  The reliability of the
instrument was established using test – re – test method, reliability
coefficient of 1.00 was obtained, data collected using section of the
instrument was analysed descriptive is, using frequency counts and percentage
while chi – square (x2) was used for the testing all hypotheses at 0.05
level of significant.  This study showed
that parental influence, teacher influence, personal interest and peer group
influence are the factors that influence the choice of science career among
senior secondary school students in Ikere Local Government area, Ekiti State.



TABLE OF CONTENTS
TITLE PAGE                                                                         
CERTIFICATION                                                                
DEDICATION                                                                       
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT                                                      
ABSTRACT                                                                          
TABLE OF CONTENTS                                                       
CHAPTER I
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 II
Review of Related Literature                                                  
CHAPTER III
Methodology                                                                        
Research Design                                                                   
Sample Procedure                                                                          
Research Instrumentation                                                       
Reliability and Validity                                                        
Administration of the Instrument                                           
Data Analysis                                                                         
CHAPTER IV
Results and Discussion                                                          
CHAPTER V
Summary                                                                                
Conclusion                                                                             
Recommendations                                                                            
Suggestions for further studies                                                        
REFERENCES                                                                     


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CHAPTER I
INTRODUCTION
The Background to the study
          Issues
of career choice have been and will continue to be a vital point in the lives
of secondary and university students in Nigeria.  This issue has attracted the interest of
several researchers and even the government over the past years.
Since the 50’s many researchers
Donald, (1953) and Ginzberg, (1957) have made lots and lots of efforts in
contributing to see how students in this category can be helped; in the 70’s to
90’s researchers like Durojaye (1973), Adedibu (1986), Akpan (1986), Ipaye
(1991), Keeves (1992) and Ovri (1999) also contributed to how science students
can be guided to make correct subject choices that are relevant to their future
career in science, technology, engineering and medicine.
More recently in year 2000 and up
till date researchers are still researching on career choice and subject
choices are still finding out the factors affecting or influencing such choices
Gerhard, (2009), Ohiwerei and Nwosu, (2009), Yara (2009), and Tesfaye,
(2010).  Amongst factors which
researchers have studied that affect student’s choice of subject are personal
interest, attitude toward the subject, sex prestige, peer pressure, parental
influence and school factors which includes teacher’s influence.  In spite of the economic recession decisions
on career choice have continue to be on the increase and any mistake made can
block the realization of one career dream, for instance, a student who wants to
study medicine but has no interest in chemistry may not achieve his career
goal.  It is known that students do not
like all the subjects in the curriculum and even if they do, they cannot offer
all because they need to focus on their areas of Arts, sciences or social
sciences when they get to senior secondary classes (Ovri, 1999).
Science students have varying
perceptions of their sciences some are enjoying the subjects irrespective of
whom or what influenced their choices while others who are not enjoying the
subjects/science have to struggle all the way.
Several researchers have come up with
various findings on factors affecting students’ choice of subjects, especially
science subjects. Akpan (1986) conducted a research on (1,240) one thousand two
hundred and forty Nigerian students (aged 12 – 18 years) from thirty one
secondary schools.  The students were
given tests assessing intelligence, attitudes toward science, personality and subject
choice.  Results show that attitude
toward science was the most important in science subject choice, followed by
Iq, sex and personality were important to a lesser degree.
Another research by Kieran (2007), in
his findings on factors influencing student’s choice of experimental science
subjects suggest that interest, enjoyment, university course and career
requirements have most influence on student’s choices.  More recently, Tesfaye (2010) found out that
the declining interest of students in choosing physics subject as well as lack
of enthusiasm to take physics courses as a college major is an international
problem of the several attempts made to boosts students’ interest in physics,
some that have proved very fruitful according to Tesfaye (2010), including
introducing an innovative physics, curricula, use of students’ centered methods
and introducing interesting ways of teaching sciences from early years.
Parents and teachers affects science
subjects choices of students but as much as interest was more a factor for
female they discovered pay was a factor for males.
But interestingly a strong background
in science and mathematics also influence choices.  This where teachers can help, they are
responsible for transmitting theory to practice and they are the ones teaching,
so they really need to work hard to help the students have a strong background
through good teaching methods, good classroom learning environment and good
teacher – pupil relationship.
Omosewo (2003) on parental influences
also discovered that the choice of physics of female students was mostly
influenced by parents.  Their result
showed that parental influence was 48%, school counselors 31%, peer pressure
9%, friends and relatives 10% and self 1%. 
This more enlightment should be given to parents to encourage their
females more in choosing science subjects.
Osipow and Fitzgerald (1996) stated,
“Gender is clearly one of the most powerful of all influences on vocational
behaviour”.  A teacher’s method can
determine whether a student can have positive interest in the subject or
not.  Correll (2001) reviewed that the
career process occurs throughout as individuals make decisions on occupation
she also reviewed that the ratio of females to males decline as young people
move towards quantitative professions, physical sciences and engineering in
contrast with the vast movement to other professions such as law and medicine
and like others have researched, teaching professions.
As this project studies the factor
which affect the students choice of science subjects as they affect students
perception of sciences’ in Nigeria,
a number of factors have been mentioned but the researcher considered parental
factors, teacher factors, personal factors and peer group factors.
Statement of the Problem
Many students are offering sciences
but have poor perceptions of science subjects as a result of the factor that
influenced their choice, whether parental, teacher or peer group factors.
Recently, the researcher had a
personal interview with three persons without job satisfaction due to wrong
perception resulting from influences at the time of subject and career
choice.  One of them having obtained a
degree in science could get a job in a government establishment, but has no job
satisfaction because he has discovered he has interest in another field.  Since he cannot get the job with his
qualification went back to do a B.SC program at the university in his choice
area before proceeding from these.
Purpose of the study
          The
purpose of this study is to find out the factors influencing the choice of
science career among senior secondary school students in Ikere local government
area, Ekiti State. 
The research work will be carry out with the following aims:
i.                  
To
find out if parental influence, influence the choice of science career among
senior secondary school students in Ikere local government area, Ekiti State.
ii.                
To
find out if teacher influence the choice of science career among senior
secondary school students in Ikere local government area, Ekiti State.
iii.             
To
find out if personal interest influence the choice of science career among
senior secondary school students in Ikere local government area, Ekiti State.
iv.             
To
find out if peer group influence the choice of science career among senior
secondary school students in Ikere local government area, Ekiti State.
Significance of the study
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. The study is important because it will
help the various factors affecting secondary school students choice of science
career in Ikere Local Government Area with the view of helping the students in
their choice of science career. It will create the awareness in the student of
the various factors that can affect students’ choice of subjects leading to
their choice of science career and the implication.
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. 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. 
Scope of the study
This study looked into the factors
influencing the choice of science career among senior secondary school students
in Ikere local government area of Ekiti
State.  The study covered all senior secondary school
in Ikere local government area of Ekiti
State.
The research involved dependant
variable of choice of science career among senior secondary students and
independent variables of parental influence, teacher influence, personal
interest and peer group influences.
The research involved three (3)
research assistants who will be trained by the researcher.  The research instrument will be self
structured questionnaire.
The analysis of the data will be done
by using descriptive statistics of frequency courts and percentages to answer
the research questions.  Inferential
statistics of chi – square (x2) will be used to test the hypotheses
at 0.05 alpha levels.
Research Questions
Specifically, this study attempt to
find answers to these research questions;
1)               
Does
parental influence, influence the choice of science career among senior
secondary school students in Ikere local government area of Ekiti State.
2)               
Does
teacher factors influence the choice of science career among senior secondary
school students in Ikere local government area of Ekiti state.
3)               
Does
personal interest influence the choice of science career among senior secondary
school students in Ikere local government area of Ekiti State.
4)               
Does
peer group influence the choice of science career among senior secondary school
students in Ikere local government area of Ekiti State.
Research Hypotheses
The following hypotheses are put
forward for the purpose of this study:
1)               
Parental
influence will not significantly influence the choice of science career among
senior secondary school students in Ikere local government area of Ekiti state.
2)               
Teacher
factors will not significantly influence the choice of science career among
senior secondary school students in Ikere local government area of Ekiti State.
3)               
Personal
interest will not significantly influence the choice of science career among
senior secondary schools students in Ikere local government of Ekiti State.
4)               
Peer
group influence will not significantly influence the choice of science career
among senior secondary school students in Ikere local government area of Ekiti State.
Assumption of the study
The researcher assumes that the
factors influencing the choice of science career among senior secondary school
students in Ikere local government area of Ekiti State
have not been included in the literature review by the previous researcher.
Researchers have been considered
generally on the factors that influence choice of science career among senior
secondary school students.



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