Background of the Study
Education is universally recognized as the answer to socio- economic problems of the world. Nations and individuals look up to education to provide a core for poverty, ignorance, drought, excessive rainfall, mental deficiency, joblessness, bad governments, poor communication system, hunger and inadequate shelter among other things. Every nation of the world aspires toward quality of life and social status. Career selection is one of many important choices students will make in determining future plans. This decision will impart them throughout their lives. The total personality of the student will revolve around what the student want to do with their life- long work. The choice of career has been a serious problem among youths in Nigeria. No matter what one’s age is, the choice of career or desire is an important question for everybody. (Alutu, 2001).
A lot of youths believe that their future is a glorious adventure in which they are bound to succeed. Many of them have the idea that they would be able to work in the public or private establishments as soon as they complete secondary school education. Some have planned to become lawyers, engineers, medical doctors, accountants and so on. Students in secondary schools like many other young adults are always worried about what they do with their lives, the kind of adults they will become, they are concerned about early entry into the occupational world and finding productive and rewarding places in and out rapidly, fast changing societies where wages employment is unlikely to be available on a scale sufficient to absorb more than a small fraction of the young people when they do arrive at the labour market. How the young people of today meet the problems of tomorrow will depend upon the amount of success they make in planning for that tomorrow.
How students have seen themselves in a role in which personality is a determining factor may influence a chosen career. Some career demand that you have the personality to match the qualities of the occupation. For example, sales people have to be out- going. Splaver, (2000) said “personality” plays an important role in the choice of the right career. A student’s personality must be self-motivated type, as to investigate career possibilities from early lives, and not the procrastinating type that waits till they are compelled to decide. Students must take seriously the role performance in schools in limiting opportunities in the future. Splaver (2000) went on to say “It is important for you to have a good understanding of yourself, your personality, if you are to make intelligent career plans”. Adeseun, (2009) Opportunity is the third factor that has shaped career choices of students. Opportunity may influence how students have perceived their future in terms of the reasonable probability of a future in particular career fields. The issue of poverty has played an important determining role in the opportunities available to all.
According to Adeseun, (2009) addressed those in desperate needs, “Where necessary, these persons (individuals described as living under poverty level) must be assisted through special training programmes to overcome educational and social handicaps so that minimum job standards can be met”. Students in most cases will need the proper mentoring opportunities to succeed. These support groups will be another opportunity that if properly implemented, can help a student in the career choice process. The creation of support groups will have to be in place to sustain the student through times of financial, emotional and educational needs. There are indications that students take the path of least resistance to enter the tertiary institutions. If a parent had exerted enough pressure on the student to enter a particular career field and the student had no current plans, then students should follow their parent’s suggestions. Students should be thinking about career decisions in their senior year of secondary school. It should become apparent at that time that the student will have something to do. The environment plays a large part in a student’s career choice. Students traditionally stay at home to either obtain education or start employment. Marriage also played a large part in career decisions. The stability of marriage either solidified or not the commitment to go on to higher education or stop career plan short, depending on the stability of the marriage. Examples such as these are opportunities that can play a large determining factors in student’s career choice.
Other environmental determinants would include recreational facilities and articles the students have seen in local papers or on the television. The student’s support system made up of parents, relatives, siblings, peers, teachers and counselors may be the most environmental factors. As we can see, there are many opportunities or paths to be explored by secondary school students. Secondary school students will have accomplished choice of career if a complete, thoughtful, education decision is made, evaluating all of the factors possible in career choice process. According to Alutu, (2001) career choice should be initiated as early as the nursery school years through the primary, secondary and to the tertiary schools levels. Individual social status, income, lifestyle, choice of friends, mental and physical health is influenced by the type of work he or she does, in other words, a persons’ career choice decision making is not an easy task, yet at one time or the other, individuals are faced with the task of making choice in career, preparing for it, starting it and making progresses in it. This choice point is undoubtedly the most critical stage. This is because making wrong career decision can mar ones’ happiness in life as this could result to career maladjustments. Inappropriate career decision made may spell doom not only for the individual but also the entire society. In view of the foregoing, the need to equip our students with appropriate career decision skills becomes highly imperative.
As society becomes more complex and its institution grow and changes in their nature and structure, individuals increasingly find themselves in need of assistance towards utilizing to the fullest their talents and their opportunities. According to Adedeji, (2003) career is a job for which you are trained and in which it is possible to advance during your working leave, so that you can get greater responsibility andearn more money. Adeoye,(1999) identified three board factors in the choice of career;
- A clear, understanding of yourself, your aptitudes, abilities, interest, ambitions, resources, limitations, and their reasons.
- Knowledge of the requirement, conditions, success opportunity and prospect in different aspects of work.
- True reasoning in the relation of these groups of facts.
Advance learner dictionary define factor as a fact or situation which influences the result of something. This study therefore is directed at identifying the impacts of environmental factors on choice of career among youths in Ekiti State. The income level of families may determine what career a students’ chooses during a specific time in the student’s life; choices that will determine a large part of that student’s future. Some students will have to budget education according to their personal income. Career choice has remained a mirage to the youths and the probable causes of this situation in the society are the main concern of this study.
Statement of the Problem
Planning for tomorrow itself is primarily the responsibilities of the parents, teachers and school counselor. Students need general orientation into the world of work through the curriculum. The choice of career is a delicate issue that requires caution and serious considerations. (Adedeji,2003).