Background of the Study
The development of the accountancy profession and its roles are important issues especially in the era of globalization. Issues on the quality and the curriculum of accounting programmes in this country to be comparable with the standards of accounting programmes at the international level as well as constantly meet the industry needs are still crucial.
A career is a lifelong process which is planned from an early stage. “A career may be thought of as a long-term project for an individual life. One’s career may be “in” business, law, teaching, entertainment, professional philanthropy, or something else” Jennifer (2010). Looking at a career choice as professional accountants, according to Philip (2010) there is a rising demand in Malaysia for professional accountants. She stated that “Accountancy is an indeed recession-proof profession; there will always be demand for accountants, be it in good or bad times”. The global accounting body has seen continued growth in its members and students numbers.
An investigation into the factors that influence career choice in accounting among Nigerian Tertiary Institution students is as important and vital as the decision to influence the profession itself. The profession of accounting has been described as one area where individual develop personal interest largely due to the nature, prospects and family influence. In other words, parents, interest of individual, peers influence, prestige as well as opportunities often affect the decision on career choice in accounting. However, attempts to find the factors responsible for choice of career in accounting have been a major debate among accountants, academicians and administrators in the educational institutions in Nigeria and the world over.
Authors in the field of education and behavioural science tend to attribute different factors that influence career choice among individuals. Factors such as parents and family environment, job opportunity, job security, prestige and family background are among major players in choice of careers (Joseph and Ralph, 1982).
The influence of parents does affect child’s choice of career, although sometimes it may be contrary to the child’s desire. It has been observed that personal interest has major influence on career choice (Uyar, 2011). As opined by Asuquo (2011), unrealistic career choice among accounting students in the Nigeria Universities is largely due to insufficient knowledge and information on part of the students. Nevertheless, the profession gives opportunity to aspiring accountants’ variety of choice in the circle of the profession and hence the desire to take accounting as a career choice.
Going by the aforementioned situations, this study established as objectives the assessment of the factors that influence choice of accounting as a career among Nigerian University Students. In guiding the research, the study hypothesed that there is no significant relationship between parental influence, self-desire and career choice among accounting students; that there is also no significant relationship between better payment, prestige and future prospects and career choice in accounting. The right to choose a subject of study at the senior secondary school level is often influenced by the students’ personal factors, societal perception and values, the school system and the socio – economic indices. If not that the society makes the study of certain subjects as basic for all students, sizable number of students would find Mathematics or English language or both missing from their lists of subjects as irrelevant to be studied. The simple reason is most students believed Mathematics is dreadful and learning of foreign language, like English, is cumbersome regardless of the fact that such language is official language of the society. But the inclusion of these two subjects as part of the basic subjects, are being offered compulsorily. The influence of the society peters out here clearly; hence the society produces National Policy on Education to spell out the society’s values and perception of what Education in the society should be. However there are some subjects that are left to be offered as optional or career subjects. These subjects are to be chosen by the students (either under school counsellors or parental or peer group’s influence). Many students do consider their aptitude and attitude for the studies of certain subjects whereas others may be acting purely under duress from parents or peer group. From the foregoing, there exists set of subject choice determination in schools whether the school is in the urban or rural areas. To those in the urban areas, the influence of urbanization could not be ruled out and neither can one underestimate the weaning power of the rural areas too. Parents from the rural areas that have not been privileged to know the benefits of becoming an accountant may not be impressed to advise their wards to choose Financial Accounting as a subject of study or a student who does not know the challenges and prospects of the job of an accountant may avoid to include the same among the lists of the subjects to be studied. Whether the students are from urban or rural areas, it is obvious that the students’ personality is a product of some factors such as gender, intelligence, aptitude and attitude. Adeleke (2012) believed that these inborn traits are organic factors that first determine the person’s life foundation that sustain other structures – cultural values, social influence and school system influence.
Statement of the Problem
Findings that were supported by the result of the studies by (Felton et al 1995) and (Kackman 2004) states that one of the major problems in the society, nowadays is occupational choice, especially among accounting students, in tertiary institutions. This is as a result of conflict of interest between parents, guardian, peer groups and as per future prospect of a job on one hand and the student on the other hand.
However, career choice has remained a mirage to the students in tertiary institutions and the probable causes of this situation in the schools is the main concern of this study.
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