INFORMATION SOURCES AND CAREER CHOICE AMONG SECONDARY STUDENTS IN URUE-OFFONG/ORUKO LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF AKWA IBOM STATE
- Background of the Study
In almost every area of human academic endeavour information of different types are required to progress steadily. These information services could be of educational, personal – social and vocational in nature.
Experiences in recent years have shown that students in our secondary schools do not really bother about their subjects combination, let alone the relevance or relationship of such subjects combination to their future course of study in higher institution or how it is related to their choice of future career.
This trend has found deep roots in the lives of most students either because of lack of interest, ignorance, improper / inexperienced guidance, lack of exposure as well as lack of adequate skills and the necessary abilities to acquire or retrieve these information services from where they could be found.
One’s career is an important item used for his identity and status in today’s world, his lifestyles and his fads which always undergo change, mainly because of modern technology. It also provides pattern of association, a means for recognition and meaningful life experience. The social stand of most adults in our contemporary society is intimately linked to the prestige of their occupation and reputation they establish at work. Thus a person’s career determines to a great extent his choice of friends, lifestyle, type of house he lives, the type of wife he marries, the school his children attend among others. This implies that when one chooses a career he is indirectly choosing a lifestyle.
So important is one’s career that any adult without one is looked upon as a social misfit and under achiever. The truth is that, people seem to be identified more by what they do for a living than by their residence/home town. Onyejiaku (2001) asserts the word “career” as a term with different connotation or meaning in different disciplines. Some confine the term to a single vocation, others define it as a sequence of occupations and a position an individual holds during his life time, thereby equating career with life itself. The authors (Onyejiaku 2001) notes in general term that career should be conceived as a general course of action or progress of a person through life normally expressed in some professions to include both work and non-work factors, otherwise referred to as a person total life pattern.
Many young people especially secondary school students in higher classes are concerned with the career they will choose in life. Often some chose such careers due to many influences – parents, peers, teachers and adults influence or persuasion, among others. In so doing mistakes are made that the individual regrets almost throughout life. This explains the rationale why provision of career information is of great importance to the secondary school students, especially senior secondary schools students. Remember, an ill-informed person is a misdirected person who is bound to make avoidable mistakes. Thus, provision of adequate and realistic career information will assist the potential professional to avoid such mistakes and arrival at a career choice is rationally made.
Information is a process rather than an act. It is dynamic and not static in nature and it can be found in every aspect of life through various sources. Information an be positive or negative, true or false. It can also be formal (written) or informal (verbal), it can as well be primary or secondary. It is primary when such information is collected directly from the main source originator, while the secondary information is collected vicariously published books or documented materials sources. Information services in this perspective is an indispensable tool in career and vocational choice of students. It is essential tool in guidance and counselling as a formalized educational services aim at helping the individual student to understand him/herself well enough to be able to make appropriate decisions which may include educational, vocational choice and develop the ability of finding solutions to his/her personal – social problems. Information therefore, is a vehicle that helps to create awareness among students about educational opportunities and available career / occupations option in the labour market. It also helps or used to control or eradicate ignorance and aid planning. Its validity and reliability enables the youth to positively face the challenges of today and tomorrow.
Morris and others (1970) defined career information as valid and usable data about position, jobs, occupations, including duties and requirements for entrance, conditions of service – work, rewards offered, advancement prospects and predicted supply and demand for manpower, as well as sources for further information. So career information orientation and exposure of students to this area of learning is very important and helpful to the secondary school students or career choice making and as our future leaders. This is very essential because with such valuable, reliable and consistent career information our secondary school students will be motivated to face the complex vocational challenges of today with boldness and take wise decisions which may lead to future progress and achievement in life. This will also put them in better footing to make a more realistic choice. Studies by Umoh (1986) and Nwezeh (1986) have shown that the adequate provision of career information and their sources leads to great improvement in students vocational choice.
Its worth stating here that, its not only career information that matter but the source of such information is even more important because the source is an index for determining the quality, validity and reliability of the information. Among various source of career information are: career day or week workshops and conferences, school curriculum – subjects such as introduction to technology and skills acquisition programmes, bulletin boards, excursion or trips to industrial settings and various government ministries for sight view and to gather first hand information on different kinds of occupations and their entry requirements. Other sources of career information are Newspaper, media houses services, and aptitude or vocational tests, among others.
This study is aimed at examining the influence of source of information on career mainly in Urue Offong Oruko Local Government Area.
- Statement of Problem
This study is primarily focused on the large scale dissatisfaction that many secondary school students (especially students in senior or upper classes) experience in choice of career. Naturally, a great number of students possess potentials which they are unaware of, some of them also have a good future of educational and vocational plans and opportunities which they have just a little or no knowledge of exploring. The major factors surrounding this may be ignorance, inadequate, unrealistic career information and faulty sources of career information to students.
The complexities of the society may also create problems for the secondary schools students who are always anxious of what to do for a living on completions of their studies. Again, African societies are becoming increasingly more industrial urban and modern which impose problems upon our young people. Thus growing up in a complex and competitive world, educational and vocational advancement imposes great demands upon our secondary school students. Moreover, when there is no effective and adequate provision of a good career information to stimulate students to appraise ideas critically and to derive personal meanings and implication to both the present and future activities students are confused on what to do. In addition, the negative influences in the society on the individual are becoming a sort of disruptive factor, such is the society that most students develop strong urge to quit school and join in the race for quick financial gains. In effect such students are bound to make blunders and choose wrong occupations that they live to regret their action throughout their lives.
Moreover, the relevant data gathered from a cross section of senior students in all five secondary schools visited in the local government under study shows that some students find it difficult to choose the right subjects combination due to the large variance between their interests and abilities. So that a great number of students who seems to be interested in subjects like Mathematics, Physics or Fine Art lacks abilities to cope with the demands in these courses. It is also observed that the students have not been adequately exposed to adequate information on different kinds of career and opportunities available for them, no well orgnaised excursion or trips to industrial getting for sight view and to gather first hand information to motivate and serve as a guide to them in choosing a career. The problems of students who have not been exposed to the existing careers, industrial setting and to the technological development that keeps on occurring in our society and which tends to widen variety of new avenues of occupations, are compounded as the increasing vocational opportunities in the society creates a major problem of a choice of career. Because of these such students are ignorant of the nature and the requirements of the condition of service, advantages and disadvantages, compensation, opportunities and prospects in different lines of profession or occupation.
Although, it is agreed that no job can affords man complete satisfaction but a systematical arrangement of vocational guidance and counselling programme will be able to get one adjusted and adapted to the job he/she chooses for a living. This study is therefore undertaken to investigate information sources and career choice of students in the area of study.
- Purpose Of The Study
The purpose of this study is to find out the influence of sources of career information on students career choice. Specifically, this study shall:
- Assess the influence of career information on career choice.
- The influence of tests on career choice of students.
- The influence of career week on career choice.
- Research Questions
This study shall attempt to provide answers to the following questions.
- To what extent does career information influence students career choice?
- How does the use of tests influence students career choice?
- Does career week have any positive effect on students career choice?
The following null hypothesis are formulated to guide the researcher in this study.
- There is no significant relationship between career information and students career choice.
- The use of test does not have any significant influence on students career choice.
- Career week does not have any significant influence on students career choice.
1.6 Significance Of The Study
This study is significant in the following ways:
- It will help counsellors to see the need to acquire necessary skills in construction, administration and interpretation of psychological tests
- It will create awareness or enlighten parents and others on why their children should be allowed to make independent career choice.
- It will also create awareness among students on how to use many sources of information to arrive at wise and a dependable career choice.
- It will also help the schools to plan positively to ensure that students are provided with adequate sources of career information.
- Delimitation Of The Study
This study is restricted to an investigation of the sources of career information as they affect the career choice of secondary school students. Specifically, schools in Urue- Offong area. Only senior students in all the five secondary schools available in this local government area are sued for the study.
- Assumption Of The Study
This study is carried out with the following assumptions in mind:
- All the students used for the study have an intention of joining or taking up a career at the completion of their studies or in future.
- There are many careers in Nigeria.
- Source of career information available to students can affect students career choice either positively or negatively.
- The instrument used for data collection shall provide valid and reliable information.
1.9 Definition of Terms
The following terms are defined operationally as they are used in this study:
Information: Is an act of transmitting or giving knowledge and a piece of news from one person to another about an event or a certain issue affecting the individuals either directly or indirectly. Information widens people’s knowledge and enhance effective decision making. It is therefore, fuel for shaping goals and a means that enable individuals become awared of themselves, their vocational potentials, interest, aspirations and their world well enough to be able to take appropriate decisions and actions to resolve conflicts, adapt and adjust positively as they function independently in the society.
Vocational Information: Is refer to as that aspect of vocational guidance counselling concerned with exposing the students to a complex world of work and integrate in the individual student’s personal characteristics, abilities and capabilities in terms of vocational interest pursuits and performance. Information seems to be a keyword in vocational and career development. This is true, because without information about jobs and their requirements, prospective workers may not know which jobs exists in the labour market and what these jobs required. In effect many young people miss the job for which they have the necessary aptitude simply because they do not have adequate and relevant information about the job and its requirements.
What is Career?
A career is the course of action or progress of a person throughout his life time, that often expressed in some profession or occupations.
Job satisfaction can be viewed as the extent to which one derives gain, joy or feel contented in choice of career he/she engages himself, as measured by safety, incentives and remuneration, among others.
Vocational Career Counselling
Is a process specifically designed to help students to be aware of the existing vocation choices of a vocation after living school. Vocational counselling and guidance programme therefore facilitate the individual career development by exposing the individual student to the world of work through the world of information. This implies that vocational information is the life wire of a vocational guidance/counselling programme, which is concerned with exposing the students to a complex, competitive world of work and knowledge about their abilities and capabilities in relation to vocational interest and choice.