CAREER ASPIRATIONS OF MASS COMMUNICATION UNDERGRADUATES
1.1 Background of the study
According to Agbo, (2015) career aspiration is a path one wishes profession to follow and further maintained that career aspiration is a vital process in an individual’s life in that most students enter the teenage group and underpin most of the development task in this transition period strives to achieve long-term goals (Agbo, 2015). Following Agbo, Ojobor, (2015) linked career aspiration to mass communication then argued that there is no doubt that mass communication is one of the professions sought by many in the world today. Moreover, Okoro & Chinweobo-Onuoha (2013), define mass communication as a true tool for dissemination of information, social mobilization and control. It is a means of educating and raising public awareness about important issues that affect people’s lives (Okoro & Chinweobo-Onuoha, 2013).
Back to the inception, according to Emenyeonu, (2014) the advent of mass communication in Nigeria in the mid-nineteenth century was marked by the domination of non-professionals who used their publications either to propagate a cause or to exchange punches with the colonial authorities. The study of press in Nigeria bring into being in the early nineteen sixties. At the time there were only two higher education institutions offering mass communication courses – the University of Nigeria (Nsukka) which began in 1961 and The University of Lagos in 1967. Then mass communication began in 1999 at Babcock University as a Social Science program under Babcock School of Commerce. This program allows each student to be sufficiently exposed to the techniques of writing and print mass communication. In addition, they have the possibility of an in-depth orientation in elective options in broadcasting, book publishing, advertising and public relations. These institutions have introduced a degree in mass communication whereby students have taken courses in mass communication. Initially, candidates hesitated to enroll in mass communication, as the preferred career choice was medicine, engineering, law and architecture (Emenyeonu, 2014). Currently, Omolayo, (2015) opined that the opposite occurs because there seems to be a fascination in the study of mass communication which witnesses an explosive surge in the population of candidates (mainly by the female sex), such that discipline has become a Selling argument for Most Universities in Nigeria. Involved in this aspiration is a decision not only of the type or class of people that one wishes to become. Preparation for adult life means preparation not only for earning a living, but for spending time. Being a student is a process of initiation into all aspects of life. A good professional training is actually a good education. We live in an era of knowledge explosion (Omolayo, 2015).
However, Okoro and Chinweobo-Onuoha (2013) define mass communication as a genuine tool for dissemination of information, social mobilization and control. It is a means of educating and raising public awareness about important issues that affect people’s lives. This means that mass communication is the collection, preparation and distribution of news and related comments and materials through media such as a pamphlet, newsletter, magazines, radio, movies , Television, Bill Boards Internet and Books (Ali, 2010). According to Ali (2010), various polls conducted with various institutions that offer mass communication in Nigeria reveal that the student population far exceeds their male colleagues, but only a few of these females pursue a career in mass communication as they do, Were preferred to take careers in other specialties of broadcasting, advertising, public relations and production. Lenshie, (2014) cried that over the years, the female sex would be underrepresented in various areas of human activity. Although Gambo, (2014) stated that research has shown that women have the same abilities and skills as their male counterparts, the gap between men and women continues to flourish, even in the face of the global struggle to achieve gender equality. Oluwafisayo, (2015) posit that industrial society has become increasingly complex and Ifeoluwa, (2015) reported that we are still faced with the problem of the aspiration of vocation among the many existing ones. This aspiration requires that the alternative be made clear and that important factors be given due consideration so that the decision-making process is easier. In the light of current events in Nigeria, it is necessary to express deep concern and adopt an appropriate approach to the issue (Ifeoluwa, 2015).
On the other hand, Drambrot, (2012) maintained that career aspiration is a social problem the next step is to thoroughly examine the factors that have combined to generate it. The social problem is a popular issue among researchers in the academic cycles of society. This social has resulted from the gap between the aspiration and choice of career prospects and the facts of the economic environment. Okoro, (2013) noted that the total sum of the problem is the unrealistic choice of occupation councils made available to undergraduate students during their school days. To this extent, Wilson, (2014) believe that it is not enough to suggest a relationship between attitude towards the subject and occupational aspiration, Wilson (2014), because it is also important to think about the factors responsible or which lead To the formation of such an attitude towards the subject for example It is necessary to know whether it is the school environment or the influence of groups of peers that lead to a negative attitude towards the subjects (Wilson, 2014). In this large country (Nigeria), Emenyeonu, (2014) argued that it can be seen that the massive unemployment of graduates of higher education institutions is attributed in part to the poor choice of courses for students in higher education. Career aspiration is a very important process in the life of every individual, according to Ezinwa, (2015) especially among undergraduate students. Ezinwa, further disclosed that career aspiration has influenced almost every aspect of a person’s life. Most undergraduate studies have shown that the extent of career choice depends on many factors. These factors include: parental pressure and encouragement, influences from peer groups, prestige and value of careers, sex and courses studied at school. Ekeli, and Enobakhare, (2013) recognized that the decision to choose a specific course depends on the individual’s system of values, family environment, abilities, interests and possibilities. They found that the priority orders for motivation for occupational aspiration were: personal benchmarks, overcoming the financial barrier to education, the public image of work and the influence of peers. Lockwood (2011) cited some common factors that are responsible for the aspiration of a profession among the enumerated youth, includes the following: Age, intelligence, courses offered, Occupation, environment, physical state, economic status, nature and degree of professional consultation, motivation or impulses, gender, self-knowledge, values and occupational data. By choosing a career, the choice must be understood, understood one’s own natural abilities and limitations and must know the requirement of occupation to succeed in vocation. According Reep, (2012) little professional information often limits and obliges undergraduate students to choose a profession that does not suit their interests and abilities. However, Ojobor, (2015) maintained that information that highlights the undesirable aspects of a profession may discourage the first round of selection, even though it was highly preferred for this work. As people, including undergraduate students become better educated, they want a higher standard of living; they expect educational and psychological benefits as well as material and physical gains (Ojobor, 2015).
1.2 Statement of the problem
The fact that career aspiration is a problem in universities is a known discernable fact from simple observation and examination of related literature. With this in mind, Oluwafisayo, (2015) stated that many factors are considered influential in the aspirations and career choices of university students in Nigeria. Emenyeonu, (2014) disclosed that the inculcation of social values, especially occupational prestige, is reflected in students’ aspirations to employment, but intellectual capacity is an important consideration since the individual can find entry into professions that require educational preparation considerably prohibited. In Nigeria, according Ezinwa, (2015) it came to a point before the Buhari administration with the aspiration on agriculture that family occupations such as fishing and agriculture was no longer accepted by undergraduates as the country was rapidly changing from a traditional agricultural country to an industrialist (Ezinwa, 2015). This change has made career aspiration a complex among undergraduate students in the country. This professional aspirational process of undergraduate students is specifically the difficulties due to ignorance of available job opportunities, environmental influences, such as parental pressure, peer group pressure, courses, value Prestige occupations, gender differences and some other directly responsible undergraduate aspiration factors.
1.3 Objective of the study
The main objective of this study was investigating the career aspiration of mass communication undergraduates. The specific objectives are to:
- Determine the level of awareness of press career opportunities by mass communication students of Babcock and University of Lagos
- identify the perception of mass communication undergraduates in Babcock and University of Lagos towards mass communication as a career
- determine career option(s) in mass communication appeal to the undergraduate of Babcock and University of Lagos
- identify factors that affect career contemplations of mass communication students towards mass communication
1.4 Research questions
The study is fastened on the following questions:
- What is the level of awareness of press career opportunities by mass communication students of Babcock and University of Lagos?
- What is the perception of mass communication undergraduates in Babcock and University of Lagos towards mass communication as a career:
- What is the career option in mass communication appeal to the undergraduate of Babcock and University of Lagos?
- What are factors that affect career contemplations of mass communication students towards mass communication?
1.5 Significance of the study
This study aims investigating career aspiration of undergraduate students: A good knowledge of these important factors that are responsible for the vocation will help to guide undergraduate students to the employment decision wish. Such meaning will provide information on a lot of what has been done and how they were made in those areas that are currently focusing our interest. This study will also provide the solution that greatly needs to guide university students on the career aspirations that will improve their future lives. It should be useful to career educators, guiding and helping students make a realistic career choice, thereby reducing disappointments in jobs and checking the pitiful wages among undergraduates. Another great importance of this study is that it also contributes to the general understanding of the process of career aspirations of the first cycle. The study will also shed light on the amount of knowledge undergraduate have about jobs available in Nigeria.
1.6 Scope of the study
This study was confined to undergraduates of two (2) selected universities in Nigeria, Babcock and University of Lagos. The study aimed at investigating the career aspiration of mass communication undergraduates.
1.7 Limitation of the study
There are two major limitations of this study; financial time and constraints. Constraints of time resulting from a short period of time allocated to the researcher to carry out this research work more effectively and, secondly, the financial constraint on the part of the researcher. In addition, there was a constraint of the unavailability of adequate information material and Nigeria’s information and communication system in Nigeria is poor. This has resulted in delays in the research work of the researcher.
1.8 Operational definition of terms
- Career: An occupation or profession, especially special training, followed as a work of life, which is the journey of an individual through learning, work and other aspects of life because it could be progress of the person or a general course of action through life or through a phase of life, as in a profession or a company, like wanting to become a journalist.
- Mass communication: Is the activity or work involves collecting, writing and editing news for newspapers, magazines concerning the production and dissemination of reports on the interaction of events, facts, ideas and people who are ” news of the day “and that inform society at some degree at least.
- Aspiration: Is regards as a hope or ambition of achieving something as it could be through motivation to work very hard
- Mass communications: Is imparting or exchanging as well as transmission of information on a large scale of information to large numbers of people through the mass media.
Agbo, B., Ojobor, I., & Ezinwa, C. (2015). Issues in development communication. Enugu: John Jacobs Classic Publishers Limited.
Ali, I. E. (2010). The attitude of female mass communication students towards mass communication as a career. Southwestern Mass Communication Journal, 1(1).
Ekeli, E.O and Enobakhare, J.O (2013) Social Media and the Changing Nature of Mass communication Practice in Nigeria. In The Nigerian Journal of Communication, African Council for Communication Education (ACCE), Nigerian Chapter, Vol.11, No.1.2013. p. 121
Emenyeonu, N.B (2014) Motivations for Choice of Course and Career Preferences of Nigerian Female Students: Implications for the Status of Media Women in a Developing Nation. In African Media Review Vol.5 No.2. African Council for Communication Education. p. 71, 75 & 82
Gambo, S., & Lenshie, N. (2014). The mass media women and politic politics in Nigeria. Mass Media Review: An International Journal of Mass Communication, 1(4).
Okoro, N., & Chinweobo-Onuoha, B. (2013). Journalists’ perception of brown envelope syndrome and its implications for mass communication practice in Nigeria. In Covenant Journal of Communication (CJOC), 1(2), 130.
Patricia, E. C., Samuel, O. , Oluwafisayo, O. A., Ifeoluwa, O. A., & Omolayo, O. J. (2015). Career considerations in mass communication among female mass communication students of Redeemers university. Research on Humanities and Social
Reep, D., & Drambrot, F. (2012). Television’s professional women: Working with men in the 1980’s. Mass communicationquarterly, 64. Sciences, 5(14).