Influence Of Guidance And Counselling On Career Choice Of Secondary School Students
Background to the Study
Counselling is a helping relationship in which one person endeavours to help another solve his/her adjustment problems (English and English, 1971, cited in Okebiah and Okorodudu, 2004). This helping relationship originated from the very discovery that young people need to be guided in their career decision-making process. Okobiah and Okorodudu (2004) emphasise that counselling is a person-to-person process in which one person (the counselee is helped by another person (the counsellor) to help, increase understanding and ability to solve his/her adjustment problems. They explained further that counselling requires a wide range of activities which should start from the infant stage of the child designed to aid individuals in solving their problems, the problems referred to in counselling and mostly those of decision-making and developmental problems. One of the benefits of counselling is that it helps the individual to develop, sustain a career and be adjusted in life (Obiunu and Ebunu, 2010).
Career, according to Okobiah and Okorodudu (2004), refers to a variety of work and non-work situations which usually span through the entire life of an individual. According to them, a career is generally related to a pattern of decisions, transactions and adjustments affect one’s decision, transactions and adjustments affect one’s role in work, education family, community development and leisure. The National Career Development Association (NCDA) (2003) stated that a career is the total of work. Paid and unpaid – one does in his/her lifetime. Thus, a career embraces a sequence of positions jobs or occupations which an individual holds during his/her lifetime (Obiunu and Ebunu, 2010).
Career counselling is a field of counselling which gives relevant information regarding different careers. It is a process of helping and enabling people in their career development. Career counselling helps the students to select their careers according to their choices and interests. Career counselling is now being increasingly stressed as an integral part of education. According to Francis (2010), career counselling involves three steps which are: self-analysis, occupational analysis, and true reasoning or counselling to relate personal and occupational information.
One major variable that affects how people choose their occupations is personality traits. Holland (1987) argued that the choice of an occupation shares similar personality characteristics. Career interest is a second factor that affects the choice of a career. Interest may be concerned in terms of an activity which an individual engages in for the interest of it without deserving an external reward. The reward is in the performance of the activity the person does (Lazarus, 2011).
Personality and interest are not the only criteria for choosing a career. An individual’s aptitude and intellectual abilities are equally of great importance. An aptitude is a potential for success in an area after undergoing some training but a layman may define aptitude as a flair for something. The context in which people live, their personal aptitudes, and educational attainment are other things that do influence people’s career choices (Bandura, Barbnaranelli, Cafrara and Pastorelli, 2001).
Similarly, skill and values also affect peoples’ choices. Values are the guiding principles that are ordered in importance and serve as standards for judging and justifying actions (Schwartz, 1992). In addition, Osakunle and Adegoroye (20080 identified factors that influence adolescents’ choice of career as sex, location of the choice maker, environment, school influence (peer and curriculum content), religious affiliation, child-rearing and family values.
In the opinion of Morris and Levinson 91995): and Pierce, McDdermolt and Butkus (2003), although intelligence is associated with career maturity and the development of decision-making skills, factors other than skills, abilities, and personality play a major role in career development and satisfaction for people with mental retardation. Factors such as interests, social opportunities, emotional rewards, and economic benefits influence the career choices (of most adolescents, including those with cognitive limitations) (Szymanski, Hershenson, Enright and Ettinger, 1998).
In addition, Krumboltz, Mitchell and Jones (1976) opined that there are four factors that affect the career choice of individuals, these are genetic enrolment and special abilities (such as race, gender, physical appearance and characteristics), environmental conditions and events like social, cultural and political, economic forces; natural forces and natural resources), learning experiences (instrumental learning experience which consists of preceding circumstances.sti1mulus; behavioural responses (overt and covert); consequences, associative learning experience, and task approach skills (personal standards of performance; work habits, emotional responses).
Fundamentally, the goal of guidance and counselling is to make it possible for an individual to see and explore his or her unlimited endowed options. Many scholars such as Odeck (1999), Ipaye, (1995), and Makinde (1981) opined that the major service areas of guidance and counselling which assist students in their curriculum and school life choices, vocational guidance and counselling which assists the individual to choose and prepare for an occupation that is compatible with his interests and aptitudes, and personal and social guidance and counselling which assists the individual to behave appropriately in relation to other members of the society.
As part of vocational guidance and counselling programme, career development enables guidance counsellors to assist individuals to identify and learn the skills by which they can be more effective in planning for and choosing jobs, in making effective transitions effectively. Career development, for most people, is a lifelong process of engaging the work world through choosing among employment opportunities made available to them. It is a process of getting ready to choose, choosing, and continuing to make choices (Brown, Brooks, and Associates, 1996).
The National Career Development Association (NCDA) (1993) noted, that helping individuals increase their self-understanding of their abilities, interests, values, and goals is a vital foundation of the career development process (p.2). The NCDA suggested that career development activities help students develop positive work habits (for example, organization, following directions, completing assignments on time), setting goals, making informed decisions, identifying interests and abilities and exploring jobs (for example, job shadowing and apprenticeships).
From the foregoing, the factors influencing career choices include psychological, sociological, physical, economic, educational and choice factors. It should be noted that the roles of guidance and counselling on the career choices of secondary school students cannot be overemphasized.
Statement of Problem
A major turning point in adolescents’ lives involves the career choice that they make while in senior secondary school. Frequently, it is viewed by family and community as a mere start to workplace readiness; however, this decision plays a major role in establishing youth in a career path that opens as well as closes opportunities (Lazarus, 2011).
Essentially, parental influence has been inflated in the career choice of children (Roe 1987, Adigwe 1981, Okeke 1996, Gesinde 1986). Okeke for example also studied the relationship between parental occupations and their children’s occupational preferences. Okeke found that 60% of the children were willing to take after their fathers’ occupations (medicine) while 23% were willing to follow their mother’s occupations (nursing). Gesinde on other hand posits that parents' influence is much more intricate and more pervasive than is shown, students of secondary schools are often not aware of these influences and may accept the choice of their parents as theirs. The situation owes its origin to early childhood when the child grabs his parent’s attitude towards different vocations. A conflict, therefore, occurs when the child submits to his parent’s choice while at the same time deeply resenting his submissions as he becomes aware of his loss of independence and finds his area of interest (Gesinde, 1986).
Peer groups also have an influence on the occupation choice of students. In his view, Hinchilife (1973) observes that friends are an important factor in the career choice of adolescents. Durojaiye (1970) also found that 76.6% of the pupils he studied said that their classmates would be employed in professional occupations just like them; while 24% said that their chosen jobs would be the same as those of their friends.
Interest is also a significant factor in students’ vocational choices. Owie (2003) advanced the position that the most important reason why a person chooses a particular career is that the person has an intrinsic interest in the field, while this may be highly influenced by prior academic achievement.
Moreover, Gesinde’s (1978) study showed that gender plays an important role in determining the career preferences of students. Other research findings which support gender differences in career preferences and choices include the works of Yuh (1980) who in her study of some correlates of vocational orientations of some Nigerian Secondary students discovered that significantly, more male students preferred realistic, investigative and enterprising careers than females.
Thus, the problem of the study is that some secondary school students are not able to make appropriate career ch1oices due to a number of factors that affect their career development process. This study investigated the influence of guidance and counselling on career choices among secondary school students in Ekiti Local Government Area of Kwara State.
The following research questions are generated for the study which the researcher intends to answer:
From the questions stated above, the following null hypotheses have been formulated:
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of the study is to investigate the view of secondary school students on the influence of guidance and counselling on career choices. In the course of this research work, variables such as age, religion, sex and class levels are considered whether they have direct significant impacts on the influence of guidance and counselling on career choices as expressed by the respondents.
Significance of the Study
This study is highly imperative to secondary school students because it will enable them to know various career choices in our contemporary world. In other words, it will enlighten and sensitize them on various career options and determinants of career choices in our society. Therefore, the problem of wrong and ill-informed career choices will be addressed, because the students will be more informed and sensitized by this empirical study.
Moreover, this study will be highly useful to the school administrators in the area of planning and curricular development in schools. It will enlighten them on the relevance and importance of guidance and counselling on career choices among the students in secondary schools. Therefore, emphasis will be placed on guidance and counselling as an important mechanism for career guidance and development.
Subsequently, this study is fundamental because it will enlighten the parents on various career options for their children or wards ad various determinants of career choices. This will enable them to properly guide their children and wards towards making an informed career option or choice because teachers or school counsellors cannot do it alone; it is a collective responsibility.
Lastly, this study is highly imperative to the Ministry of Education in their formulation of career guidance programs for secondary school students, such programs may include sponsoring workshops, classes, focus groups and special presentations that focus on job skills and personal development. Also, like job shadowing arrangements, work placement and community-based learning programs.
Operational Definition of Terms
For the purpose of clarity, the following terms are operationally defined as used in this study:
Career Choices and Options: Career options are a series of jobs that are available for people to choose such as medicine, law, engineering, pharmacist, and teacher. This can also mean career options. Therefore, career choices can be referred to as the picking of a job out of various career options available.
Career Guidance: Career guidance means those programs aimed to help students make more informed and better educational and career choices.
Career: A career is the series of jobs that a person in a particular area of work, usually involving more responsibility as time passes. In other words, the period of time that someone spends in his/her life working or doing a particular thing.
Counselling: Counselling can be defined, according to how it is used in the study, as professional advice about a problem such as career choices.
Guidance: Guidance, according to the study, means help or advice that is given to somebody, especially by somebody older or with more experience.
School Counsellor: A school counsellor is a counsellor who works in elementary, middle and secondary schools to provide academic career, college access and personal/social competencies to students.
Scope of the Study
This research work is designed to find the influence of guidance and counselling on career choices in Ekiti Local Government Area of Kwara State as expressed by secondary school students. All the secondary school students of the area are the target population but 100 respondents are selected to participate in the study. In the course of the research work, consider whether they have direct significant impacts on the influence of guidance and counselling on career choices as expressed by the respondents. The questionnaire technique will be used to collect the information/data from the respondents.
This study investigated the influence of Guidance and Counselling on the career choice of secondary school students in Ekiti Local Government Area of Kwara State. This research work was to assess the extent to which the influence of Guidance and Counselling has influenced the career choice of secondary school students in Ekiti Local Government Area, Kwara State.
The population sample was two hundred (200) students randomly selected from each school in Ekiti Local Government Area of Kwara State. The researcher’s designed influence of Guidance and Counselling in carrier choice questionnaire (IGCCQ) was used to collect data from the respondents. Four null hypotheses were generated to guide the study.
The finding revealed that age, gender, religion and class level of respondents have an influence on guidance and counselling in the career choice of secondary school students in Ekiti Local Government, Kwara State.
It was recommended that practising counsellors from all levels of institutions should design individual and group counselling programmes for students to cater for comprehensive and effective education for all levels of institutions. Through such programmes, students will be educated to appreciate good morals and stay away from deviant behaviours in the school and outside the school. Also, the indecent dressing should be discouraged and students should work harder and be dedicated to their studies.