The study examined the influence of parents’ occupation and education on the career choice of secondary school students in Owerri Municipality. The problem investigated by the researchers was that influence of parents’ on the career choice of students is often done without considering the abilities of the students. As such sometimes, students are either forced or coaxed to take up careers which they do not have interest or cognitive ability. The study adopted the use of structured questionnaire to elicit information from the respondents which comprised 124 SSI students from five sampled government secondary schools in Owerri Municipality. The study yielded pertinent results which include: Educated parents always help to fine-tune the career interest of their children/students,Highly educated parents help their children/students with relevant career information, Being born to parents with limited educational qualification reduces the likelihood of achieving a professional career, Parents’ income affects children/students career choice, Students/children of parents with high income are force to take up family’s job, Childhood socialization (e.g. teaching a male child that male are for medicine, engineering and sciences, while female are for secretarial studies and Home Economic) encourages male students’ career choice, Career choice of students is solely dependent on personal determination. The study concludes by recommending that parents should consider the interest and cognitive ability of the student as they try to urge them to take career. The study recommends that student should choose careers in their interest and ability so that they can excel in their endeavours.
1.1 Background of the study
Family is a place in which children learn to interpret realities Wary and Passman, (1996). Parents serve as significant interpreters to children for information about the world and children’s ability Hall, Kelly, Hasen and Vulwein, (1996). Family influence is an important force in preparing students for their role as workers. Young people form their attitude about work and career as a result of interaction with the family. Family background provided the basis on which student’s career planning and decision making evolves. However, within each family, the level of involvement can be very positive or negative. Family background factor found to be associated with career choice includes parents’ socio-economic status (SES), their level of education and biogenetics factors such as physical size, gender, ability and temperament. Pamic and Tepson (1992), in a study on adolescent vocational development reported that the most effect on educational plans and occupational aspiration was education. Montgomery, (1992) asserts that students talented in mathematics viewed their career choice as reflective on the interest that stem from early family, influence and educational opportunities. De Piddeo (1990) however, points out that the lower level of parents’ education can retard adolescents career choice. Being bom to parents with limited educational and income reduces the likelihood of going to college or achieving professional and occupational goals and essentially predetermined the child likely career choice.
Family income is another aspect of family background that influences the career choice of a student. Mortimer, (1992) “The impact of family background on career choice”, one reason for this is that family with limited economic resources tends to direct children, the olderchildren in the family giving less hope and encouragement to the younger children in the family. It is therefore, understood that students in respect to career opportunities is linked to the economic support they can expect from their parents.
Generally, Hairston (2000) in “family role in career development”, says that parent’s career aspirations aid children in selecting occupational goals and this influence their knowledge of occupations and familiarize them with occupational roles and requirements. Lee (1984) in “family role in career”, also agrees that the occupational orientation of parents familiarize children with occupational roles, while the value orientation of parents provide the learning environment that motivates the aspirations of children. It is generally known that in Nigeria, people set higher premium on some jobs such as, medicine, engineering, architecture, law and less on others such as teaching, carpentry, and farming. That is to say that some jobs are prestigious while some are mean. These influences are promulgated by the influence of various factors such as psychological, sociological, educational, economical and parental occupational levels.
1.2. Statement of the Problem
It is believed that parents exert a lot of influence on the career choice of students. It is also believed that parents with high paying income jobs and or high status jobs influence the career choice of students in secondary schools. Additionally, parents influence students’ career development/interest through childhood socialization. However, the contention of ibis work is that parents’ influence on career choice of students is often done without considering the ability of the students. Similarly, students are sometimes influenced to take career without regard to their interest. In that regard, students could be coaxed to take up careers where they do not have interest or where they lack ability because such a career is either high paying or of high status. This study, is thus poised to investigate the validity of influence of parents’ income, academic attainment and gender socialization on the career choice of students.
1.3. Purpose of the Study
Specific purposes of the study are:
1. To ascertain the effects of parents academic attainment on the career choice of students.
2. To examine the effect of parents income on the career choice of students.
3. To determine the effect of parents gender socialization on the career choice of students.
1.4. Significance of the Study
This study will be of immense importance to the following:
1. TheStudents: It will benefit students, in that they will acquire the knowledge of different factors influencing choice of career. It will also teach the students what career is all about and things to consider while making their choice.
2. TheParents: It will give parents an insight on how their occupation and obstacles on the choice of career of their children. The study will acquaint parents with the knowledge of their role in career decision making and how they will familiarize their children with occupational roles and requirements.
3. The Teacher: This study will help the teachers to appreciate the students’ ability and capabilities and to know how to direct or redirect them in their various choice of career. The study will help the teacher in having the knowledge of what career is all about and the various factors that influences her students’ choice of career and when to assist them.
4. The Researcher: This work will serve as a bench mark for further researches. Hopefully, when this work is completed, the government, curriculum planners and the entire society will benefit from the findings.
1.5. Scope of the Study
The study examines the influence of parents’ occupation and education on students’ choice of career in Owerri Municipality.
Owerri Municipal Council is among the 27 local government areas that make up Imo State. It is located on the South Eastern part of Nigeria. It is called “OwereNchiIse” traditionally. The local government is also the capital of the state. This local Government area has 3 major markets’ “Eke Onunwa/Eke Ukwu” “Relieve” and “New Market”. Traders come from the nearby Southern States like Abia, Anambra, Eungu to buy and sell. In this wise, trading forms the major occupation of the people. Owerri people love entertainment, this is why you have good number of joints, hotels and relaxation spots in the local government area. They are typical Igbos and have their own dialect.
Concerning the content scope of the study, three sub-headings discussed in this work include: educational level of parents in relationship to students career choice, occupation of parents and gender socialization. In the same development, a four point likert scale typo of rating is adopted for the work and Arithmetic mean was used for analyzing data collected. The data was collected from the respondents through questionnaire.
1.6. Research Questions
The study was guided by the following research questions:
1. To what degree does parents’ academic attainment influence students’ choice of career?
2. To what extent does parents’ income affect career choice of students’?
3. To what extent does parents’ gender socialization affect career choice of students’?
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