This study examines the effects of peer pressure and environmental factors on career choice of secondary school adolescent student. Questionnaire was used to obtain data. The sample consisted of 45 students from three schools in Ethiope East local Government area of Delta State. Data collected was analyzed using Pearson moment correlation co-efficient. This was used purposely to test the relationship that exists between the variables. The result revealed that factors such as family background, peer group pressure, societal valued jobs and the school environment directly influence students’ choice of career. By implication, secondary school students need adequate guidance from their parents and school counsellors to avail them the chance of making the right career choice.
Keywords: Environmental Factors, Choice of Career, Students
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Career choice has become a complex science with the advent of information technology, the emergence of post industrial revolution and job competition (Okafor, 2012). And as such, education is universally recognized to be the answer to socio-economic problems of the world. Nation and individuals look up to education to provide a clue or possibly a cure for poverty, ignorance, jobless, hunger and governance poor communication system and inadequate shelter among other things. Every nation of the world aspires towards quality of life and social status. Most student who are in secondary schools do not have adequate information about occupational opportunities to help them make appropriate career choice. This has led to so many swing of career path after graduation from the university. Hence this has highlighted career selection as one of many important choices students make in determining future plans. These decisions will impart them throughout their lives. Hence, it is important to figure out the factors or determinants of career choice among secondary school students so as to see I f it can help to guide students to make the right and rational career choice.
Career according to the Merriam Learner’s Dictionary, sees it as a job or profession that someone does for a long time. Thus, choosing a career simply means you are choosing a life job or profession. All careers have their subject requirement, personality trait and personal abilities which are supposed to be fully assessed before individual can be deemed to be qualified to go into specific careers (Onoyase and Onoyase, 2009). In this study, attention will be on peer pressure and environmental effect on the choice of career among secondary school students in Abraka community of Ethiope East Local Government Area of Delta State. Environment is a term which has many dimensions. It has the; Physical Dimension, Social Dimension, Cultural Dimension. From the environmentalist perspective, it is defined as the sum total of all social, biological, chemical and physical factors which compose the surroundings of man. Olatuji (2003) argues that we have three types of environments namely; Natural Environment, Biological and Social Environment. He claimed that the natural environment is made up of man’s surroundings which are the product of natural processes. It consists of such natural phenomenon as air, water, land, mountains, rivers as well as climate and its elements. Thus, the natural environment has some influence on man as determined by weather condition, source of income and mode of living. The biological environment includes: All living things, Plants, Animals, including man himself and microorganisms that surrounds man in an area.
These living things are dependent on each other and they ultimately depend on the natural environment for survival. The social environment refers to all effect of man’s interaction with man in the process of his living in the natural environment, social environment includes all the patterns of socials relationship and groupings as well as the educational recreational, religious, technological, cultural and economic opportunities created by man in the environment for use of mankind.
The environment has significant importance on career choice. Some of these importance are; it helps to guide the learner to make appropriate career decision out of a wide range of careers, it exposes the learner to the various factors that influences career choice among secondary school students. Factors such as peer group, religion, parental influence. It also provide real life experience on various career opportunities e.g. engaging the learner in fieldtrip.
From the forgoing, the elaborate research conducted by Olatuji (2003) indicates that the social environment has functionality since it looks into social concept such as: Peer group, Family, Religion, Education, Political group. Therefore it would be more appropriate to carry out this research in light of Olatunji’s (2003) definition of social environment. The influence of the environment in the choice of career among secondary school students in Abraka will therefore be examined in the context of Olatunji’s (2003) social environmental factors. These environmental factors include; peer pressure, family background, religion, social environments, and societal valued jobs. The aim of this study is to look at how the above mentioned environmental factors influences the choice of career among secondary school students.
Statement of the problem
The 21th century Nigeria is rapidly developing her technological education, which has made the society more complex than in 18th and 19th.The number of occupation has increased greatly and also there are many career within one occupation. For instance farming which was a simple occupation some years ago is now a very complex occupation within having many careers to choose from. These include poultry, farming, vegetable farming, fruit farming etc. The complication of this is specialization. This is why the family, peer group, social environment and even the larger society influences the decision any student might in choosing a career. This constitutes a problem as students often make wrong choices. The problem confronting this research is the inability of secondary school students in Abraka community to make appropriate career choice due to the various environmental factors mentioned above.
Purpose of the study
The main purpose of this study is to know the effect to which peer pressure and other environmental factors affects the career choice of secondary school students. Specifically, factors such as: Family background, Peer pressure, societal valued jobs.
Is there any significant influence of peer pressure on career choice among secondary school students?
Is there any influence of family background on career choice among secondary school students?
Is there any relationship between societal valued jobs and the choice of career among secondary school students?
Statement of hypothesis
There is no significant influence of peer group pressure on the choice of career among secondary school students.
There is no significant influence of family background on career choice among secondary school students.
There is no significant relationship between societal valued jobs and the choice of career among secondary school students.
Significance of the study
The importance of the study is that;
It will provide valuable information on the effect of environmental factors on the choice of career among secondary school students.
The study shall facilitate possible solutions to helping students make right decisions on the choice of future career.
It will serve as resource materials for others who want to carry out research in emerging areas in the effect of environmental factors among secondary school students.
It will provide detail service of information on career decisions for secondary school students.
Assume students awareness about programs that can lead to their desired career through a professional or counselor’s career talk.
It is also assumed that students are exposed to vocational career talks for skill development.
Scope of the study
The study centers on the effect of environmental factors on students choice of career among secondary school students. It is aimed at all secondary school students in Abraka community of Ethiope local government of Delta State. Specifically, this study will be limited to sampled schools and secondary students in senior secondary school (ss3).
Limitation of the study
Some limitations faced in this research study are:
Recession in the country as a result to a hike in transportation fares.
Availability of resources and materials.
Hence the study will be limited to four randomly selected schools in Abraka community.
Definition of terms
Career: This is a term defined by the Mariam learner’s dictionary as a job or profession that someone does for a long time.
Choice: This is process in which an individual chooses a particular thing out of various variable presented to him.
Peers: These are group of individuals or persons who are about the same age or maturity level and have a level of influence on one another.
Pressure: This is the process especially to try to make someone do something by making them feel it is their duty to do it.
Environment: This is the surrounding or conditions in which a person, animal or plant lives or operates.
Social environment: This deal with human interaction which goes on among fellow human. One who does not satisfy his physical needs, lacks social environment which greatly influences the decisions an adolescent makes.
Student: A person formally engaged in learning, especially one enrolled in a school or college.