CAREER CHOICE AND ITS EFFECT ON SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS
1.1 Background of the Study
Career selection is one of many important choices students make in determining future plans. This decision will impact them throughout their lives because; the essence of who the student is revolves around what the student wants to do with their life-long work. Super, Savicks, and Super (1996) maintains that initial career decision-making is a cultural developmental task that students are expected to have accomplished by the end of their high school year. Career selection has become a complex science with the advent of information technology, the emergence of post industrial revolution and job competition. At secondary school level, a student is expected to have knowledge of what he or she intends to do in the future, this in turn guides the choice of subjects the West African Certificate (WACE).
This decision – making is very important and students must be allowed to choose their careers because it will create awareness in the students mind for the challenges ahead (Joans, 1986). The younger generation is the future of any society. Therefore, their career choices should help them develop the knowledge, skills and attitude needed to successfully examine their lives, while exploring and evaluating a wide range of career options to attain goals in the future.
Ini Local Government Area came into existence in September 23, 1991. Ini people are known for their rich cultural heritage which bears strict similarities with those of other Ibibio communities in the state. They are predominantly farmers who cultivate their products in commercial quantities. Their specialization in mat making has introduced them into trading, which not only takes them to the width and breath of Akwa Ibom but beyond causing them to interact with people from other countries. In this modern and computer age, Ini people have adjusted to other occupations like nursing, teaching, engineering etc. This has given rise to multiple careers and choices from which the students in the Local Government can make.
Participation in activities at home, school, community, gives room for interaction among the students and this opens their minds to possibilities, placing factors or determinants to their choices of career. These factors guides them to choose careers they can excel in, because in the future, a career choice a student had made must be able to sustain him or her through times of financial, emotional family, political and educational needs etc. Clearly, career choice is purposeful or necessary and must be carefully done to avoid regrets. Students forced into any career find it difficult to embrace and adjust to the challenges that come, thereby leaving the student at a choice of being stagnant or retreating as the case may be.
This also discourages the student and puts him or her in a position of not wanting to try anything new or different in a case where the student cannot excel to maximum expectation. Indeed, career choice is for development and the choice of a career must satisfy the expectations of the student(s) to attain higher heights as he or she strives to succeed. This work is hinged on the determinants of career choice among secondary school students in Ini Local Government Area.