FACTORS INFLUENCING THE CHOICE OF SCIENCE CAREER AMONG SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN IKERE LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA, EKITI STATE, NIGERIA - UNIPROJECTS

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FACTORS INFLUENCING THE CHOICE OF SCIENCE CAREER AMONG SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN IKERE LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA, EKITI STATE, NIGERIA



FACTORS INFLUENCING THE CHOICE OF SCIENCE CAREER AMONG SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN IKERE LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA, EKITI STATE, NIGERIA 
ABSTRACT
This research studied the factors influencing the choice of science career among senior secondary school students in Ikere local Government area, Ekiti State.  A good number of students have been facing problems in the choice of career due to some factors influencing the choice of science career among students such as parental factor, teachers factor, personal interest and peer group influence.  The purpose of the study is find out parental influence, influence the choice of science career, teacher influence the choice of science career, personal interest influence the choice of science career, peer group influence the choice of science career of the students.
Survey design of the descriptive research was used to elicit information on the research topic, two hundreds students from five selected secondary schools in Ikere – Ekiti were used as sample. Therefore forty (40) respondents were selected from each school using sample random sampling technique.
The researcher designed self variables.  The reliability of the instrument was established using test – re – test method, reliability coefficient of 1.00 was obtained, data collected using section of the instrument was analysed descriptive is, using frequency counts and percentage while chi – square (x2) was used for the testing all hypotheses at 0.05 level of significant.  This study showed that parental influence, teacher influence, personal interest and peer group influence are the factors that influence the choice of science career among senior secondary school students in Ikere Local Government area, Ekiti State.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
TITLE PAGE                                                                         
CERTIFICATION                                                                
DEDICATION                                                                       
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT                                                      
ABSTRACT                                                                          
TABLE OF CONTENTS                                                       
CHAPTER I
Introduction and Background to the study                           
Statement of the problem                                                       
Purpose of the study                                                              
Limitations of the study                                                                  
Significance of the study                                                                 
Definition of terms                                                                           
CHAPTER II
Review of Related Literature                                                  
CHAPTER III
Methodology                                                                        
Research Design                                                                   
Sample Procedure                                                                          
Research Instrumentation                                                       
Reliability and Validity                                                        
Administration of the Instrument                                           
Data Analysis                                                                         
CHAPTER IV
Results and Discussion                                                          
CHAPTER V
Summary                                                                                
Conclusion                                                                             
Recommendations                                                                            
Suggestions for further studies                                                        
REFERENCES                                                                     

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CHAPTER I
INTRODUCTION
The Background to the study
          Issues of career choice have been and will continue to be a vital point in the lives of secondary and university students in Nigeria.  This issue has attracted the interest of several researchers and even the government over the past years.
Since the 50’s many researchers Donald, (1953) and Ginzberg, (1957) have made lots and lots of efforts in contributing to see how students in this category can be helped; in the 70’s to 90’s researchers like Durojaye (1973), Adedibu (1986), Akpan (1986), Ipaye (1991), Keeves (1992) and Ovri (1999) also contributed to how science students can be guided to make correct subject choices that are relevant to their future career in science, technology, engineering and medicine.
More recently in year 2000 and up till date researchers are still researching on career choice and subject choices are still finding out the factors affecting or influencing such choices Gerhard, (2009), Ohiwerei and Nwosu, (2009), Yara (2009), and Tesfaye, (2010).  Amongst factors which researchers have studied that affect student’s choice of subject are personal interest, attitude toward the subject, sex prestige, peer pressure, parental influence and school factors which includes teacher’s influence.  In spite of the economic recession decisions on career choice have continue to be on the increase and any mistake made can block the realization of one career dream, for instance, a student who wants to study medicine but has no interest in chemistry may not achieve his career goal.  It is known that students do not like all the subjects in the curriculum and even if they do, they cannot offer all because they need to focus on their areas of Arts, sciences or social sciences when they get to senior secondary classes (Ovri, 1999).
Science students have varying perceptions of their sciences some are enjoying the subjects irrespective of whom or what influenced their choices while others who are not enjoying the subjects/science have to struggle all the way.
Several researchers have come up with various findings on factors affecting students’ choice of subjects, especially science subjects. Akpan (1986) conducted a research on (1,240) one thousand two hundred and forty Nigerian students (aged 12 – 18 years) from thirty one secondary schools.  The students were given tests assessing intelligence, attitudes toward science, personality and subject choice.  Results show that attitude toward science was the most important in science subject choice, followed by Iq, sex and personality were important to a lesser degree.
Another research by Kieran (2007), in his findings on factors influencing student’s choice of experimental science subjects suggest that interest, enjoyment, university course and career requirements have most influence on student’s choices.  More recently, Tesfaye (2010) found out that the declining interest of students in choosing physics subject as well as lack of enthusiasm to take physics courses as a college major is an international problem of the several attempts made to boosts students’ interest in physics, some that have proved very fruitful according to Tesfaye (2010), including introducing an innovative physics, curricula, use of students’ centered methods and introducing interesting ways of teaching sciences from early years.
Parents and teachers affects science subjects choices of students but as much as interest was more a factor for female they discovered pay was a factor for males.
But interestingly a strong background in science and mathematics also influence choices.  This where teachers can help, they are responsible for transmitting theory to practice and they are the ones teaching, so they really need to work hard to help the students have a strong background through good teaching methods, good classroom learning environment and good teacher – pupil relationship.
Omosewo (2003) on parental influences also discovered that the choice of physics of female students was mostly influenced by parents.  Their result showed that parental influence was 48%, school counselors 31%, peer pressure 9%, friends and relatives 10% and self 1%.  This more enlightment should be given to parents to encourage their females more in choosing science subjects.
Osipow and Fitzgerald (1996) stated, “Gender is clearly one of the most powerful of all influences on vocational behaviour”.  A teacher’s method can determine whether a student can have positive interest in the subject or not.  Correll (2001) reviewed that the career process occurs throughout as individuals make decisions on occupation she also reviewed that the ratio of females to males decline as young people move towards quantitative professions, physical sciences and engineering in contrast with the vast movement to other professions such as law and medicine and like others have researched, teaching professions.
As this project studies the factor which affect the students choice of science subjects as they affect students perception of sciences’ in Nigeria, a number of factors have been mentioned but the researcher considered parental factors, teacher factors, personal factors and peer group factors.
Statement of the Problem
Many students are offering sciences but have poor perceptions of science subjects as a result of the factor that influenced their choice, whether parental, teacher or peer group factors.
Recently, the researcher had a personal interview with three persons without job satisfaction due to wrong perception resulting from influences at the time of subject and career choice.  One of them having obtained a degree in science could get a job in a government establishment, but has no job satisfaction because he has discovered he has interest in another field.  Since he cannot get the job with his qualification went back to do a B.SC program at the university in his choice area before proceeding from these.
Purpose of the study
          The purpose of this study is to find out the factors influencing the choice of science career among senior secondary school students in Ikere local government area, Ekiti State.  The research work will be carry out with the following aims:
i.                   To find out if parental influence, influence the choice of science career among senior secondary school students in Ikere local government area, Ekiti State.
ii.                 To find out if teacher influence the choice of science career among senior secondary school students in Ikere local government area, Ekiti State.
iii.              To find out if personal interest influence the choice of science career among senior secondary school students in Ikere local government area, Ekiti State.
iv.              To find out if peer group influence the choice of science career among senior secondary school students in Ikere local government area, Ekiti State.
Significance of the study
Science career development enables individuals to implement his life image and this can contribute to his self actualization especially when his vocational development is in harmony with the fulfillment of his other life goals. The study is important because it will help the various factors affecting secondary school students choice of science career in Ikere Local Government Area with the view of helping the students in their choice of science career. It will create the awareness in the student of the various factors that can affect students’ choice of subjects leading to their choice of science career and the implication.
Teachers will find this study useful in the sense that they will be aware of their roles in helping students to choose the subjects that will lead to their choice of science career. Parents in particular will be well informed about the implication forcing students to take a particular profession because of their own interest. More, importantly, their study will help to project the importance of guidance counselor in the school system in helping students to choose the right type of science career. 
Scope of the study
This study looked into the factors influencing the choice of science career among senior secondary school students in Ikere local government area of Ekiti State.  The study covered all senior secondary school in Ikere local government area of Ekiti State.
The research involved dependant variable of choice of science career among senior secondary students and independent variables of parental influence, teacher influence, personal interest and peer group influences.
The research involved three (3) research assistants who will be trained by the researcher.  The research instrument will be self structured questionnaire.
The analysis of the data will be done by using descriptive statistics of frequency courts and percentages to answer the research questions.  Inferential statistics of chi – square (x2) will be used to test the hypotheses at 0.05 alpha levels.

Research Questions
Specifically, this study attempt to find answers to these research questions;
1)                Does parental influence, influence the choice of science career among senior secondary school students in Ikere local government area of Ekiti State.
2)                Does teacher factors influence the choice of science career among senior secondary school students in Ikere local government area of Ekiti state.
3)                Does personal interest influence the choice of science career among senior secondary school students in Ikere local government area of Ekiti State.
4)                Does peer group influence the choice of science career among senior secondary school students in Ikere local government area of Ekiti State.
Research Hypotheses
The following hypotheses are put forward for the purpose of this study:
1)                Parental influence will not significantly influence the choice of science career among senior secondary school students in Ikere local government area of Ekiti state.
2)                Teacher factors will not significantly influence the choice of science career among senior secondary school students in Ikere local government area of Ekiti State.
3)                Personal interest will not significantly influence the choice of science career among senior secondary schools students in Ikere local government of Ekiti State.
4)                Peer group influence will not significantly influence the choice of science career among senior secondary school students in Ikere local government area of Ekiti State.
Assumption of the study
The researcher assumes that the factors influencing the choice of science career among senior secondary school students in Ikere local government area of Ekiti State have not been included in the literature review by the previous researcher.
Researchers have been considered generally on the factors that influence choice of science career among senior secondary school students.