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1.1 Background to the Study
Generally, factors that influence one’s career choice are either intrinsic or extrinsic and sometimes both. Extrinsic factor comes into play when children choose what they turn out to be as a result of what other people believe or do. Milgram (1983) stated that when we do not know how to behave, we copy other people. Milgram further stated that those we copied thus act as information sources for how to behave as we assume they know what they are doing. Children copy whatever such people say or do including their career perceptions.
At home for instance, the parents who are the first teachers of the child are always there to give the child some encouragement and corrective feedback. Parenthood transforms people, and early childhood experiences play an indirect role in shaping later career behaviour. Parent-child relationship influence personality, orientations and the development of psychological needs. Vocational needs and interest are some of the ways in which individuals try to satisfy those needs. Parents always influence their children’s lives in order to make them useful to the family as there is no one, in many respects, who knows as much about a child as the parents do, and no one else has much vested interest in a child as the parents. Consequently, parents play tremendous role in influencing their children’s choice of career course. This is common with the educated parents who would determine in advance the subjects they wanted their children to study. This seems to be obvious with the choice of Business Management by some students.
The peer group to which a child belongs also exerts some degree of influence on its members. Shadrack and Egbuchulem (1997) observed that one’s peers exert a lot of influence on one’s behaviour pattern. In the group a lot of information is passed from one person to another at work, at play, during studies in school and even interacting in the church. Some information may alter one’s notion and interest. Shadrack and Egbuchulem observed further that Peer group is strong and may be imperative in its demands upon its members. It helps them find a role for themselves. It helps them in an insecure period attain the necessary emancipation from the home and it teaches community life as it is often seen as a corrective agent. They do everything in common and sometimes offer the same subjects or courses in school.
The lager society of the child also has a lot of influence on the school and hence on the learner. The society has a set of goals it pursues for its own survival and development. It is made up of human beings who belong to different types of occupation or professions. Through social interaction the child may tend to imitate their occupation by choosing to follow the same route as they have done.
Intrinsic factor comes into play when children actually choose what they already want to turn out to be when they grow up. They have the tendency to follow those routes to enable them achieve their dreams irrespective of how other people perceived such career. This occurs as a result of early childhood development. Nelson and Denis (1995) stated that it is often too late to change a person’s vocational choice by the time he or she finishes secondary school. The perception, or idea, belief or an image one has about something or situation influences his choice. Perception varies from person to person.
Individuals perceive things differently. Moreover, individuals ascribe different meanings based on their perception. The meanings attached to things or situations generally differ. One might change one's perspective or simply make things mean something else. Peruvian (2006) has stated that perception is how you look at something from your point of view. Due to social interactions, one’s perception about a career could have some influence on others’ choice of that career. In the school and even outside the school for instance, social interactions exist between students, parents and peer group. Sometimes despite the social interaction the individual will still hold on to his perception. This seems to be obvious with the choice of business management.
Business Management is that type of management that seeks to improve individuals for business occupations. Aliyu (2001) posits that Business Management is the management for the acquisition and development of skills and competencies, attitudes and attributes which are necessary for efficiency of the economic system. Through Business Management programme, students experience the practical application of basic skills for real world and real work situation. Aliyu also maintains that with the increasing complexity in the business world, it is only those with good Business Management knowledge and understanding that can grapple with these complexities. Business Management is offered at post-primary, tertiary institutions and University. Business Management in Colleges of
Management is referred to as Business Teacher Management. The philosophy according to
NCCE (2002) was to produce Ghanan Certificate in Management (GCM) graduates in Business Management who will be able to teach business subjects in secondary schools and engaged in a life of work in the office as well as for self-employment. Those who believe in this philosophy of the programme embraced it while others who do not believe the philosophy preferred other programmes. It was on the basis of this brief background that this study was conducted.
1.2 Statement of Problem
As indicated on the background of the study, there are many factors from number of studies that are associated with career choice. Some of which are family background of a child. Thus it is shown that most children from family of medical personnel or law would want to follow the career tradition of their parents or family members. Age and interest have also been associated with students’ choice of subjects or career. It is also shown that peer group influence career choice of students as the peer group to which a child belongs also exerts some degree of influence on its members. They do everything in common and sometimes offer the same subjects or courses in school.
It is also shown that the general society exerts some influence on the child. For instance Ohiwerei and Nwuso (2009) observed that the society has low perception of business management and because of the low perception of the programme parents preferred their children to go to grammar schools than to vocational schools where Business Management programmes are run and this let to low enrolment of students into the programme at all levels.
However the issue of individual student’s perception and its influence on the choice of career has not been investigated, even though it might have been investigated in many other areas, such investigation from study of literature, particularly on Ghana is hardly available. The researcher is therefore, interested in knowing about the perception of COE students of Business Management programme as a career and how their perception influences their choice of the programme. Consequently, this study was conducted on “COE Students’ perception and its Influence on their Choice of Business Management in Ghana.”
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The main objective of this study was to determine the Perception of students who undertake business management as a programme of study and the influence of their perception on their choice of the programme. The specific objectives were to:
1. determine how business management students in Ghana perceive business management;
2. establish the extent to which the perception of business management students in Ghana influences their choice of business management programme as a career;
3. determine the extent to which the perception of business management students in Ghana influences their choice of business management programme option;
4. determine the influence of gender perception on students’ choice of business management programme in Ghana.
1.4 Research Questions
This research work provided answers to the following research questions:
1. How do business management students in Ghana perceive business management programme?
2. To what extent does the perception of business management students in Ghana influence their choice of business management as a career?
3. To what extent does the perception of business management students in Ghana influence their choice of business management option?
4. What is the influence of gender perception on students’ choice of business management programme in Ghana?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
In line with the Research Questions, the following four null hypotheses were tested at 0.05 level of significance:
1. There is no significant difference between the mean scores of male and female students in Ghana on how they perceive business management programme.
2. There is no significant difference between the mean scores of male and female students in Ghana on the extent to which their perception influences their choice of business management as a career.
3. There is no significant difference between the mean scores of students undertaking accounting option and that undertaking office option in Ghana on the extent to which their perception influence their choice of business management programme options.
4. There is no significant difference between the mean scores of male and female Students in Ghana on the influence of gender perception on students’ choice of business management programme as a career.
1.6 Significance of the Study
The study would be of significance to students, lecturers, management of Colleges of Education. The result will serve as awareness programme and students who have wrong perceptions of Business Management would be clarified and consequently embrace business management as a programme that seeks to provide them with skills and knowledge for self-reliance thereby reducing the unemployment rate in Ghana.
Lecturers will also benefit from the study because as more students are clarified of the meaning and purposes of business management, many will embrace it thereby guaranteeing their job security. The result of the study would serve as a source of reference to Lecturers who would engage in similar research. It would spur other researchers to conduct similar or related researches in the area in order to consolidate the findings of this study.
It would also be of significance to the management of Colleges of Education in Ghana. The outcome of the study would help management to get prepare in order to meet up with the enrolment challenges in the Department of Business Management in Colleges of Education. Generally the society stands to benefit from the study as graduates of the programme will come back to serve the society thereby fulfilling the manpower requirement of the society.
1.7 Basic Assumptions of the Study
This study was based on the assumptions that:
1. Students’ perception of business management influenced their choice of the programme in Ghana.
2. Gender difference has no great influence on students’ choice of business management Programme in Ghana.
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