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1.1              BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

In our society today, students face a complex and rapidly changing society. It has been reported that regardless of great effort put forth by families, government agencies and non-government agencies, many young people encounter difficulties in the transition from the world of school to that of work (Atchoarena cited in Pilot & Regis, 2012). Investigating and better understanding the myriad factors that contribute to career choice is a topic of recurring interest in our schools today. To guide students in their career decision making, socio-demographic factors play a central role in this lifelong process (Pilot & Regis, 2012). These factors include family, vocational education, school, career guidance program, media and peers. In this study, the influence of vocational education will only be investigated.

Choosing a vocation is not an immediate event but is arrived at through a series of development process of interest (Sokan, 1996). Interest plays a very prominent role in vocational preference and competencies. Definitely, we select a job because we are motivated by the interest we have in such a job. Motivation according to (Okonkwo, 1998) is defined as a psycho-physiological or internal process, initiated by some need, which leads to an activity to satisfy that need. Motivation sustains one’s interest and rest in the pursuance of set goals. It stimulates students to pursue desired career. Okonkwo further stated that there are two categories of motivation intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motives are those that arise from with the individual. Action elicited by ulterior purpose. Extrinsic motive arise from source outside the individual. Action elicited by obvious external factor. Motivational factors include both intrinsic and extrinsic factors that influence the vocational preference of the secondary school adolescents.

career choice is influenced by multiple factors including personality, interests, self-concept, cultural identity, globalization, socialization, role model, social support and available resources such as information and financial. Bandura et al (2001) state that each individual undertaking the process is influenced by several factors including the context in which they live in, their personal aptitudes, social contacts and educational attainment. According to Hewitt (2010), factors influencing career choice can either be intrinsic or extrinsic or both. Hewitt further states that most people are influenced by careers that their parents favour, others follow the careers that their educational choices have opened for them, some choose to follow their passion regardless of how much or little it will make them while others choose the careers that give high income. Students perception of being suitable for particular jobs also has been found to be influenced by a number of factors including ethnic background, year in school, level of achievement, choice of science subjects, attitudes and differences in job characteristics (McQuaid and Bond, 2003). In a study by Perrone et al., (2001) on role model influence on the career decisiveness of college students, it was found that role model supportiveness, and quality of relationship contributed to the career choice of students. Choosing a career simply means choosing a life job. However, all career have their subject requirement, personality characteristic and personal abilities while are supposed to be fully assessed before individual can be deemed to be qualified to go into specific career (Onayase and Onayase, 2009). Career choice is influence by multiple factors include personality, interest, self-concept, identity, globalization, socialization, role model, social support and available resources such as information and finance (Kerka, 2000).

Adolescents have a number of desires like the desire of economic independence, selecting and preparation for an occupation and developing intellectual skills and concepts necessary for good living (Shertzer and Stone, 1981). The attainment of physical maturity by the adolescent and his increasing self-consciousness are likely to result in his given more thought to his future roles and status in the community. He is therefore likely at this stage to exhibit greater awareness of his desires and aspiration for the future. Choosing a vocation is not an immediate event but is arrived at through a series of development process of interest (Sokan, 1996). The interest in a particular career path by these students could be influenced by a number of factors, including the interest developed in a field due to the students’ involvement in a vocational education relating to such field.


The current mass unemployment in Nigeria is threatening the career preference of school leavers. Secondary school students are expected to choose their career path in the senior secondary school. More often than not they rush to their parents for guidance as to which subject and career to choose. In some other cases, they resort to careers that they heard of even when they do not have the potentials for such careers. This sometimes leads to frustration and hatred for the chosen profession in the future. However, if students choose career based on interests and ability, they tend to perform well in their chosen careers. This is what motivated the researcher to embark on discovering the impact of vocation education on career decision among senior secondary school students.

1.3              OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY

The objectives of this study are;

            I.        To examine the impact of vocational education on the career choice of students

          II.        To examine the level of involvement of students in vocational activities

        III.        To examine the relationship between vocational education and career choice.

1.4              RESEARCH HYPOTHESES

Hypotheses one

Ho: There is no relationship between vocational education and career choice of students.

Hi: There is a relationship between vocational education and career choice of students.

Hypotheses Two

Ho: Most students are not involved in vocational activities

Hi: Most students are involved in vocational activities


This study will specifically be of importance to students in making adequate choice of a life career. The knowledge of motivational factors that influence their vocational preference provides awareness about fringe benefits, advancement/improvement opportunities which the adolescents required for effective and realistic career decision.

Findings of this study will help the teachers create class projects that require students to research a selected occupation and apply the course content to that particular occupation. This will enable the teachers to sort and place students according to their subject inclinations and occupational class. This will provide better orientation, facilitate learning and growth, and enhance career decision than multiple interest groups. Moreover, the findings of this study will be of immense benefit to parents. It will help to guide and counsel parents on matters relating to the choice of vocation for their children and wards. Making a good choice of vocation is a major concern of the government since the aim of education is to help the individual develop his intellectual, occupational and vocational competencies. The finding of this study will help the government during the planning of secondary school curriculum to consider the needs of the students and the socio-economic needs of the society. The findings of the study will help the guidance counsellors in the process of imparting suitable vocational guidance.


This study is primarily concerned with impact of vocational educational education on career decision among senior secondary school students. This study covers selected public schools in the FCT. The researcher encountered some constraints, which limited the scope of the study. These constraints include but are not limited to the following.

a) availability of research material: The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study    

b) time: The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.


VOCATIONAL EDUCATION is education that prepares people to work as a technician or in various jobs such as a trade or a craft. Vocational education is sometimes referred to as career education or technical education

CAREER an occupation undertaken for a significant period of a person's life and with opportunities for progress

DECISION a choice that you make about something after thinking about several possibilities. It is a choice made between alternative courses of action in a situation of uncertainty.


This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows

Chapter one is concerned with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), historical background, statement of problem, objectives of the study, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of terms and historical background of the study. Chapter two highlights the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature. Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study. Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding.  Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study     

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