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1.1       Background to the study

This study examines the effects of socio-economic status on the career aspirations for occupational preference of secondary school students in Sokoto metropolis. Several researchers have long recognized that occupational aspiration is influenced by socio-economic status (SES) of secondary school students in particular, the background of their families is especially important. McLaughlin, Hunt, and Montgomery (1976) found that SES affects the occupational and educational aspirations of female high school seniors, a finding in agreement with Empey's (1956) study on males. Krippner (1963) studied students' occupational preferences and their parents' occupational levels using Roe's (1956) occupational scale and found that the occupations students liked to enter were related to the status of their parents' occupational level.

According to Uche (1994) children from parents with high socio-economic status are likely provided with high quality private education from nursery up to university level. Given this opportunity, it is likely that such children will be less delinquent than their counterpart from lower socio-economic background. However from an empirical study by Coughin and Vuchimah (1996), there is a relationship between family socio-economic status and juvenile delinquency. Female secondary school students tend to act out as a result of low level of support from their mother while boys tend to act out as a result of low level parental mentoring; however the study concludes that family structure is not a predictor of juvenile delinquency, low parental monitoring did seem to predict higher drug use, Dishon and Loeber (1985). In another study on child rearing style and students’


dishonest behavior by Ajake and Bisong (2008), child rearing style is a function of family socio-economic status. Significant difference exist between respondents from autocratic child rearing family and those from democratic homes in lying, stealing and truancy, in each case autocratically reared subjects are more vulnerable to delinquency. Again a significant difference exist between subjects reared under democratic child rearing style and their counterpart reared under the laissez-faire rearing style in lying, stealing and truancy. In each case, those who are brought under the laissez-faire families are the more vulnerable.

Blau and Duncan (1967) and Duncan and Featherman (1972) showed a strong positive correlation between family SES and an individual's occupational aspirations and attainment. Sewell, Haller, and Straus' (1957) survey of secondary school seniors showed a positive relationship between SES and educational and occupational aspirations of young women. Sewell and Shaw (1967), in a later study, concluded that for women, SES has a greater effect than intelligence on selection of attendance to and graduation from college.

Okeke(1973) study of illiterate low class families in Nigeria found that their children expressed a desire to engage in better occupations and strive for better education than their parents. The traditional view that factors like age, sex, race, and socio-economic levels determine occupational expectations and attainment should no longer be a stumbling block to counselors. With more attention and support, counselors should be better able to help the low SES to maximize their potentials and capabilities. This does not insinuate an exclusion of the needed help to the high and middle SES.

Extrinsic reward was most significant to low SES. Olayinka (1973) also found that children with low SES view education and occupation as a means to


better their status and economic conditions, while children with high SES view education and occupation as a means of entering into a profession similar to their parents.

1.2       Statement of the Problem

In schools, most of the conservatism found in western education finds it root in most of instructional programmers. Programmes in most schools lack diversification to cater for all career choices of students, most students were left unguided and so are more prone to making unwise choices or no choice at all, until after schooling in most cases, however, students do not make wise choice of subject as a result of lack of sufficient information.

Left unguided, it has been observed that quite a number of students in secondary schools are ill informed of the labour market. They become nervous, worried and anxious. They finish secondary school with the feeling of inadequacy and frustration, they do not have in mind the jobs they want to do, based on this, they lack knowledge that the employers require as entry qualification, and they may not know that, there is a method of application for the job they wish to apply for. This is common because they do not possess the necessary educational and vocational information. Some people like to work in team, others preferred to work alone, vocational guidance must therefore take full account of all these likes and dislikes. Inadequate vocational information in secondary schools in Sokoto state, have left students to decide and pursue any course or job they could find whether or not it is in consonance with their interest, aptitude and ability. Some secondary schools in Sokoto state find it very difficult to organize or administer guidance and counseling programme for students due to lack of professional counselors. The school management which includes the Principal and the heads of departments are not motivating or educating the students to make use of the career masters where


available. Moreover Sokoto state government in particular shows little effort towards recognition and establishment of guidance and counseling at professional level. Even in the few schools that possess career masters, their expertise is not fully utilized.

Kithyo and Petrina (2002) argue that boys schools tend to be more equipped and oriented towards science and technology. Boys in mixed schools are also encouraged to enroll and perform well in these subjects. Girls schools do not offer technology subjects such as engineering; instead they offer domestic sciences and secretarial subjects. By the time the students come to choose careers, they have internalized gender norms (Kithyo and Petrina, 2002). Research indicates that children from low-SES households and communities develop academic skills more slowly compared to children from higher SES groups (Morgan, Farkas, Hillemeier, &Maczuga, 2009). The school systems in low-SES communities are often under resourced, negatively affecting student’s academic progress (Aikens &Barbarin, 2008). There also exist the conflicts between the individual free choice of occupation and that of the Nations manpower needed, and there are also conflicts between individual choice, parents wish, and friend’s advice. Nigeria is moving from pre-industrial to an industrial country. Industrialization paved way to technological development which will increase the need for skilled human labour and will require all the power and more skill that can be obtained. Training children through education will make them be aware of these potentialities.

The focus of this study is therefore to make a critical examination of the influence of socio-economic status on career aspirations among secondary school students in schools of Sokoto metropolis.


1.3       Objectives of the Study

This study aimed at finding out the influence of socio-economic status on career aspirations among secondary school students in schools of Sokoto metropolis base on the following;

i.                   To find out the vocational/career aspiration of students in senior secondary schools in Sokoto metropolis.

ii.                 To find out the factors that influence senior secondary school student’s career aspiration.

iii.              To find out if there is any relationship between parental occupation and their children career aspiration.

1.4       Research Questions

The major questions this study intends to address are;

i.                   What are the factors that influence senior secondary school student’s career aspirations?

ii.                 What are the career aspirations of students in senior secondary schools in Sokoto metropolis?

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