The role of agents of socialization in influencing career choices among first year female students of Nairobi Institute of Business Studies (NIBS)
Gitonga, Esther W
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The study investigated the role of agents of socialization in influencing career choices among first year female students of Nairobi Institute of Business Studies (NIBS). Specifically the study sought to identify which agents of socialization influenced career choices among first year female students of Nairobi Institute of Business Studies (NIBS) and, whether factors such as personality, self-concept, career preferences, opportunities accrued to pursuing a certain career and the environment would influence career choices among first year female students of Nairobi Institute of Business Studies (NIBS). Combinations of three research instruments were used in data collection. They included; questionnaires, key informant interviews and narrative guide. A sample of fifty (50) first year female students of NIBS were randomly picked for the administration of questionnaires. Key informant interviews were conducted among four (4) heads of department of NIBS and, five (5) narratives were conducted among five (5) first year female students of NIBS. The data was subjected to qualitative and quantitative analysis. The research findings revealed that, agents of socialization influenced career choices among first year female students of NIBS. However, the degree of influence varied as follows; parents 40%, peers 34%, media 18% and, teacher/teachers 8%. 78% of the respondents stated that members of the opposite sex such as fathers, boyfriends, uncles and, brothers influence female students' career choices than same sex persons. Further, 56% of the respondents believed that agents of socialization continue to ensure that female students dominated careers that were perceived as 'feminine'. 48% of the respondents cited opportunities accrued to pursuing a certain career influenced their career choice while, poverty, gender stereotypes, predetermined life cycle for Women/girls and, grades attained in secondary school were identified as some of the other factors that influence females' career choices. The study recommended that parents being the first agents of socialization with whom individuals interact with during their formative years, should be obligated with the responsibility of ensuring that they instill messages of gender equality among children irrespective of their gender. These messages will be carried on to adulthood by the children hence, result to girls being empowered to choose careers that are in line with their abilities but as per societal expectations. In addition to that, teachers teaching at primary and secondary levels of education should be well equipped with information on careers. These will enable them impact the same information on their students hence equipping them with appropriate career knowledge. Parents should avoid compelling their girl children to pursue careers that are against their wish but, instead they should always encourage them to venture in the careers of their choice by offering moral and financial support. The government of Kenya should incorporate life skills in the secondary school curriculum. This will enable young girls learn how to communicate effectively and clearly, be assertive and able to make decisions therefore, shield them from peer pressure when choosing their career choices. Also, teachers should shun away from making negative remarks when female students fail to tackle mathematics and science related problems. This is because negative sentiments made by the teachers most of the times intimidate and discourage female students from putting more effort in mathematics and science subjects while in school. Career guidance sessions should be made mandatory in primary and secondary schools. These sessions will equip pupils with information on the demands of the labour market in Kenya and Globally.