Factors influencing career choices among undergraduate students in public Universities in Kenya - A case of compassion international sponsored students
This study sought to investigate the factors that influence career choice among undergraduate students sponsored by Compassion International. Compassion International Kenya sponsors 293 students in all the public universities in the country. The management of Compassion International Kenya has keenly observed lack of diversified careers among sponsored students and that forms the statement of the problem. The objectives of this study were to investigate family factors, role of peers, role models and the role of gender in influencing career choice among the students. The researcher adopted a census survey design which was appropriate because of the cross-sectional nature of data that was collected as is implied in the research objectives. The population of the study comprised of 295 participants who included 293 undergraduate students sponsored by Compassion International and two members of staff who run the sponsorship program. This study was a census of university students sponsored by Compassion International Kenya and therefore no attempt was made at sampling the students. This was necessitated by the fact that the population under study was small. The data collection instrument was self-administered questionnaire. This was mailed to the participants of the study and a date was set when the participants responded. An additional interview guide was used to interview the two members of staff. The researcher obtained a response rate of 97%. Data analysis was based on the research questions designed at the beginning of the research. The collected data was inspected and edited to a certain their accuracy, completeness and uniformity. Data was analyzed using statistical package for social sciences. This computer program was used to help in analyzing the data after it had been inspected, edited and classified. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to investigate the factors that influence career choice among Compassion International sponsored students. The results of the study were compared with literature review to establish the factors that influence career choice among undergraduate students sponsored by Compassion International. The data collected was analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics. According to the findings of the study, all the independent variables investigated had influence on career choice of the sponsored undergraduate students of Compassion International. The study however indicated that role models had the greatest influence with an average mean score of 3.1. Peer and gender factors had an equal influence on the choice of career with an average mean score of 2.3. The results also indicated that family factors have the least influence on career choice with an average mean score of 1.86. The research therefore recommends that the Ministry of Education, universities and Non governmental organizations should map out a strategy for career information exposure and effective dissemination to students. The research further recommends further research to be done in areas such as factors that lead to career change among undergraduate students in Kenya and factors that limit female students from pursuing technical careers such as science, mathematics, technology and engineering.