Determinants of students' career choices in public secondary schools in Kakamega South
Amwayi, Fridah K
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Career choice is a complex decision for students since it determines the profession to undertake. Every year in Kenya form four secondary school students make career choices before sitting their final Kenya Secondary School Examination (K.C.S.E) however; studies indicate, students enter into careers of subjects they never offered at secondary level or where they performed poorly. Career choice has become a complex science with the advent of information technology, the emergence of post industrial revolution and job competition. The purpose of this study was to investigate the determinants of students' career choice in public secondary schools in Kakamega South Sub-County, Kenya. The following study objectives were used: to examine how socio-economic factors determine the students' career choices; to establish how information technology determines the students' career choices; to identify how personal factors influence the students' career choices and to investigate how environmental factors determines students' career choices in public secondary schools in Kakamega South Sub-County. The study was guided by descriptive survey design and the conceptual framework. The data was collected using a questionnaire and interview schedules. The target population consisted of 25 public secondary schools, 287 teachers, 6,400 students, District Education Officer (DEO) and Sub-County Quality Assurance and Standards Officer (DQASO) in Kakamega South Sub-County. Simple random sampling techniques was used to select 86 teachers, eight schools and eight school principals while the DEO and DQASO were selected by purposive sampling technique. On validity of the instruments, the researcher used content validity while through pilot testing process was used to test reliability comparing with a Cronbach's Alpha Coefficient of 0.7. A Cronbach Alpha Coefficient achieved was at 0.87. The study established that there was a positive and significant association between socio economic factors and students' career choices but at varying degrees in Kakamega South Sub-County. This means that various socio-economic factors like parental education level, income, social status and cultural beliefs affect students' career choices differently. The statistics show that there was positive and significant correlation between information technology and career choice amongst the students in Kakamega South SubCounty. Statistics revealed a marginally positive and significant association between personal factors and students' career choices. This implied that students' personal factors had weak influence on their career choices and therefore, could not make independent career decisions, hence need for career teachers' help. Environmental factors had positive and significant effect on students' career choices but at varying levels in Kakamega South Sub- County. There were some factors that had significant influence on students' career choices than others; namely students' career choices are influenced by advertisements made as they had a higher effect on students' career choices while the variables on professionals from the community influence students' career choice and role models at home had the least significant effect on students' career choices. It was therefore, concluded that professionals like the career teachers have successful educational career change decision on students' career choices. The Ministry of Education and School Management should keep pace with advancement ofInformation Technology by ensuring provision of adequate networking tools and equipment to enhance students' career choices. This will keep students and teachers abreast with necessary skills and knowledge. Professionals should create awareness on the marketability of the various courses offered so that students make informed decisions. The collected data was ana lysed and the results presented in form of frequency tables. The findings of this study may be useful to the Ministry of Education in ,developing programs and strategies that may assist both parents and students in exploring a wide range of occupations.