AN EXAMINATION OF CAREER CHOICE AMONG VOCATIONAL AND TECHNICAL EDUCATION STUDENTS IN NIGERIA
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Those days, when few people for various reasons could go to schools, and jobs were waiting for individual to qualify and take, there was little need for planning either in terms of what courses to take or in terms of what type of job to do in future as occupation. Today, the old education system order has changed, due to changes in society. The present day society is too complete and changes at a much faster rate than it was in the past.
The choice of career demands that alternatives should be clear and the important aspect should be taken into consideration in order for the decision process to be easier. The history of applied psychology has its roots in the rise of empirical science and the increase influence of a commercial industries social classes, beginning in the last 18thcentury. This development led to the need for a mere democratically based school system of train qualified workers for the ever burgeoning industrial complex. Indeed, the demand for workers in Nigeria was done among those that have the skills and the need for personnel to help channel these prospective workers into increasing complex jobs.
The two significant events which occurs in the 20th century marked the expansion of vocational and technical guidance by the Boston Chamber of commerce and subsequent formation in (1913) of the national vocational guidance association (Whitely, 1984), this marked the beginning of vocational moment in Nigeria. However, vocational guidance counselling started in Nigeria as far back as 1961, with the inauguration of the Ibadan careers council, which later formal the nuclear of what is known as the Nigeria careers councils. There was a general opinion among career counseling that our youngsters need constant guidance in the choice of occupation for which they have no attitude but interest, such student are likely to end up as failure and career frustration.
Thus, we have to live in ambiguity, uncertainty and value confusion. In other words, the traditional road or signals of danger are all inadequate today. That fact that personal conflicts or some other external obstacles do constitute to these goals, how we handle these obstacles that they do not develop into problems, requires experience. The fact that a guidance scheme can give problem, the ability to make appropriate choice and decision are increase to the later satisfaction and happiness of the individual. It is noticeable that many students have gone through the years of school system without knowing and choosing the appropriate subjects that can lead them into the professional jobs. Further studies and any career wish to purse.
The question now is, how we can solve these problems which are affecting our students in their choice of subject leads to the world of work in the society and nation that will lead to building the personality of the individual.
The background study of College of Education, Ekiadolor-Benin as well as the school of vocational and technical department is an education that prepares trainees for jobs at various levels from a craft or trade to a professional position in engineering, accounting, nursing, medicine and other health practitioners, pharmacy etc. craft vocation are usually based on manual or practical activities, traditionally non-academic and totally related to a specific trade, occupation or vocation. Its sometimes referred to as technical education as the trainee directly develops expertise in a particular group of techniques.
Vocational and technical education may be classified as teaching procedure knowledge. This can be contrasted with declarative knowledge as used in education in a usually broader scientific field, which might concentrate on theory and abotract conceptual knowledge, characteristic of tertiary education. Vocational and technical education can be at the secondary, post-secondary level, further education level and can interact with the apprenticeship system. Vocational and technical education can be recognized in terms of recognition of prior learning and partial academic credit towards tertiary education. It is rarely considered in its own form to fall under the traditional definition of higher education.
Vocational and technical education is related to the age-old apprenticeship system of learning. College of education apprenticeships are designed for many levels of work from manual trade to high knowledge work. However, as the labor market becomes more specialized and economic demand higher level of skill, government and business are increasingly investing in the future of vocational through publicly funded training organizations and subsidized apprenticeship or traineeship initiatives of business. At the post-secondary level vocational education is typically provided by an institute of technical or by a local community college.
Vocational education has diversified over the 20th century and new exist in industries such as retail, tourism, information technology, funeral service and cosmetic, as well as in the traditional craft and college industries.
The national centre for vocational education research or “NCVER” is a non-profit company owned by the federal state and territory ministries responsible for training. It is responsible for collecting, managing, analyzing, evaluating and communicating research and statistics about vocational education and training (VET).
Towards the end of the 13 years military rule in the country, the Bendel State Government of Nigeria conceived the idea of establishing new advanced teachers college to increase the existing rate of teacher supply. October, 1979 ushered in a new civilian administration whose programmes included free education at all levels. So as a means of effectively carrying out its promises to the people of Bendel State, the new administration immediately decided to establish not one but two advanced teachers college in the state.
These institutions were officially opened on 5th May, 1980 by his Excellency, Professor Ambrose Alli, the executive governor of the Bendel State. it was on this occasion that the original name of this college was officially changed from advanced teachers college of education. It was also on the same occasion that the governor announced his administrations intention to open a total of four college of education, one in each senatorial district in the state. The college took off with a student population of 1850 and a senior (acad. & admin) staff complement of 39 with Rev. T. E. Uwaifo as the first Provost. The staffs were mainly deployed from the ministry of education and the unified teaching service in the state. In the areas where the institution lacked staff part-time lecturers were engaged. The college is rapidly developing and today the staffing position has improved tremendously. There are 23 senior administrative staff, 119 academic staff and the college has a governing council made up of men of probity and proven integrity in the society. As a policy making body, the council has contributed immensely to the growth and development of the institution.
Although the college started rather in a haste, with an executive council resolution establishing it, the college authorities had however, been guided by edict No. 11 of 1971 otherwise known as Abraka College of Education edict, 1966 with modifications where appropriate. The college operates a course unit system under the guidance of the institute of education of the university of Benin. In august, 1981 official approval for affiliation was given in writing by the university of Benin to the College for the award of NCE Certificates.
The College has made remarkable progress in the achievement of its cardinal objective of educating NCE teacher for the state. The college has recently matriculated its third batch of student bringing the overall student population of the college to about 4, 000. These students are offered courses in some seventeen subject areas offered in twenty three alternative combinations. In addition, the curriculum has been structured to allow the student to spend a large proportion of their second year serving in the state secondary schools as trainee teachers. They return towards the end of this second year to participate in a post teaching practice course which services to orientate back into the academic programme of the third year.
In order to increase the numbers of science teachers in the state it was decided to start a pre-science programme. The aim of this programme was to assist those inclined towards science to get the required qualifications for full entry in the NCE science courses. Another innovation brought about in 1980 was the introduction of a pre-French course for those whose knowledge of spoken French was limited. It is expected that both of these “pre” courses will stimulate the production of teachers in these shortage areas. Now that the college has its full complement of students it is felt that most of the initial organizational problems have been overcome and that we can now turn our attentions to improving the facilities for both staff and students.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
1. To find out whether they make the choice after a proper consideration of their attitudes and interest.
2. Are the student aware of what career they are going into and the possible choice of such careers that are open to them and their implications.
3. Whether they are influenced by friends, parents, teacher, social status, prestige, socio-economic background.
4. Whether a student ability in a particular subject affect his choice of career.
5. Are the schools giving the children a proper or adequate guidance and counselling serve for their choice of career.
1.3 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The study is aimed at eradicating the problem of choice of career amongst students in the society. It would also give student a good direction throughout their years of study. The right choice of students to discover on time whether the subject they have chose and if they would be able to do them, can meet their aspirations. Also the study will give education a good understanding of the student problem and it will enable them to help the student make the right choice of career in which they have the attitude and ability. This will enable them to readjust and cope with the requirement for such career.
This study will go a long way on making our policy recognize the need for our student in the society. Implementation of the recommendation which will be derived from the study, will enable students to develop some skills early enough through vocational and technical training, to enable them contribute to economy development. As specialization is critical high productivity, the nation would also benefit very much the right careers because there would be increase in productivity. Thus, the national manpower need would be satisfied.
1.4 SCOPE OF STUDY
The scope of this study is to find out the career aspiration of the selected students in College of Education Ekiadolor-Benin. The study will also determine the examination of career choice.
DEFINITION OF TERMS
The following words were used during the course of this study.
Career: The progress and actions taken by a person throughout a lifetime, especially those related to that persons occupation. A career is often composed of the jobs held, titles earned and work accomplished over a long period of time, rather than just referring to one position. According to dictionary definition.
Occupation: It is the principal activity in your life that you do to earn money or is a profession. According to dictionary.
Readjust: To get use to something again or in a new way, or to change in response to new conditions. According to dictionary.
Specialization: To become an expert on a particular area of work study. According to dictionary.
Technical: Connected with the practical use of machinery methods etc. According to dictionary.
Vocational: (of education or training) directed at a particular occupation and it skills. According to dictionary.
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