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EFFECT OF PEER GROUP AND PARENTAL SOCIO-ECONOMIC BACKGROUND ON CAREER CHOICE OF BUSINESS EDUCATION UNDERGRADUATES
1.1 Background to the Study
Schooling days is one time where a youth’s mind is most susceptible to influence, ideas and values which alter the way a person thinks, acts and perceives things (Oyebode, 2010). This is a particularly important moment which will affect one’s own decision-making processes and career choices. Thus, parents are always assumed to play significant role in shaping and influencing how their school-going children make wise career decisions, which inevitably, impact their future career choice. From another perspective, parents are also considered influential which in turn means they also have the ability to influence their children’s future. As students are invariably impressionable, their decisions could be very much influenced by their parents, but peers‟ influence on their choice of career should also not be underestimated (Oto, 2014).
Career may be defined as the progress and actions taken by a person throughout a lifetime, specially related to that person‘s occupations. 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‘s position (Knowles, 2014). (Fayomi, 2012) defines career as an occupation or profession, especially one requiring special training, followed as one‘s lifework. It also defines career as a person‘s progress or general course of action through a phase of life, as in some profession or undertaking (Head, 2015).
Choosing a career is an extremely important decision that impacts an individual‘s entire future. Career exploration is defined as the extent to which possible careers are researched and considered. Research by Breakwell G. and Beardsell (2013), has suggested that exploring career options before committing to a career increases future career success and satisfaction. However, the choice of career by an individual is influenced by various factors and among them parental and social influence is very important. Each individual undertaking the process is influenced by many factors, including the context in which they live, friends and peer group and parental socio-economic background and status (Calkins, 2013).
Friends and peer group are important for individual socialization as well as behavioral modification whilesuch group include same-age group i.e. not necessarily friends while its formation is dependent on multiple factors including situation, an accident, or association (Farley, 2014). The development of a child is initially the outcome of family, however; peer overtakes the socialization process with the selection and adoption oflifestyle, appearance, social activities, academics, career etc (Odusanya, 2008). Similarly, peer and friends arepivotal and dramatic in shaping individual’s perceptions, attitudes and ideas to understand the outside world as well as decisions in future lives.
Parental socio economic status plays an important role in the life of a child. The status opens the ways for his progress. Intelligence, attitudes, aptitudes and even interests are patterned by socio economic background of the individual. Socio economic status refers to the position that an individual and family occupies with reference to prevailing average standards, cultural possession and participation in group activity of community. It is also said that socio economic status includes both the social and economic status of the individual in the group. The variations in achievement are also due to the differences in socio economic status of the children, differential treatment given by parents, parent’s educational level, and influence of the surroundings and so on (Fishbein and Ajzen, 2015). As pointed out by Awolowo (2012) children belonging to higher socio economic status are not only brilliant but also are provided better opportunities for developing intellectually, physically and emotionally, and these has effect on their career choice. Hence, the purpose of this study is to examine the effect of peer group and parental socio-economic background on career choice of business education undergraduates in Lagos State.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The choice of career made by university undergraduates is greatly influenced by the experience the individual undergoes right from childhood, the type of information made available as he matures and the way the parents direct the vocational choice of their children. The opportunities and facilities available to the child and hence his choice of career can be either facilitated or inhibited to a large extent by the experiences that his parents make available to him.
The problem is, what kind of effects do the peer group and the parental socio-economic background have on the career choice of undergraduates?
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The objectives of the study is to appraise the effect of Peer Group and Parental Socio-Economic background on Career Choice of Business Education undergraduates in Lagos State
Specific objectives of the study are to:
Investigate the role played by peer group in career choice of undergraduates
Find out if parents level of education have any influence on students career choice
Determine the relationship between peer group and parental socio-economic and career choice of undergraduates
Evaluate the effect of parental economic status on career choice of undergraduate
1.4 Research Question
The following research questions are answered in this study:
What is the role played by peer group in career choice of undergraduates?
Will parents’ level of education have any influence on students’ career choice?
What is the relationship between peer group and parental socio-economic and career choice of undergraduates?
What is the effect of parental economic status on career choice of undergraduates?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
The following hypotheses are formulated for this study.
Ho: Peer group plays no significant role in career choice of an undergraduate
Hi: Peer group plays significant role in career choice of an undergraduate
Ho: Parents level of education have no significant influence on students’ career choice
Hi: Parents level of education have significant influence on students’ career choice
Ho: Parental economic status has no significant effect on career choice of undergraduate
Hi: Parental economic status has significant effect on career choice of undergraduate
Ho: There is no significant relationship between peer group and parental socio-economic and career choice of undergraduates
Hi: There is significant relationship between peer group and parental socio-economic and career choice of undergraduates
1.6 Significance of the Study
The study seeks to assist the educators and educational institutions to have a better understanding of their students on the impact of influences from parents and peers in making career choice. It is also hoped that findings from the study will help the institutions and related bodies to develop a better plan that can guide and expose undergraduates to understand their profession clearly. The study will also educate parents on their role in guiding their children and wards in choosing a career for themselves. The study will also serve as a theoretical basis for future researcher that will be carrying out research around the research domain. Lastly, the study is a requirement for the award of degree in this great institution of higher learning (University of Lagos).
1.7 Scope of the Study
The coverage of the study is limited to appraising the effect of peer group and parental socio-economic background on career choice of business education undergraduates in Lagos State. The focus of this study is on students of the University of Lagos, Akoka, Yaba,Lagos.
1.8 Operational Definition of Terms
It is pragmatically essential to exegesis on the various operational definitions of major concepts of this topic. Below are some of such important terms:
Career: This refers to what one does for a living, that is source of livelihood, occupation or profession.
Career Choice: Career choice is the occupation or professional path that an individual chooses.
Peers: Peers are one’s age mates, class mates or friends.
Peer Group: This refers to the age group to which a student or an individual belong
Parent: Father and mother of the individual student.
Socio-Economic Background: This refers to the social and economic class or level to which a family belongs in the society. In any society, this could be high, middle class or lower class.
Awolowo, D. T (2012), “Unemployment and family dynamics in meeting the needs of the Chinese elderly in the United States,” Gerontologist, 25(4)72-476.
Breakwell G. M. and Beardsell, S (2013) “Gender, parental and peer influences upon science attitudes and activities,” Public Understanding of Science, 1(2)183-197.
Calkins, A. (2013) “Factors that influence choice of major: Why some students never consider economics,” International Journal of Social Economics, 33()64.
Farley, O (2014) Staniec, “The effects of race, sex, and expected returns on the choice of college major,” Eastern Economic Journal, 30(4)549-563.
Fayomi, D. (2012)“The role of work and cultural values in occupational choice, satisfaction, and success: A theoretical statement.” Journal of Counseling and Development, 80(34)48-56, Winter.
Fishbein, M and Ajzen, I (2015) “Belief, attitude, intention, and behavior: An introduction to theory and research,” Addison-Wesley, Reading,
Head, J. O (2015). The Personal Response to Science, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Knowles, S (2014). “Effects of the components of parent involvement on children‟s educational and occupational aspirations,” Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Alfred University, Alfred, New York,.
Odusanya, S. W (2008). Didow, “Lessons drawn from observing young peers together,” Acta Paediatrica Scandinavica, vol. 77, pp. 55 70.
Oto, L. B. (2014), “Youth perspectives on parental career influence,” Journal of Career Development, 27(1)11-17,
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