Career Choice in Engineering: The Influence of Peers and Parents Implication for Counseling

By Alika, Henrietta Ijeoma | College Student Journal, September 2012 | Go to article overview

Career Choice in Engineering: The Influence of Peers and Parents Implication for Counseling


Alika, Henrietta Ijeoma, College Student Journal


This study was designed to investigate the relationship between parental and peer group influence on career choice in engineering profession among adolescents. The research design adopted was correlational because it sought to establish the relationship between the independent variable and the dependent variable. One research question and one hypothesis were formulated to guide the study. Three research instruments i.e. the students' occupational clusters preference scale (OCPS), peer pressure assessment scale (PPAS) and the parental influence assessment inventory (PIAS) were used. The population of the study comprises students in senior secondary school two (SS 2). Data were analyzed using the Pearson product moment correlation and regression analysis. The results showed that there was no significant relationship between parental and peer group influence on career choice in engineering among adolescents. It is recommended that government should emphatically ensure that guidance services is provided in all secondary schools in order to ensure that professional guidance is provided to the young adolescents in their career decision making process. Key words: Career, vocational interest, peer group, parental influence, adolescent

Introduction

The occupational choice of young adolescents have become an area of interest to educational planners and educational psychologists. This is as a result of the awareness by stakeholders of the inherent dangers and frustrations suffered by the young adolescents, who find themselves in wrong occupations. Consequently, educational authorities have realized the need for schools to have guidance counselors who would help the adolescents select an appropriate career in line with their capabilities. The choice of a particular career is influenced by certain factors among which are peer group influence and parental influence. Parental influence surpasses that of gender, socio-economic status and academic achievement (Penick and Jepsen 1992). Both parents and peers play an important role in the development of the adolescents. It has been observed that adolescents are less influenced by peers when they have close and involving relationships with their parents, the ability of peers to influence the behaviours and attitudes of the adolescents is magnified when adolescents perceive that their parental relationship is negative or deficient in support and guidance Middleton and loughead (1993). Peer group influence is more influential in adolescence than at any other time in life. The quality of the relationship between adolescents and their peers, as well as the type of peers they associate with, play important roles in aiding or impeding their career choice.

Parents are the primary authority in influencing sex role, socialization, providing social skills training, promoting character development and developing a sense of responsibility. Parents' expectation and support are, important factors in influencing career decisions, maturation and future educational/occupational attainment. (Guerra and Braungart--Rieker, 1999).

Poole, Langan, Fox, Gavarella and Omodei 1991, found that children are influenced by their families work values, attitudes and behaviors and as a result parents are often the primary source of children's work values and attitudes. Trusty (1996) found that high parental involvement, including an active interest in children's school subjects, home work, grades, activities, emotional well-being and future aspirations, predict positive attitudes towards school and the future, better grades and better career decision making skills. Active parental involvement in children's career development has contributed to children's ability to individualize and follow their own career aspirations later in life (Middleton and Loughead, 1993). Studies have shown that irrespective of parental and peer group influence children choose jobs that are highly rated in the society (Oyebode, 1980). …

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