Most scholars in various fields have pointed out several factors that they believe are responsible for why certain students chose certain career choice other than their preferred choice of career. Parental factor, peer group influence, financial status of their parents and guardian among other factors could be arguably said as the perceived factors that influence career choice of most under graduates of Nigerian origin. Hence, this work seeks to unveil and ascertain the level of influence on the aforementioned factors, putting into perspective the Nigerian factor.
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Contrary to the above assertion, some scholars believed that other factors could also be responsible in exerting influence on the individual in deciding which career to pursue knowing that student of Nigerian origin are collectivist in nature whilst others argue based on the job prospect and bad governmental institution set up by the Nigerian government.
It is upon these arguments that the methodological chapter seeks to highlight the manner and ways in which the investigator gathered the relevant information and how the information gathered was used to answer the research question.
This chapter focused on the discussion of the methods used in the cause of the investigation of this thesis. In other to determine the validity and reliability of this work, the researcher’s methodology is very crucial (Gilham, 2000; Fink, 2005; Brockopp, 2003). The word methodology is been used differently by different scholars in relationship to their chosen profession and areas of specialisation. Methodology in the area of research and investigation simply refers to those procedures employed by a researcher or investigator to uncover or reveal a set of problems; the procedures taken could be theoretical in some cases, and in other cases can also involve systematical collection and analysing of raw data. As a result, this methodological chapter will discuss its findings under the following sub headings, research design, population of the study, sampling pattern, research instrument, administration of the instrument, interviews and ethical issues as relates to the collection and use of data.
In the course of this research, the descriptive survey design was employed in the study. According to Amaid (2002), the descriptive survey design method of research is about collecting the ideas and data of a sample of the population targeted in the course of the investigation, so as to deduce and draw a conclusion on the population to which the sample is drawn. Surveys are often used in analysing real and concise information how it happen and when it happen.
The survey design according to Cobb(2001) states that, the survey design gives the researcher the free will to other range of option within his or he disposal either through interviews, questionnaire or even through observation. The survey method can also use structured, semi structured and even unstructured questionnaire. However, it is believed that it gives the researcher a variety of options in arriving at a given solution that is called Triangulation (Descombe, 2012). This method of research allows the researcher to gather large number of information from respondent in order to infer into the population that is the main target of the study. Invariably, this method is the most suitable for this research.
POPULATION OF THE STUDY
The population sample involves students both male and female of the University of Bedfordshire, in the United Kingdom who are of Nigerian descent.
The word stratified means in categories or placing items or people in various categories according to where they belong. Whilst random means a process of selection in which items of a set or population has equal probability of being chosen. In that, the stratified random technique chosen for this investigation reveals that each item selected ranging from male to female, post graduate to undergraduate and even the MBA’s all have equal probably chance of representation.
Stratified random sampling technique was used for the study. The stratification was based on gender of the student (male and female) socio economic status of the parents (high and low) and age of the student.
The stratified sampling technique according to Descombe (2010), has to do with equal representation according to their proportion in relationship to the number of respondent involved in the research, taking into account such vital information like the demography of the participant.
AREA OF STUDY
This investigation is carried out in the University of Bedfordshire, United Kingdom. The essence of this investigation is to ascertain the perceived factor’s that influences the career choice of Nigerian university student study in the university.
According to Descombe (2012) sample simply means a small proportion of the entire population mapped out for study or investigation. It is believed by the researcher that, information about a field of study cannot be gotten from all the people and not everyone can be reached. Consequently, a selected few from the entire population is relied upon to infer into the remaining, hoping that what it found in that selected few can be qualitative and quantitative enough to be generalised.
The total sample for this study consist of 200 students drawn from among the general population of the university of Bedfordshire that are of Nigeria origin and who are currently doing their undergraduate, post graduate and the MBA programmes respectively.
A designed instrument titled perceived factors influencing career choice of university students was used to collect data for the study. The instrument has two sections 1 and 2. Section 1 of the instrument was designed to elicit respondent demographic data such as age, name, and state of origin. It also contains ethical statements concerning the use of data, confidentiality, and anonymity, the right to withdraw from the research and data security. Whilst section 2; of the instrument was designed to contain the perceived factors influencing career choice of university students of Nigerian origin.
Also the section 2 contains a Yes or No based response and a comment box if student thinks otherwise. A follow up interview was also carried out in order to give the research both qualitative and a quantitative base, which was also described by Descombe as Triangulation or mix method (Descombe, 2010).
According to Descombe (2012), this is a planned talk between two or more respondents that take place in such a way that the respondent is willing to answer questions directly from the person carrying out the interview. Notably, interviews are carried out to illicit response on certain issues of investigation.
There are basically three types of pattern an interview follows and they are:
- Structured interview
- Semi structure interview
- Unstructured interview
But for the sake of this study and investigation, the semi-structured interview was employed in order to follow up the responses given in the cause of carrying out the pilot questionnaire.
SEMI STRUCTURED QUESTIONNAIRE
This is a situation where the order of questions varies according to the responses given by the respondent as the conversation flows between them. This type of interview is called semi structure because there may be some intended question the interviewer had in mind to ask but keeps his options open depending on the responses of the person being interviewed. Therefore, this piece of research seeks to carry out its interview with ten (10) participants in order to give a different view from the once answered in the questionnaire with a full recording of the excerpt.
The Advanced Learner’s Dictionary defines questionnaire as a set of question printed and submitted either manually or electronically to a set of audience in order to elicit their perception on the topic of investigation. Questionnaires can be delivered on a face-to-face value or by post.
According to Descombe (2010), it also involves a set of designed sheet prepared specifically to gather information that could be used in due time for analytical purposes.
Therefore, the purpose of using a questionnaire in the research is to find out those perceived factors influencing career choice of Nigerian students here in the University of Bedfordshire United Kingdom. The type of questionnaire employed is a YES or NO type
THE DESIGN OF THE QUESTIONNAIRE
The design of the questionnaire was motivated and influenced by the topic of investigation that is geared toward investigating the perceived factors that influences career choice of University students of Nigeria. As a result, issues like what questions to ask, pattern to follow in asking the questions and the sequence to which those questions should follow were of primary concern to the researcher. Furthermore, the design seeks to meet the aim and objective toward which it is been carried out and how to possibly collate the information therein.
Going by that, the questionnaire was designed to illicit the responses of the participants on the subject of investigation and to see if the designed meets and answers the hypothesis of this investigation by the use of the questionnaire.
PILOTING OF THE QUESTIONNAIRE
The questionnaire was piloted with a small number of participants in order to know whether the questionnaire designed would meet the targeted aim. The reason is to underscore the shortcoming and strength of the questionnaire in order to give room for amendment where necessary.
The process involved in this piloting was carried out through survey monkey where participant respond online through social networks such as the Facebook and Whatsapp and through the e-mails.
Just like every research and investigation, the researcher faces a lot of issues as relate to been professional and they are
- Informed consent
- Data protection and security
- Confidentiality and privacy
Brief overview of Nigeria: PESTEL Analysis
Nigeria is regarded as one of the most populous countries in the world. It is situated on the western part of Africa with a population of 173.6 million people. Owing to that, there is a prospect for Nigeria to develop in all spheres of life both human and material wise. This work will base its explanation of all the factors mentioned above using the PESTLE analysis. Although, different theories could be used in relation to career and choice but the PESTLE embraces the entire dimension explained so far.
The word PESTEL stand for political, economic, sociological, technical, environmental and legal factor of both the macro and the micro society that the students find themselves, which in one way or the other affects the decision of students in pursuit of their careers.
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This mostly has to do with the governmental decisions of a country. The political culture of a country can influence the decision of career choices of students in that particular country. Over the years governments in most African countries own all higher places of learning and therefore, control the tuition fees and the appointment of lecturers and staffs. Thus, the decisions of government directly or indirectly affect how a student thinks and acts because most students will for the sake of convenience want to attend a university where the tuition fees is quite affordable. The Nigerian constitution of 1999 places the direct control of all public schools in the hand of the government (the constitution of Nigeria, 1999).
The educational value index is 0.457 when compared to the US which is 0.939. School leaving age of Nigerian is 9.0 while the mean year for adult is averaged at 25 years thus making it 6334 educational system.
The graph above shows the structure of Education in Nigeria; the 6-3-3-4 Educational System. Six years in primary school, three years in junior secondary, three years in senior secondary and four years in the University or polytechnics.
The living condition of the people also accounts for why students choose one career over the other. In a country like Nigeria where the social stratification places more gap between the poor and the rich and the average living condition of the people is below one dollar per day, it is believed that the poor will send their children to schools, which they can afford the tuition fees and the rich will do the same (Ekins, 2003; Lizt and Quij, 2004).
Human capital development is a key factor in the growth and development of a country Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Nigeria has been improving her Human Development Index (HDI) since its inception to civil rule in 1999. The HDI is regarded as an important element for a nations wealth because it influences all round development of the country especially in areas such as, technology, skilled labored, computer expertise and machines. These developments are seen as important especially if the quality of life and production needs to be improved. Nigeria is ranked at the bottom among 187 countries which 0.487(156 values). Nigeria has a low level of HDI as compared to other countries in the sub region.
They are branding of the Nigeria Economy leads to the Gross Domestic Product increase over the years and this has led to the diversification of the economy thereby making Nigeria the largest Africa economy surpassing South Africa. This trend has given rise to students seeking for employment and taking up career choice that they do not have the right aptitude and desire for. The improvement could be seen in the non oil sector of the economy given a GDP of 5.4 percent and 7.8 percent for the year 2011 to 2014.
The graph above shows the GDP of Nigeria from 2004 up to the year 2015 showing the projected increase in the gross domestic product of the country.
The graph above shows the GDP of Nigeria from 2004 up to the year 2015 showing the projected increase in the gross domestic product of the country.
This involves all the interactions in the environment putting more emphasis on factors such as the demographic conditions of the actor in the system, their cultural orientation, choice of career and even the dynamism of the population. According to Hofstede (2010), every society has five cultural effect and these issues affect most decision we make depending on our societal values.
The following are what he used to describe every society and they are:
- Power distance.
- Individuality vs Collectivism.
- Uncertainty avoidance.
- Masculinity vs Feminism.
- Pragmatic vs Normatic
These are the five dimension of hofstede(2010).
The diagram above shows a comparative view of Nigerian and the United Kingdom cultural setups. As discussed above, it shows the level at which those factors influence the individual in that society.
Nigeria scores very high (80%) in power distance as compared to the United Kingdom (35%). This shows that, there is a flow of power from the top to the bottom and people (students) take directive right from the top. It is expected that most students in such countries like Nigeria will pay attention to their parents, guardians, teachers, and even their boss in the office; therefore they tend to influence them positively or negatively in regards to their choice of career. Whilst in the United Kingdom there is a level play ground between parents, guardian, teachers, and even at place of work, such that students are free to make career decisions.
LONG TERM ORIENTATION
In Nigeria, most people take up careers that have the immediate benefit to their needs due to the poverty level of people in the country; thus they pursue those jobs with big packages so as to be able to fend for their immediate and extended family. Arguably, the Nigerian society is a collectivist society and that makes one to look after the large family; such responsibility influences the choice of career of most students from Nigeria. On the other hand, the students from the United Kingdom take up courses because they have the right aptitude and motivation for that particular course and profession and this is due to the fact that they are individualist in nature meaning that, they do not have pressure from family and friends.
The advent of technology in the country has brought about many hopes and aspirations for most students in the country. The social media has really added flavor to how things are done in the universities. Firstly, most of the students from low socio economic background and students that are engaged in one form of business or the other can key into online universities. Many institutions abroad have enlarged the prospect of students seeking admission into place of higher learning without adequate funds to finance their studies, in that, students from Nigeria are now benefiting from such opportunities because students are mostly influences by their aptitude and belief. Secondly, the advent of technology creates room for ideas to be shared across the world with ease. They tap into things happening in other institutions and universities in the world knowing that they are the future leaders.
During General Olusegun Obasanjo’s led government; he encouraged and gave the private sector green light to grow economically in other to ease the burden on the government. This led to various reforms in the country including the Economic reform. Year 2000 saw the government privatisation program showing great sign of real progress thereby making fresh graduates from Universities benefit from the diversification of the economy. With Government having key control of most affairs of the states, the Telecommunication sector has proven a success especially with the introduction of GSM telecommunication in 2001 thus encouraging investments.
Most students are kin about what the environment hold for them and with many universities keying into vision 2020. Students tend to pursue careers that will enhance their productivity in the environment. With hundreds of ethnic nationalities holding stakes and wanting clarity on what the Nigerian state holds for them, especially when given the predominance of the three major ethnic groups. This is always a big challenge to students who intend to take up certain choice of careers; thus, it is difficult identifying common goal and aspiration of students based on their career preference either as a group, individual or even sectional interest.
Nigerian environment is distinctly divided into two, while the majority of population in the northern Nigerian is Muslims, those in the southern part of Nigeria are Christians with religious and traditional barrier hindering the choice of career of students from these areas, in that, they are mostly influenced by those environmental factors within and outside the society.(kuku,2012).
The kind of laws operating in a particular country can hinder the prospect of students. Legislations and policies of government can also influence the effectiveness of students. For instance, in a country where Islamic laws prohibit students from taking some sets of professional job or career, it might not only affect the growth of that country but it will as well influence their choice of career.
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