THE INFLUENCE OF PARENT SOCIAL ECONOMIC STATUS ON UNDERGRADUATES’ CAREER CHOICE IN LAGOS STATE’S SELECTED PUBLIC AND PRIVATE UNIVERSITIES

ABSTRACT The research looked at the impact of parents’ socioeconomic position on undergraduate career choices at several public and private colleges in Lagos State. Two universities in Lagos city were chosen as research subjects (University of Lagos and Pan Atlantic University, Lagos State) The survey research approach was used in the study.

 

The design is based on numerical data derived from a series of surveys sent to a large number of respondents. Relevant data were obtained at the same time; a cross-sectional design was also used. The demographic information provided by the participants was evaluated using descriptive statistical approaches such as frequency distribution and percentages. At the.05 levels of significance, each of the four hypotheses were examined using basic linear regression analysis.

 

The IBM SPSS Version 23 software was used for all statistical analyses. According to the research, parents’ influence has a substantial impact on student’s career ambitions at the university. The University’s peer group has a considerable influence on students’ career goals. At the University, the environment has no substantial impact on student’s career aspirations. The financial situation of students’ parents has a considerable influence on their career ambitions at the University.

 

The research found that parents’ influence, peer group factors, and parents’ financial background had an individual substantial effect or impact on career desire at universities in Lagos State, however, the environment has no such impact or influence. The report also suggests that the government, via the Ministry of Education, tighten its policies on career counseling and parental engagement in children’s professional choices. School administrators, counselors, and guidance instructors should take career counseling in schools more seriously and give excellent career advisory services to their pupils/students with active parental engagement.

 

Students should be made aware of the need of selecting professional choices that are compatible with their personality traits and abilities in order to be successful in the workplace. Students should make an effort to associate with peers who will have a favorable effect on their academics and career goals while avoiding peers who will have a negative effect on their ability to find appropriate professions.

 

INTRODUCTION TO CHAPTER ONE 1.1 The Study’s Background A student’s career is one of the most crucial decisions he will make in his life. This decision will have an influence on them for the rest of their life (Kerka, 2015). A career is incredibly important in an individual’s life since it dictates the pattern of his or her income and shapes the individual’s personality and perspective of life. So, a career is a life-long quest for achievement. It is the series of important positions held by a man during his life.

 

The term profession is commonly described as all similar responsibilities that people play in ensuring a living, including students, parents, workers, retirees, and employers (Daniel, 2017). According to Keller (2004), a career is the sum of experiences through which one learns about and prepares to participate in work as part of his way of life. In summation, a career is the sum total of all the labor one undertakes in his or her lifetime to make a livelihood. It is therefore important to think as far as feasible in order to achieve this fit. As a result, everyone must make a professional decision (Hooley, 2012).

 

Career choice is a difficult decision to make, particularly when one’s livelihood is at stake. In the face of rapidly changing technology and the information industry, students’ career choices have grown more difficult (Maxwell, 2015). According to the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary (2010), a career is a job or set of jobs that you undertake during your working life. Picking a profession, therefore, is just choosing a life employment. Multiple factors influence career choice, including parental influence, peer group influence, environmental factors, and many others such as personality, interest, self-concept, identity, globalization, socialization, role model, social support, and available resources such as information and finance (Kerka, 2015).

 

In the same vein, (Bandura, Barbaranelli, Caprara, & Pastorelli, 2011) said that each individual participating in the process is impacted by a variety of elements such as their living environment, personal aptitudes, social interactions, and educational attainment. He hinted that the variables determining professional choice might be innate, external, or both. Most individuals, however, are affected by jobs that their parents like, some pursue careers that their educational choices have opened up for them, others opt to follow their passion regardless of how much or little it will pay them, and others select careers that pay well.

 

The present research, on the other hand, primarily focused on the most overlooked element among all aspects determining undergraduate career choices. As a result, the effect of parents’ socioeconomic position as the primary component is of great interest in this research. In Nigeria, however, school graduates are observed in a variety of jobs and occupations that they discover as they mature and interact. As a result, it is unknown how parents affect their children’s job choices at postsecondary institutions. After becoming aware of the tremendous and complicated issues confronting today’s undergraduates and teens, parents’ impact on their children’s professional choices compelled this study.

 

However, due to a lack of competent direction, many young people may fail to achieve their life objectives. It is well recognized that many of today’s young people are having difficulty deciding on a profession and matching their talents, interests, and abilities to jobs. Furthermore, a significant proportion of school graduates nowadays end up on the streets without realizing their potential. As a result, it is necessary to assist them in discovering themselves in terms of their talents, interests, values, beliefs, and potential. They should also be helped to learn the abilities they will need to deal with the many situations they may face later in life (Morsel, 2015). Similarly, it is well recognized that the role of parents and the family as a whole is very important in their children’s education and professional goals.

 

Without a doubt, the primary duty for educating a kid is with the parents/family, and it then becomes a shared obligation with the school and the community at large. Despite the fact that schools often neglect parental participation in their children’s education and, as a result, their job choices, children learn more from their parents. Parents, being persons who are familiar with their children’s interests, skills, and personalities, have a unique effect on the choices they make. Nonetheless, knowing the importance components that parents have on their children’s professional aspirations are unclear, despite the unique and crucial influence parents have on this topic; as a result, providers of career advice ignore this matter (James, 2004).

 

Peer pressure is the effect of a peer on an individual to modify his or her attitude and values in order to conform to the standards of his or her group. (Kirk, 2015) While most academics feel that peer pressure has an impact on children’s academic achievement, Kirk (2015) points out that little research has been conducted to support this belief. Peer pressure is described as when others of the same age group support or urge one other to do something or continue doing something, regardless of whether the person wants to do it or not (Ryan, 2014). Peer influence, like peer pressure, includes modifying one’s behavior in order to satisfy the perceived expectations of others (Burns & Darling, 2011).

 

In general, most teenagers submit to peer pressure on fairly major issues such as music, dress, or hairstyles; but, when it comes to more important principles, parents continue to be more influential than the peer group (Black, 2012). Studies have shown that peer influence and goals have a significant effect on children’s professional choices. College students always choose their buddies, and they often select roommates, neighbors, and classmates.

 

They are more prone to pick peers who share unobservable qualities with them. Even when peer selection is not expressly voluntary, there may be connections between peer qualities. A good student, for example, might surround himself or herself with excellent classmates by enrolling in tough classes (or an advanced or honor section of a course) (Daniel, 2017). A number of studies, including Adams and Fitch (2012), Arnett (2000), Benabou (2011), and Bryan (2005), confirm research findings that the value of the peer group with whom the school student spends the most time is a stronger factor in the student’s level of academic success than the family’s values, attitudes, and support.

 

Taylor (2011) discovered that parental participation in their children’s career-related difficulties is one of a number of variables that encourage young people to participate in more intensive and effective information-seeking activities. This is due to the fact that professional dialogues between a parent and a kid play a significant role in shaping common objectives and shared meaning and regulating activity in children when they make career selections. Parents are viewed as the most often sought sources of job information and guidance among children, and they are crucial in the overall transition from school to the world of work because they have a specific effect on children’s professional paths.

 

Peer groups have a significant impact on a person’s life throughout their lives, but they are especially crucial during the formative years of adolescence. The effect of a peer group against parental influence is often debated, especially throughout puberty. When family ties are not tight or supportive, the power of the peer group becomes more essential. If their parents are generally inaccessible, their children may seek emotional support from their peers. Most youngsters in this scenario are not picky about the groups they join.

 

They will often seek out a group that embraces them, even if the organization is engaging in unlawful or bad actions. For some young people, the need for connection or intimacy outweighs the desire to “do the right thing” (Alika, 2010). Adolescents have learned to become adults in all communities from the beginning of time by seeing, imitating, and engaging with the adults around them. The environment has a significant impact on the professional choices pupils make and the positions they achieve in many ways.

 

The term “environment” has numerous meanings; it includes physical, economic, social, and cultural components. It is described by environmentalists as the sum of all social, biological, chemical, and physical components that comprise man’s surroundings (Southwick, 2010). The environment in question here is a factor that is utilized to influence career choices. According to Sear and Gordon’s (2012) book, sociologists have been studying how the social environment influences job decisions since the 1960s. Family, social economic position, general economic situations, societal prejudices about certain vocations, and peer groups are all components of social environment elements that influence career choice (Sears & Gordon, 2012).

 

Environmental influences, peer groups, socioeconomic position, gender, race, parents’ profession and level of education, and parental expectations all influence job choices, according to Khallad (2010) and Watson, Quatman, and Edler (2012). Several researchers have examined these elements to see if they play a role in the professional choice, and if so, what roles they play in career behavior and how they influence a person’s career choice (Bandura, Barbaranelli, Caprara, & Pastorelli, 2011). The researcher is interested in the elements that impact undergraduates’ career choices and would want to discover a conclusive solution to the question, “What factors influence students’ choice of career desire at school?” As a result, the significance of this research is to demonstrate the determining elements that have the potential to influence students’ career choices at both private and public Nigerian colleges.

 

Essentially, there are a variety of elements that influence students’ choices, and this study aims to identify some of the most important ones. When parents, peer groups, and environmental variables were combined, they strongly influenced students’ career ambitions at Nigerian private and public institutions. As a result, the research will attempt to address the consequences of three very relevant aspects. Characteristics of the parents, peer group, and environmental variables Against this backdrop, this research will investigate the influences of parents, peer groups, and the environment on adolescents’ job aspirations.

 

Universities, both public and private The government of the state funds and controls public universities. According to Adeyinka (2010), public universities are those that were formed, controlled, funded, and overseen by the government. He went on to say that such schools were built with tax dollars to educate the whole public, regardless of their economic, social, or political standing in society. The government, not people, private interest groups, or agencies, controls public colleges. Following the establishment of Nigeria, all schools were managed and controlled by either the federal or state governments. Mojeeb Alabi, writing in the National Mirror on September 23rd, 2012, said that history seemed to be getting less attention; he linked this to frequent changes in government policy.

 

He noted that Nigeria’s educational policy is extremely unfavorable to local content in the curriculum; nonetheless, lack of proper finance, low teacher salaries, and other factors have a negative impact on teaching and learning in most public schools. As a consequence, private people, private groups, and organizations began to construct, administer, and fund private schools in order to educate students while also profiting. The owners and proprietors of such private schools are profiteers since they spent their money on establishing the schools, providing the required facilities and equipment, and hiring trained and competent instructors in order to provide a decent education to the students while also generating a profit.

 

These private schools incorporate all courses, particularly those not taught in public schools, in their curricula. According to Nwangwu (2000), private schools do what public schools cannot and relieve parents of the strain of having their children remain at home for extended periods of time due to recurrent strikes by public school instructors. In contrast to public schools, he claims that private schools operate without interruption in the school year, offering consistent and high-quality instruction. Okeke (2000) discovered that students at private schools outperform students in public schools in NECO Examinations.

 

He further noted that since private schools are extensively monitored and regulated by school management boards, they do better in external exams. It has been noticed that most parents urge their children to pursue things that they believe would garner their approval. For example, some parents chastise their children for failing to achieve distinctions or condemn them for choosing a management degree over a practical vocation such as law or medicine. In such cases, children may feel obligated to choose a prominent or high-paying vocation in order to gain their parents’ respect or make them proud.

 

When parents make it obvious that they have no specific expectations for their children’s professional choices, they typically feel free to explore a wider range of professions, selecting based on their own interests rather than those of their parents (Morsel, 2015). As a result, parents are the first people to speak and engage with their children since they know what their children can and cannot accomplish, which leads to how they impact the professional choices their children choose in life. To comprehend the factors impacting undergraduate career choices in postsecondary institutions, the University of Lagos, Lagos State University, Caleb University, and Pan Atlantic University, Lagos State were used as case studies. 1.2.

 

Problem Statement Undergraduates at Nigerian universities and other higher institutions confront obstacles in picking a proper career choice in light of technological improvement, economic crisis, rising unemployment in the workplace, and growth in the number of jobs. Making decisions from a list of options is an essential element of life. Individuals must make crucial choices at different phases of their lives. Some of these actions have long-term consequences for the person. The goal of this research is to determine what variables influence student career choices at both private and public colleges in Lagos State.

 

A variety of elements that influence students’ career choices at Nigerian colleges have been discovered, including parents, peer groups, and environmental influences, simply because of the significance parents play in their children’s lives. Each of these components influence is currently unknown (Owoyele & Toyobo, 2013). Parents that are very affluent and wealthy prefer to program the kind of discipline or vocations they want their children to provide. For example, parents who are physicians, attorneys, and craftsmen would want their offspring to follow in their footsteps so that the large sums of money invested in the company are not inherited by someone outside the family or become obsolete (Wong, & Liu, 2010).

 

Parents have the propensity to influence their children’s professional choices, which may be detrimental to the child’s interests. While parents in rural areas with lower incomes may not be able to advise their children on career choices based on their interests. As a result, such children are easily influenced by their peers (Maina, 2013). Many peers serve as important role models and are regarded as effective means of transmitting attitudes, values, norms, and patterns of thought and behavior. In some circumstances, pupils prefer to be among their peers. They eventually pursue their objective due to peer pressure or influence.

 

The effect of peer groups may impede the success of a guidance and counseling program among students who have been deceived by their peers to choose a job based on the interests of their peers rather than their own interests and talents (Alika, 2010). As a result, it is vital to determine how peer groups impact students’ career aspirations at private and public colleges throughout the nation. The environment also plays an important part in shaping students’ job aspirations since the environment contains a variety of activities that might impact a person. A person may acquire this kind of criminal attitude in an atmosphere where criminal activity is prevalent. Similarly, in an atmosphere consisting of knowledgeable people with professional skills such as Law, Medicine, Architect, and others, these individuals might affect a person’s job decision.

 

Despite this, there is little research on the effect of environmental influences on students’ career aspirations, which is one of the reasons this topic will be investigated. According to the literature, most parents and classmates impact adolescents’ job aspirations without taking into account their aptitude, abilities, and performance, which ultimately influences their careers and desires in the future. As a result, the purpose of this research is to explore the effect of parents, peer groups, and environmental factors on students’ career aspirations in private and public Nigerian institutions. 1.3. Objectives of Research The study’s primary goal is to investigate the impact of parents’ socioeconomic position on undergraduate career choices at selected public and private colleges in Lagos State. The specific objectives are to • determine how parents influence their children’s career choices at universities; • investigate the influence of peer groups on students’ career aspirations at universities; • determine whether the environment influences students’ career aspirations at universities; and • investigate whether parents’ financial background influences students’ career aspirations at universities. 1.4.

 

Research Issues These research questions were developed specifically for this study. • How do parents influence their children’s career choices at university? • To what extent does a student’s peer group influence their career aspirations at the university? • What effect does the environment have on students’ career goals at the university? • To what extent does the financial background of parents influence the career aspirations of university students? 1.5. Hypotheses for Research In light of the aforementioned goals, the hypotheses will be presented in their null forms. Ho1: Parents’ impact on students’ career ambitions at the university has no meaningful effect. Ho2: At the University, the peer group has no major effect on students’ career goals. Ho3: At the University, the environment has little impact on student’s career goals. Ho4: The financial situation of students’ parents has no substantial influence on their career ambitions at the university. 1.6. Importance of the Research research of this kind is timely since most high school graduates are unsure about which job path to choose.

 

This research is likely to add to the current knowledge on the effect of parents’ socioeconomic position on their children’s career choices in Nigerian higher learning institutions. This research may also be useful to the Ministry of Education in enhancing policies on career counseling and family engagement in children’s professional choices. Furthermore, it is believed that this research will produce data that will be useful to school administrators and guidance instructors in order to enable them to deliver excellent career advisory services to their students with parental engagement.

 

The research may also teach both learners and parents how important parents are when it comes to their children’s job choices. Finally, it may assist students in realizing the importance of job choice when they join the world of work after their education. 1.7. The Study’s Scope It would be much more difficult to conduct a comprehensive study of the effects of parents’ socioeconomic status on the career aspirations of undergraduates at universities in the Lagos metropolis, and due to logistical constraints on the researcher, only two universities will be sampled among these tertiary institutions, namely the University of Lagos, Lagos State University, Caleb University, and Pan Atlantic University, Lagos State.

 

The sampling schools were chosen based on the characteristics of their metropolitan population. 1.8. Operational Terminology Definition Given that words may have multiple meanings in different situations, the following definitions are provided as the terms used are meant to be interpreted for the purposes of this research. Career: Vacation activities and positions, vocations, and related activities linked with an individual’s lifetime of work Environment: Psychologists define the environment as the physical and nonphysical place in which we begin our lives, age, grow, develop, and ultimately die.

 

They might be of the physical, mental, emotional, or social kind. A parent is a person who has a child or children or who is the guardian of a child or children. Peer Group refers to a peer’s influence on a person to modify his or her attitude and values in order to comply with the standards of his or her group. Educational Status: is most commonly used to describe social processes that result in social competence and personal growth and are carried out in a selected, controlled setting that can be institutionalized as a school or college. Occupational Status: A person’s trade, vocation, or primary source of income.

 

The research looked at the impact of parents’ socioeconomic position on undergraduate career choices at several public and private colleges in Lagos State. Two universities in Lagos city were chosen as research subjects (University of Lagos and Pan Atlantic University, Lagos State)

The survey research approach was used in the study. The design is based on numerical data derived from a series of surveys sent to a large number of respondents. Relevant data were obtained at the same time; a cross-sectional design was also used. The demographic information provided by the participants was evaluated using descriptive statistical approaches such as frequency distribution and percentages. At the.05 levels of significance, each of the four hypotheses were examined using basic linear regression analysis. The IBM SPSS Version 23 software was used for all statistical analyses.

According to the research, parents’ influence has a substantial impact on student’s career ambitions at the university. The University’s peer group has a considerable influence on students’ career goals. At the University, the environment has no substantial impact on student’s career aspirations. The financial situation of students’ parents has a considerable influence on their career ambitions at the University.

The research found that parents’ influence, peer group factors, and parents’ financial background had an individual substantial effect or impact on career desire at universities in Lagos State, however, the environment has no such impact or influence. The report also suggests that the government, via the Ministry of Education, tighten its policies on career counseling and parental engagement in children’s professional choices. School administrators, counselors, and guidance instructors should take career counseling in schools more seriously and give excellent career advisory services to their pupils/students with active parental engagement.

 

Students should be made aware of the need of selecting professional choices that are compatible with their personality traits and abilities in order to be successful in the workplace. Students should make an effort to associate with peers who will have a favorable effect on their academics and career goals while avoiding peers who will have a negative effect on their ability to find appropriate professions.

1.1 The Study’s Background

A student’s career is one of the most crucial decisions he will make in his life. This decision will have an influence on them for the rest of their life (Kerka, 2015). A career is incredibly important in an individual’s life since it dictates the pattern of his or her income and shapes the individual’s personality and perspective of life. So, a career is a life-long quest for achievement. It is the series of important positions held by a man during his life. The term profession is commonly described as all similar responsibilities that people play in ensuring a living, including students, parents, workers, retirees, and employers (Daniel, 2017).

 

According to Keller (2004), a career is the sum of experiences through which one learns about and prepares to participate in work as part of his way of life. In summation, a career is the sum total of all the labor one undertakes in his or her lifetime to make a livelihood. It is therefore important to think as far as feasible in order to achieve this fit. As a result, everyone must make a professional decision. (2012) (Hooley).

Career choice is a difficult decision to make, particularly when one’s livelihood is at stake. In the face of rapidly changing technology and the information industry, students’ career choices have grown more difficult (Maxwell, 2015). According to the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary (2010), a career is a job or set of jobs that you undertake during your working life. Picking a profession, therefore, is just choosing a life employment. Multiple factors influence career choice, including parental influence, peer group influence, environmental factors, and many others such as personality, interest, self-concept, identity, globalization, socialization, role model, social support, and available resources such as information and finance (Kerka, 2015).

In the same vein, (Bandura, Barbaranelli, Caprara, & Pastorelli, 2011) said that each individual participating in the process is impacted by a variety of elements such as their living environment, personal aptitudes, social interactions, and educational attainment. He hinted that the variables determining professional choice might be innate, external, or both. Most individuals, however, are affected by jobs that their parents like, some pursue careers that their educational choices have opened up for them, others opt to follow their passion regardless of how much or little it will pay them, and others select careers that pay well.

 

The present research, on the other hand, primarily focused on the most overlooked element among all aspects determining undergraduate career choices. As a result, the effect of parents’ socioeconomic position as the primary component is of great interest in this research. In Nigeria, however, school graduates are observed in a variety of jobs and occupations that they discover as they mature and interact. As a result, it is unknown how parents affect their children’s job choices at postsecondary institutions.

After becoming aware of the tremendous and complicated issues confronting today’s undergraduates and teens, parents’ impact on their children’s professional choices compelled this study. However, due to a lack of competent direction, many young people may fail to achieve their life objectives. It is well recognized that many of today’s young people are having difficulty deciding on a profession and matching their talents, interests, and abilities to jobs. Furthermore, a significant proportion of school graduates nowadays end up on the streets without realizing their potential. As a result, it is necessary to assist them in discovering themselves in terms of their talents, interests, values, beliefs, and potential. They should also be helped to learn the abilities they will need to deal with the many situations they may face later in life (Morsel, 2015).

Similarly, it is well recognized that the role of parents and the family as a whole is very important in their children’s education and professional goals. Without a doubt, the primary duty for educating a kid is with the parents/family, and it then becomes a shared obligation with the school and the community at large. Despite the fact that schools often neglect parental participation in their children’s education and, as a result, their job choices, children learn more from their parents. Parents, being persons who are familiar with their children’s interests, skills, and personalities, have a unique effect on the choices they make. Nonetheless, knowing the importance components that parents have on their children’s professional aspirations is unclear, despite the unique and crucial influence parents have on this topic; as a result, providers of career advice ignore this matter (James, 2004).

Peer pressure is the effect of a peer on an individual to modify his or her attitude and values in order to conform to the standards of his or her group (Kirk, 2015) While most academics feel that peer pressure has an impact on children’s academic achievement, Kirk (2015) points out that few research has been conducted to support this belief. Peer pressure is described as when others of the same age group support or urge one other to do something or continue doing something, regardless of whether the person wants to do it or not (Ryan, 2014). Peer influence, like peer pressure, includes modifying one’s behavior in order to satisfy the perceived expectations of others (Burns & Darling, 2011). In general, most teenagers submit to peer pressure on fairly major issues such as music, dress, or hairstyles; but, when it comes to more important principles, parents continue to be more influential than the peer group (Black, 2012).

Studies have shown that peer influence and goals have a significant effect on children’s professional choices. College students always choose their buddies, and they often select roommates, neighbors, and classmates. They are more prone to pick peers who share unobservable qualities with them. Even when peer selection is not expressly voluntary, there may be connections between peer qualities. A good student, for example, might surround himself or herself with excellent classmates by enrolling in tough classes (or an advanced or honor section of a course) (Daniel, 2017). A number of studies, including Adams and Fitch (2012), Arnett (2000), Benabou (2011), and Bryan (2005), confirm research findings that the value of the peer group with whom the school student spends the most time is a stronger factor in the student’s level of academic success than the family’s values, attitudes, and support.

Taylor (2011) discovered that parental participation in their children’s career-related difficulties is one of a number of variables that encourage young people to participate in more intensive and effective information-seeking activities. This is due to the fact that professional dialogues between a parent and a kid play a significant role in shaping common objectives and shared meaning and regulating activity in children when they make career selections.

 

Parents are viewed as the most often sought sources of job information and guidance among children, and they are crucial in the overall transition from school to the world of work because they have a specific effect on children’s professional paths.

Peer groups have a significant impact on a person’s life throughout their lives, but they are especially crucial during the formative years of adolescence. The effect of a peer group against parental influence is often debated, especially throughout puberty. When family ties are not tight or supportive, the power of the peer group becomes more essential. If their parents are generally inaccessible, their children may seek emotional support from their peers. Most youngsters in this scenario are not picky about the groups they join. They will often seek out a group that embraces them, even if the organization is engaging in unlawful or bad actions. For some young people, the need for connection or intimacy outweighs the desire to “do the right thing” (Alika, 2010). Adolescents have learned to become adults in all communities from the beginning of time by seeing, imitating, and engaging with the adults around them.

The environment has a significant impact on the professional choices pupils make and the positions they achieve in many ways. The term “environment” has numerous meanings; it includes physical, economic, social, and cultural components. It is described by environmentalists as the sum of all social, biological, chemical, and physical components that comprise man’s surroundings (Southwick, 2010). The environment in question here is a factor that is utilized to influence career choices. According to Sear and Gordon’s (2012) book, sociologists have been studying how the social environment influences job decisions since the 1960s. Family, social economic position, general economic situations, societal prejudices about certain vocations, and peer groups are all components of social environment elements that influence career choice (Sears & Gordon, 2012).

Environmental influences, peer groups, socioeconomic position, gender, race, parents’ profession and level of education, and parental expectations all influence job choices, according to Khallad (2010) and Watson, Quatman, and Edler (2012). Several researchers have examined these elements to see if they play a role in professional choice, and if so, what roles they play in career behavior and how they influence a person’s career choice (Bandura, Barbaranelli, Caprara, & Pastorelli, 2011).

The researcher is interested in the elements that impact undergraduates’ career choices and would want to discover a conclusive solution to the question, “What factors influence students’ choice of career desire at school?” As a result, the significance of this research is to demonstrate the determining elements that have the potential to influence students’ career choices at both private and public Nigerian colleges. Essentially, there are a variety of elements that influence students’ choices, and this study aims to identify some of the most important ones. When parents, peer groups, and environmental variables were combined, they strongly influenced students’ career ambitions at Nigerian private and public institutions.

As a result, the research will attempt to address the consequences of three very relevant aspects. Characteristics of the parents, peer group, and environmental variables Against this backdrop, this research will investigate the influences of parents, peer groups, and the environment on adolescents’ job aspirations.

Universities, both public and private

The government of state funds and controls public universities. According to Adeyinka (2010), public universities are those that were formed, controlled, funded, and overseen by the government. He went on to say that such schools were built with tax dollars to educate the whole public, regardless of their economic, social, or political standing in society. The government, not people, private interest groups, or agencies, controls public colleges. Following the establishment of Nigeria, all schools were managed and controlled by either the federal or state governments.

Mojeeb Alabi, writing in the National Mirror on September 23rd, 2012, said that history seemed to be getting less attention; he linked this to frequent changes in government policy. He noted that Nigeria’s educational policy is extremely unfavorable to local content in the curriculum; nonetheless, lack of proper finance, low teacher salaries, and other factors have a negative impact on teaching and learning in most public schools.

As a consequence, private people, private groups, and organizations began to construct, administer, and fund private schools in order to educate students while also profiting. The owners and proprietors of such private schools are profiteers since they spent their money on establishing the schools, providing the required facilities and equipment, and hiring trained and competent instructors in order to provide a decent education to the students while also generating a profit. These private schools incorporate all courses, particularly those not taught in public schools, in their curricula. According to Nwangwu (2000), private schools do what public schools cannot and relieve parents of the strain of having their children remain at home for extended periods of time due to recurrent strikes by public school instructors. In contrast to public schools, he claims that private schools operate without interruption in the school year, offering consistent and high-quality instruction. Okeke (2000) discovered that students at private schools outperform students in public schools in NECO Examinations. He further noted that since private schools are extensively monitored and regulated by school management boards, they do better in external exams.

It has been noticed that most parents urge their children to pursue things that they believe would garner their approval. For example, some parents chastise their children for failing to achieve distinctions or condemn them for choosing a management degree over a practical vocation such as law or medicine. In such cases, children may feel obligated to choose a prominent or high-paying vocation in order to gain their parents’ respect or make them proud. When parents make it obvious that they have no specific expectations for their children’s professional choices, they typically feel free to explore a wider range of professions, selecting based on their own interests rather than those of their parents (Morsel, 2015).

As a result, parents are the first people to speak and engage with their children since they know what their children can and cannot accomplish, which leads to how they impact the professional choices their children choose in life. To comprehend the factors impacting undergraduate career choices in postsecondary institutions, the University of Lagos, Lagos State University, Caleb University, and Pan Atlantic University, Lagos State were used as case studies.

1.2. Problem Statement

Undergraduates at Nigerian universities and other higher institutions confront obstacles in picking a proper career choice in light of technological improvement, the economic crisis, rising unemployment in the workplace, and growth in the number of jobs. Making decisions from a list of options is an essential element of life. Individuals must make crucial choices at different phases of their lives. Some of these actions have long-term consequences for the person. The goal of this research is to determine what variables influence student career choices at both private and public colleges in Lagos State.

A variety of elements that influence students’ career choices at Nigerian colleges have been discovered, including parents, peer groups, and environmental influences, simply because of the significance parents play in their children’s lives. Each of these components influence is currently unknown (Owoyele & Toyobo, 2013).

Parents that are very affluent and wealthy prefer to program the kind of discipline or vocations they want their children to provide. For example, parents who are physicians, attorneys, and craftsmen would want their offspring to follow in their footsteps so that the large sums of money invested in the company are not inherited by someone outside the family or become obsolete (Wong, & Liu, 2010). Parents have the propensity to influence their children’s professional choices, which may be detrimental to the child’s interests. While parents in remote locations with lower incomes may not be able to advise their children on job choices based on their interests. As a result, such youngsters are readily influenced by their peers (Maina, 2013).

Many peers serve as crucial role models and are seen as effective ways of conveying attitudes, values, standards, and patterns of thinking and behavior. In some circumstances, pupils prefer to be among their peers. They eventually pursue their objective due to peer pressure or influence. The effect of peer groups may impede the success of a guidance and counseling program among students who have been deceived by their peers to choose a job based on the interests of their peers rather than their own interests and talents (Alika, 2010). As a result, it is vital to determine how peer groups impact students’ career aspirations at private and public colleges throughout the nation.

The environment also plays an important part in shaping students’ job aspirations since the environment contains a variety of activities that might impact a person. A person may acquire this kind of criminal attitude in an atmosphere where criminal activity is prevalent. Similarly, in an atmosphere consisting of knowledgeable people with professional skills such as Law, Medicine, Architect, and others, these individuals might affect a person’s job decision. Despite this, there is little research on the effect of environmental influences on students’ career aspirations, which is one of the reasons this topic will be investigated.

According to the literature, most parents and classmates impact adolescents’ job aspirations without taking into account their aptitude, abilities, and performance, which ultimately influences their careers and desires in the future. As a result, the purpose of this research is to explore the effect of parents, peer groups, and environmental factors on students’ career aspirations in private and public Nigerian institutions.

The study’s primary goal is to investigate the impact of parents’ socioeconomic position on undergraduate career choices at selected public and private colleges in Lagos State. The precise goals are as follows:

· ascertain how parents affect their children’s career choices at universities;

• investigate the impact of peer groups on students’ career aspirations at universities;

• determine if the atmosphere influences students’ career goals at the university;

Why examine if students’ career ambitions at universities are influenced by their parent’s financial circumstances?

These research questions were developed specifically for this study.

• How do parents impact their children’s job choices at university?

• To what degree does a student’s peer group impact their career aspirations at the university?

• What effect does the atmosphere have on students’ career goals at the university?

• To what degree does the financial background of parents influence the professional goals of university students?

In light of the aforementioned goals, the hypotheses will be stated in their full versions.