Influence Of Gender On Career Choice Among Undergraduates

source: projectregards
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Every individual must, at one time or another, be confronted by the problem of occupational choice and many, encounter this problem when as students they are required to choose study programmes leading to their future careers, as parents helping their children select careers, as teachers, career officers or psychologists, who as part of their daily work, offer career guidance to students. Perhaps, the significance of career choice can be underscored by the influence careers have on an individual’s income, standard of living, status in society, social contacts, as well as emotional health and feelings of self-worth. Therefore, making suitable career decisions implies less wastage of resources in education and training. Furthermore, careers once chosen will probably affect an individual throughout their lives. Little wonder it is said that clarity and meaning of life are expressed in ones career. Consequently, it is by being armed with better information and proper guidance that individuals are able to make appropriate career decisions. Due to need for specialization at the work place, choosing a career is not an easy and straight forward undertaking. It is a complicated and daunting task because the decision is influenced by various factors which could be extrinsic, intrinsic or a combination of both. The main intrinsic factors responsible for influencing career choice decisions include an individual’s personality, interests, self concept, attitudes and cultural identity. On the other hand, the main extrinsic factors include social contacts, role models; availability of resources such as information and finances, globalization, ethnic background, level of educational attainment, choice of subjects of study and differences in job characteristics. Most people are heavily influenced either by professions that their parents favor; or the ones that their educational achievements have opened for them. Yet, other individuals are influenced by careers that offer prospects of higher benefits including salary, allowances and holidays. Gender influence students even in their choice of undergraduate project topics and the course module they read the most. Some the male gender can easily draw closer to courses that are more tedious than the female folks. However; there are also those who choose to follow careers that they have a passion for regardless of the prospects of the benefits; for the reason that a career is a critical element in determining an individual’s daily routine, life activities, standard of living; and the spiritual and social aspects of life. In fact a career affects the ordering of one’s entire life. Although there are differences among various population groups, generally extrinsic influences on career choice decisions are mostly influenced by parents, peers, friends, relatives, role models, and teachers especially career counselors. This is possible through social support or interaction. However, the extent to which each of them influences career choice decisions varies from one population to the other. GENDER VARIATION Gender variance, or gender nonconformity, is behavior or gender expression by an individual that does not match masculine or feminine gender norms. Gender is a psychosocial construct most people use to classify a person as male, female, both, or neither. CAREER CHOICE Career choice refers to the profession and job which an individual has decided to go into which will lead to economic/social independence, productive and fulfilled life. Making a career choice is one’s ability to identify and select a type of occupation or vocation that will enable him/her achieve a life goal. It also involves an individual utilizing information and knowledge about self, world of work and opportunities in his or her environment to make career decisions. Most individuals have an interest in or affinity toward certain career fields or occupations. Such aspirations and preferences are formed early in life and are a product of genetics, socioeconomic status, gender, personality, and learning history. These early hopes and dreams are modified (positively and/or negatively) by forces in society that act upon individuals and groups of individuals as they make career-related decisions (e.g.. labor market constraints, competitive admission to schools and programs. opportunities provided by special programs, etc.). Career choices result when individual aspirations and preferences are reexamined in light of the constraining forces imposed by the social environment in which that individual lives. It is possible to differentiate several levels of career choice based upon the degree to which that choice has been subjected to the limitations of societal constraints. GENDER AND CAREER CHOICE AMONG UNDERGRADUATES Before making career choices, students are often provided with a list of careers from which they are supposed to make choices. However, most students lack adequate information regarding various careers hence the choices they make are embedded in their perception of the ideal job and the subjects they study in secondary school. Perhaps the only support students get within the school system is from career masters or counselors. Choice of career among undergraduates in this ever-evolving economic and technological advancing society has been a major issue that needs to be carefully addressed. A good number of undergraduates are studying certain courses not because they were chosen willingly or carefully guided but due to certain influences beyond their control, consequently, they end up doing a job totally different from what they studied in the universities. In conclusion, in as much as every individual in this planet aspire for good quality life and appreciable social status. The only determinant of these is a good choice of career. Making a career involves an individual utilizing information and knowledge about self, world of work and opportunity in his or her society to make career decisions. Career selection is one of the most important choices students make; Undoubtedly, this decision will influence their activities throughout their lives. Career development is enhanced by appreciating the fact that a person’s current vocational status was as a result of previous experience which when correlated may suggest the ideal future. Undergraduates’ students must understand that choosing a career is a delicate decision that cannot be taken in a hurry. If students are not well guided, lots of misdirected decisions may be taken which may have grave implications on the young person that should have been helped to achieve a career choice success. If care is not taken, a student may emphasize interest far above his ability and therefore makes decision that may be inappropriate at the end of the day. Therefore, having prior knowledge about a career is important to developing and nurturing interest in the career. In fact prior knowledge prepares an individual on the conditions obtaining for a career and one will decide to enter a career from a point of knowledge. Knowledge on a career can be acquired through doing research and consultations; training, exposure as well as industrial attachment. Other avenues through which individuals receive prior knowledge for their careers include mentorship, commitment, motivation and socializing with people in the career of interest. Making informed and considered career decisions accrue various benefits to the employer and the individual. Another important factor that influences Career choice decisions is the possibility of progression in work hierarchy.

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