Influence of parental factors on children’s career choice: a case of public secondary schools in Isinya Sub-County, Kajiado Kenya.
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Career selection is one of many important choices students make in determining future plans, therefore the importance of career choice among senior high students cannot be over emphasized. The purpose of this study was to investigate the extent to which some selected parental factors influence career choices among form four students in Isinya Sub-County in Kenya. The study sought to establish the relationship between these selected parental factors and the student’s career choice. The specific objectives were; 1) To establish the role played by the parents’ levels of education in the career choice of secondary school students in Isinya Sub-County, Kajiado County in Kenya. 2) To establish the role played by the parents’ occupation/s in the career choice of secondary school students in Isinya Sub-County, Kajiado County in Kenya. 3) To assess the role played by the parental expectations in the career choice of secondary school students in Isinya Sub-County, Kajiado County in Kenya. 4) To assess how the parent-child relationship influences the career choices of secondary school students in Isinya Sub-County, Kajiado County in Kenya. The study adopted a descriptive survey. The Design was used to describe the influence of the selected parental factors on the student’s career choice. The population of the study was all the 572 form four public school students in Isinya Sub-County in Kenya. The study focused on all the nine public secondary schools from Isinya Sub-County in Kenya to carry out the survey while proportional random sampling technique was used to sample the students. The researcher used a sample of 114 students from the target population. Questionnaires and interview guides were used as the instruments for data collection. Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 20 software was used to analyse the data. Pearson correlation was used to test relationships between variables and their significance. Descriptive statistics such as measures of central tendency and frequencies were used to analyse the data. The results were presented in percentages, tables and graphs. Data from the semi-structured interview guides were coded and analysed using content analysis and presented in verbatim. The study realized that parental factors influence the career choice of students in Isinya, Kajiado Countyin Kenya. In conclusion high parental educational level has an influence on the career choice of students. Specifically, the father level of education significantly influenced student’s career choice. From the study we can reliably conclude that parents or relatives occupation did not directly influence student’s career choice. Further it was established that parental expectation largely influenced student career choice.Finally, parent child relationship is of paramount importance as it reinforces positive affirmations on the students that help them excel in life. Therefore the study recommends that parents should make their expectation known to the students. Parents shouldn’t coerce students to pick a certain career, but rather aid them in decision making. The school administration and teachers embrace the parental values and expectations by motivating their students, organizing career seminars and workshops for their students. Communication is essential in any relationship; hence parents should effectively and regularly communicate with the students about careers, counsel them and help them make hard decision.