Education Project Topics

The Influence of Peer Pressure and Parental Occupation on Career Choice of Students in Senior Secondary School

The Influence of Peer Pressure and Parental Occupation on Career Choice of Students in Senior Secondary School

The Influence of Peer Pressure and Parental Occupation on Career Choice of Students in Senior Secondary School

Chapter One

Objective of the study

The primary goal of this research is to investigate the influence of peer pressure and parental occupation on the career choices of students in senior secondary school. To achieve this overarching objective, the study aims to accomplish the following specific objectives:

  1. To examine the degree to which peer pressure impacts the career decisions of students in senior secondary school.
  2. To investigate the impact of parental occupation on students’ perceptions of different career options.
  3. To explore how peer pressure and parental occupation intersect to influence students’ career choices.
  4. To examine the potential consequences of external influences on career satisfaction and success



Influence of Parental Occupations

Choosing a career is among one of the many choices that students make in effective future planning. This is because the decision that they make determine the course of their life in their entire life in this planet. A study by Creed and Patton (2003) which interviewed the assistant director of admissions in Wisconsin’s university indicated that students take the least resistance path in joining the university. However, some parent’s exerted enough pressure on the student to select a particular career path because of the parent’s ambitions and aspirations. Kroll et al (2000) notes that throughout a career an individual tends to seek environmental issues with one’s goal in life while at the same time get incorporated into the environment he/she seeks. For effective career development there should be a balance in the recognition and meeting the needs of a particular person and at the same time respond effectively to the outer forces and realities of life. Two factors that involve career decisions are the self and world of work. The person in a particular career constantly balances one’s aspirations and fits into the reality of the workplace. It is through the occupation of man that one is able to determine the kind of person they become since through the 12 waking hours, cognitions about self, wants and goals and interpersonal response traits get molded (Keller,2008). Kroll asserts that current informal and formal knowledge provided via the society and environment focuses on the acquisition, retention and information utilization pertaining the world. Observably, self and the world emerge as important issues in the constructs that are achieved. This is because they become important aspects in the acquisition, retention and translation of information on self (Keller, 2008). In career position of a student the environment plays a significant role. This IS because it nurtures decisions in career selections. For instance gender is affected by the environment, in a press statement released on thirtieth anniversary of the Title IX which barred the sex discrimination, Marcia Greenberger (2002) indicated that boys are still being geared towards the native “male’ jobs which are well paying. Girls on the other hand are clustered to the traditional career paths such as childcare, cosmetology among others. This is supported by the fact that ninety nine percent of cosmetology students in Florida are females while 100% of plumbing course students are male who majority contribute to the occupation of their fathers” (Greenberger, 2002). Yee & Eccless (2008) posit that disciplined engaged by the parents have an impact on the career selection of their children. Children’s intellectual development could be impressed by the career molding from parents. For mothers who get engaged in jobs like hair dressing, sewing, catering and petty trading there is less contact hours with children. Such parents tend to prefer their children to take after their trade and thus seem to be less bothered to lay more emphasis on early intellectual growth of their children.  According to Amidele (2007) the aspirations of the parents for the child affects his/her achievement in school. Morish (2005) observes that parents with good education background provide good learning conditions for their children so as to reap the benefits they have reaped from good schooling. Ezewe (2003) in expressing the terms of high social-economic status stated that families maintain their social class in the society by ensuring that their children attend the best nursery and primary schools which guarantees admission to highly ranked secondary schools. As a result the highly ranked secondary schools offer adequate routes to good university education and guarantees access to prestigious occupation and high level of income for their children. Children developmental abilities with regard to the kind of mental challenges they are exposed to at various periods. Parents can take positive steps to help their children these include; encouraging students to pursue advanced course work, investing significant amount of time in their class work assignments and devoting more time to reading as opposed to watching television (Mulis, 2002). To foster an interest in reading and learning parents can read aloud to their children, hold family discussions about reading literature get involved in school activities and current events and encourage more trips to the library for information gathering on interesting topics. Unfortunately working class parents or parents from low socialeconomic status lack adequate time to be with their children as they are busy supporting the financial income of the family. Such students tend to rely more on their peers on issue about career choice (Penick & Jepsen, 2002).

Social Economic Status of the Parents

Social-economic status is termed as the income that the family generates and the occupation of the parents in the society. Most of the times the status is positively correlated to the parent’s educational level (Brown, 2004). According to Brown (2004) social class influences occupational choices by the provision of tangible resources like money, mode of transport and higher quality schools and values and expectations of the social class level of the. children’s career choice. Penick & Jepsen (2002) assert that the social economic status of an individual’s family of orientation predicts his/her occupational status. Parents from various social classes generate their won social values and cultural aspects based on their immediate social class. Subsequently, the parents pass the social class values to their children to prepare them for a similar occupational role contextualized to a particular class structure (Ferry, 2006). The middle class parents emphasize initiative and autonomy while the parents from the lower economic classes encourage conformity. Bryant, Zvonkovi & reynold I’ (2006) asserts that the lessons offered early stages of life translate into work experiences the youth may have, skills that may be developed and final career path. Cook, Heppner & O’Brien (2002) carried out a study and found out that social class white collar workers aspired for and maintained white collar jobs. Also those who had blue collar jobs (manual labor) sought to maintain their blue collar jobs. Conger et at (2004) noted that the additional variable that emerges due to family social-economic status is the financial burden. Parents from working class to lowerclass environment have more conflicts about careers between adults and adolescents. Weinger (20040 analyzed the responses of 5-14 year old students from families that 15 were categorized as middle class or poor. He found that middle class valued the income of their parents and perceived that it would help their professional career. The children saw themselves in similar careers as their parents. Findings from the low income students indicated that they did not regard their parent’s income to naturally finance their education; they also lacked high-level professional career images which they could model themselves into. Ireh (2000) noted that those students who hailed from low socio-economic status often selected field of higher study where they can complete studies earlier and start earning immediately. Those students who came from high and middle socialeconomic status selected a field of higher study that allowed them to get progress in study and good job. The social-economic status of the parents as well as the intelligence can either facilitate or inhibit the child depending on the traits inherited from the environment of upbringing (Wattles, 2009). Parents who are well educated guide their children about different career selections and students get adequate information at home and any higher education study. Ireh (2000) affirms that parents wlro are economically sound can manage for required amount of money for higher education for their children. Wattles (2009) notes that children from low social-economic status percerve education and occupation as a gateway to better status and economic conditions. On the other hand children from high social-economic status perceive education as an avenue of entering into a profession similar to their parents. At times career occupational are rooted in the traditions and expectations of the family. Majority of the jobs that the younger generation wants is not in comparison with what they eventually get. Super (2009) notes that it is acceptable to perceive it as the 16 discrepancy between aspirations and final achievement. Parents who are semiskilled and unskilled tend to try to influence their children to get better jobs and live better lives than they have.





In this chapter, we described the research procedure for this study. A research methodology is a research process adopted or employed to systematically and scientifically present the results of a study to the research audience viz. a vis, the study beneficiaries.


Research designs are perceived to be an overall strategy adopted by the researcher whereby different components of the study are integrated in a logical manner to effectively address a research problem. In this study, the researcher employed the survey research design. This is due to the nature of the study whereby the opinion and views of people are sampled. According to Singleton & Straits, (2009), Survey research can use quantitative research strategies (e.g., using questionnaires with numerically rated items), qualitative research strategies (e.g., using open-ended questions), or both strategies (i.e., mixed methods). As it is often used to describe and explore human behaviour, surveys are therefore frequently used in social and psychological research.


According to Udoyen (2019), a study population is a group of elements or individuals as the case may be, who share similar characteristics. These similar features can include location, gender, age, sex or specific interest. The emphasis on study population is that it constitutes of individuals or elements that are homogeneous in description.

This study was carried to examine the influence of peer pressure and parental occupation on career choice of students in senior secondary school. Selected household in Abuja forms the population of the study.




This chapter presents the analysis of data derived through the questionnaire and key informant interview administered on the respondents in the study area. The analysis and interpretation were derived from the findings of the study. The data analysis depicts the simple frequency and percentage of the respondents as well as interpretation of the information gathered. A total of eighty (80) questionnaires were administered to respondents of which only seventy-seven (77) were returned and validated. This was due to irregular, incomplete and inappropriate responses to some questionnaire. For this study a total of 77 was validated for the analysis.




It is important to ascertain that the objective of this study was to ascertain the influence of peer pressure and parental occupation on career choice of students in senior secondary school. In the preceding chapter, the relevant data collected for this study were presented, critically analyzed and appropriate interpretation given. In this chapter, certain recommendations made which in the opinion of the researcher will be of benefits in addressing the influence of peer pressure and parental occupation on career choice of students in senior secondary school


This study was on the influence of peer pressure and parental occupation on career choice of students in senior secondary school. Three objectives were raised which included; To examine the degree to which peer pressure impacts the career decisions of students in senior secondary school, o investigate the impact of parental occupation on students’ perceptions of different career options, to explore how peer pressure and parental occupation intersect to influence students’ career choices and to examine the potential consequences of external influences on career satisfaction and success. A total of 77 responses were received and validated from the enrolled participants where all respondents were drawn from selected household in Abuja. Hypothesis was tested using Chi-Square statistical tool (SPSS).


The study concluded that parental occupation influenced positively the career choice of the students in that parents whose occupation was prestigious and senior attracted their children to follow in suit similar careers. Parents who also facilitate educational tours related to their careers positively influenced career choice of the children. The study concluded that parental social-economic status influenced the career choice of the students in that parents in senior position were role models for students who aspired to be like them. This was supported by the fact that the family income significantly contributed to career choice. Parents in senior positions possibly had higher salaries with good income therefore the study concluded that the social economic status of the parent does not only influence career choice of a student but also reflects the ambition of the student. With regard to peer pressure the study concluded that most peers tended to influence career choice of their fellow students unconsciously. This was reflected in the study findings where majority of the students indicated that their peers could sometimes influence them to select a particular subject, class or get involved in a particular cocurricular activities. Such influence impacted greatly on the career choice of the student. The study concluded that ways which could be used to influence positive career I’ choice among students included parental encouragement based on academic ability, personality traits regardless of the social economic status as well as parental occupation. There are students who have inborn talents which may not be related to the occupation of the parents (Oyodume, 2009). Also students should be educated on subject combination as well as job market for their respective careers


The study recommends the following:

  1. More schools should employ career counselors to guide students with regard to their abilities and talents.
  2. Parents should not force careers on children based on failed ambition.
  3. Universities and colleges should orient secondary school students on subject combination and career prospects. 4. Career tours should be encouraged without regarding the academic ability of the students. 5. Natural talents and abilities should be early identified by the school and the student be properly nurtured


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