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1.1     Background to the Study

          Man who is mortally created is subject to many afflictions that can easily bring him down to the grave.  In order to create comfort and to enhance his surviving chances, man has to work hard in order to at least meet up with his basic needs like food, shelter and clothing.

          What is work?  Work according to Oxford Dictionary, is the use of physical strength and mental power in order to do or achieve something.  Different individuals worldwide has different attitude and preference to work.  All of us cannot do the same work.  Each of us has his own interest, ability, personality, aptitude etc to choose the job that will fit him or her best. This is what we known as career choice.

          This study is aimed at validating Ginzbergs theory of career development among University of Benin undergraduates.  Ginbergs theory of career development and choice was a study carried out in 1962 by a group of four speculators headed by Eli Ginzbergs.  They studied the process of career development of every individuals from childhood to their early 20s and come out with various findings  (Detail in Chapter two). 

          This study is very important because most individuals these days has no known chosen career and some who are believed to have choices especially from the educational point of view, has chosen wrongly. This phenomenon is affecting the growth of the country economically and technologically.

          For example, the problems that may arise as a result of poor career choice may include the following:

1.     Unemployment and unsteady jobs.

2.     Lack of skills in job seeking nd easy access to information about job vacancy.

3.     Inability to cope with the real demand of work and on the job behavior like: inability to accept supervision, inability to get along with fellow workers and poor working habit.

4.     Retrenchments due to incompetence and unproductiveness.

5.     Poor career development and choice may also be the reason why some professionals sometimes refused to practice their professions instead, they migrate to other sectors of the economy specially politics to hold positions different from their field of knowledge.  It is a common knowledge to meet graduates of physics or agricultural science working in financial houses.  Lawyers are made commissioners of education, finance, power, etc.

People are moving ups and downs the occupational ladder.  Some has lost locus of control in their life career.

          Many choose dishonest living to make ends meet.  For example, there are reports of armed robbery, kidnapping, youth militancy and restiveness, religious intolerance and prostitution.

          Many others lived from hand to mouth by engaging themselves in menial jobs like, street hawking, truck pushing and all forms of non-formal occupations.

          Many more are good at begging for arms while those who lacked the common sense and begging skills, roam about and survived only by what drop from people’s tables to the dust bins.

          In the university arena, many undergraduates are battling with career uncertainty.  The problem is not the lack of choice, but the abundance thereof. There are so many choices, so many opportunities, so many directions that bewilder and distract the young people.  No sooner have they shown a passive interest in this or that area than they are encouraged to make it their life careers.  Many young people today usually make choices that are not suited to their personal characteristics and aspirations because of their inadequate orientation.  Egbochukwu (2008) noted that these young people, come from different religious backgrounds with different personality make-up, traits and needs.  Some are in the school system to study and get the certificate, which will enable them to secure their future, while some are there to socialize without really knowing why they are in school.  Some are there not knowing what course and subject to choose or study nor even how to plan their time and also developed appropriate skills.  Many choose careers under the influence of parents, friends and peer groups.

          Sanra (1995) postulated that, if the society is not to be plagued by a group of disgruntled, frustrated and unrealistic individuals it is desirable that careers information be provided to enable the youths arrived at a realistic choice with due realization of the limits of their own respective potentials, the available opportunities and the social expectations in the community.

          In support, Okorodudu (2006), also noted that the counselor will now help the children through the assistant of parents and teachers to promote the acquisition of various vocational skills of children.  They will be able to match such skills with the aptitude, attitude, interest and ability of children in the school system. This will provide children with the opportunity of growing along with the vocational and technological skills which are congruence with their personality traits.

1.2     Statement of Problems

          All of us cannot do the same work.  Each of us has his/her own interest, ability, personality, aptitude etc, to choose the job that will fit him or h er best.  This is what we known as career choice.  Most times, university undergraduates are faced with problems of career choice.  Majority of them are having problems of career uncertainty, lack of adequate orientation towards choosing a befitting career, parental influence as well as socio-economic status as factors, militating against their educational and vocational aspirations.

          Therefore, this work is framed at finding out the career developmental stages of the University of Benin students as related to Ginzbergs theory of career development.

1.3     Purpose of the Study

          The purpose of the study is to validate Ginzbergs theory of career development among University of Benin undergraduates.

1.4     Significance of the Study

          The study is essentially to validate or to investigate the levels of University of Benin undergraduate, career development in alignment with Ginzbergs theory of career development in order to uphold the truthfulness of Ginzbergs postulations.  The result of this study will serve as career guidance to students, parents, and educators.  It will also minimized the problems of poor career choice among the would be labour force.

1.5     Research Questions

1.       What is the level of career development of students in the University of Benin?

2.       Is there any relationship between Ginzbergs findings and results obtained from University of Benin undergraduates?

3.       Is there any environmental influence on vocational choice?

4.       To what extent does the socio-economic status of the students influence their vocational aspirations?

5.       Does Gender differences influence career decision making and choice?

6.       Does career counseling has any influence on career choice?

1.6     Research Hypotheses

1.       There is no significant difference between Ginzbergs stages of career development and the University of Benin undergraduates level of career development.

2.       There is no significant difference between Ginzbergs findings and results obtained from University of Benin undergraduates.

1.7     The Scope and Delimitation of the Study

          This study is focused only on University of Benin undergraduates which stands as a unit of all other universities undergraduates across the nation.  This is adopted specifically due to lack of fund.

1.8     Definition of Terms

          Certain words have been variously used in the course of writing this project work and so, definitions are given.

Validation:        To investigate or to measure the truthfulness and usefulness of an instrument.

Ginzbergs:                   Ginzbergs is the leader of a group of four speculators and proponents of a theory – Explaining stages of career development in an individual.  For further elaboration, see chapter two.

Career:       Career is a life long occupation which an individual chooses for him/herself, plan for it, enter into it and progress in it.

Theory:     A theory is a set of assumptions designed to explain and predict a phenomenon; opens for further investigation and the results can be used to develop knowledge and provide basis for making decisions (Onoyase, 2007).

This material content is developed to serve as a GUIDE for students to conduct academic research

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