Influence of guidance on career choice for students in technical institutions: the case of Gusii Institute of Technology
Nyakoe, Morara George
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The central problem of the study is the fact that despite the critical role of career guidance in enabling students to make informed career choices, many students joining Technical Institutions may not be dependent on career guidance to determine their choice of courses at college. The quality of career guidance received by students in Technical Institutions and, the influence the career guidance has on their ability to choose courses at college were the main concerns of this study. The study was done in Gusii Institute of Technology which has been an Institute of Technology for over two decades and currently boasts a student population of almost 2,000. The study considered career guidance as the main independent variable and career choice as the main dependent variable. The careers considered were those offered in all the eleven courses offered at Gusii Institute of Technology. The study adopted a descriptive case study design to explore the level of awareness on career guidance and level of response to the same by students when choosing courses to pursue at college. The study used all the 2nd year diploma students, 230 in number and all the four members of the administrative staff as respondents. Data was collected by use of two types of semi-structured interview schedules and questionnaires. One semistructured interview schedule was applied to two randomly selected students from each department while 192 of the remaining 208 students responded to the questionnaire. The second semi structured interview schedule was designed and applied to the four members of the administrative staff. The questionnaire was piloted using the test-retest technique and then both instruments were appraised and verified separately by two officers with experience in career guidance to ensure reliability. Data collected was edited and then coded. It was then analyzed both quantitatively by use of descriptive statistics and qualitatively by use of thematic analysis so as to bring out in detail the concerns captured in the objectives of the study. From the study it was found that more than 50% of the students were dissatisfied with the content, frequency of instruction and level of individual attention accorded them in the career guidance sessions. Also most of the students did not rely entirely on career guidance to choose the course to pursue at college with only 35 out of the 192 students reporting maximum reliance on career guidance. The study revealed also that factors including parental influence, financial constraints, marketability of the course in the labour market and peer influence influence the students in making their of course at college. Based on these findings it is recommended that career guidance be done before college placement to supplement any that was done at high school. It is also recommended that training of career guidance teachers be enhanced at all levels of the education system and be designed to include both educational and vocational guidance. Finally career guidance should be made a constant and interactive programme for all students.