Decisiveness in Career Choices among Secondary School Students in Kiambu West District - Kiambu County, Kenya
Gitonga, Francis Ngunjiri
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Despite the fact that career development process is life-long, choices made during the secondary school years are particularly important in setting the foundation for future professional choices to students. Selecting a career can be a daunting task for many students, who must balance a) their own personal interests, abilities, talents and dreams with, b) what is available in various accessible universities and tertiary institutions in a rather very dynamic global society, as well as with, c) what may come of their academic performance in the final examinations, for the purposes of pursuing and gaining vocational skills. Previous research and document evidence obtainable in popular media had consistently reported that Kenyan students’ career standing and general conduct in the wider labour market did not reflect stability in career choices. Consequently, this caused a lot of concerns to the stakeholders who had perceived career decisiveness for young people as very needy. These perceptions suggested that either the career counselling at schools were defective or their existed a discrepancy between the career guidance program objectives and the instructional practices meant to achieve them. The purpose of this study was to investigate decisiveness in career choices among secondary school students in Kiambu West District, Kiambu County, Kenya. It was guided by Social Learning Theory of Career Decision Making (SLTCDM). Specifically, it aimed at determining factors that were influencing career decisions, establishing how certain students were in their career choices, assessing the preparedness of secondary schools in careers education and finding out the views of both the students and teachers on careers education. Descriptive survey design was used in this work. Three instruments, a questionnaire, an interview schedule and documents analysis guide were used in collecting data. The study population comprised of 3720 Form IV students and 62 teachers. Out of this, 13 teachers and 190 students were sampled for the study. Notable findings in the study showed that 64% of sampled students were uncertain about their career choices. Moreover, 87% of teachers were found insufficiently prepared to run career guidance programs in schools. None of the schools had embraced information technology in career guidance processes. Based on these findings, it was recommended that schools should consider employing professional career counsellors who would assist the students on a day to day basis in all manner of career decisions- similar to the way schools engage medical personnel for medical issues with students.