Personality, Intervening Variables and Academic Achievement as Precursors of Career Aspirations among Form Three Secondary School Students in Kiambu County, Kenya
Karanja, Rebecca Njeri
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Secondary school students’ career aspirations have important implications as they are related to the students’ further training in the aspired areas, entering the job market and making progress in the world of work. Individuals who enter career fields they are not suited for end up facing challenges and difficulties. The purpose of the study was on personality, academic achievement as predictors of career aspirations as moderated by educational background of parents, school type and sex among form three secondary school students in Kiambu County, Kenya. There is very limited research on The Big Five personality traits in Kenya. There has not been a distinction on how the educational background of the mother and the father individually influence career aspirations of students. The study was informed by the Big Five Traits theory and Holland’s Theory of Careers. Kiambu County has 266 schools, stratified as National, Extra County, County and Sub-County with a student population of 95, 859 students. The accessible population was 23,965, (51.8% males and 48.18% Females). Pilot study consisted of 60 students, (30 boys and 30 girls). The two pilot schools were selected from two different sub counties from where the main study was conducted. Stratified random sampling was used to select 10 schools, two from each stratum. The sample size comprised 400 students randomly selected from the sampled schools. Data was collected through a student’s self-report questionnaires: the Big Five Inventory (BFI), Career Choice Inventory (CCI) and focus group discussions. Data collected was both qualitative and quantitative. Quantitative data was coded and entered into SPSS program for analysis. Chi-square (χ2) and Pearson’s Product Moment were used to analyse data. The findings obtained from the (Chi-Square value; χ2 = 99.074=96, p>0.05) revealed that there was no significant relationship between the Big Five personality traits and career aspirations. Moreover, the findings revealed that there was no significant relationship between mother’s education background and students’ career aspirations, (Chi-Square; χ2 = 21.35, df=15, p>0.05). Further, the findings revealed that there was significant relationship between father’s educational background and students career aspirations (Chi-Square value; χ2 =26’00, df=15, p<0.05). Moreover, there was significant relationship between academic achievement and students’ career aspirations (Chi-Square value; χ2 = 57.86, df =6, p<0.05). On the school type, the findings revealed that there was significant relationship between school type and career aspirations of the students (Chi-Square value; χ2 = 208.64, df= 120, p=0.05). The findings revealed that there was significant relationship between sex and career aspirations of the students (Chi-Square; χ2=71.262, df =24, p=0.05). Career guidance should be enhanced in schools and in colleges. Admission to colleges, universities and choice of fields of study and career choice for employment should embrace personality traits as a prerequisite for success. Causes of disparities in school type should be addressed as they have lifelong implications on career aspirations of students.