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Significant Factors in Making Career Choice

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An individual’s aim to blend into the environment is a factor in choosing a career. Career choice is the balance between responding to the realities of life and the demands from the environment while addressing the needs of one’s self. In choosing a career, it is believed that one considers two factors, that is, oneself and the world of work. Kroll et alsuggested that a person’s occupation determines the kind of person he becomes provided that in his entire life, his understanding of himself, his goals in life, his choices, wants and his interpersonal reaction personality are molded.

Krumboltz, a career theorist believed that environmental factors affect career decision making. He further stated that since 1960s, sociologists have explored how decisions on career choice is affected by social environment. Social environmental factors like family, social economic status, society’s stereotypes about specific occupations, general economic constrains and ones attitude about multicultural populations influence career choice.

Both Khallad, and Watson, Quatman and Edler said that career choices are partial. Researches have been conducted to examine whether the factors play a role in career choice and if ever, a question of what their roles are in career behavior and how these factors affect one’s career choice was raised.

Omari stated that according to Sear and Gordon’s research in 2002, additional aspects of one’s family background may be influential in career decision making. Researchers found out that parents of college learners are the most influential career role models for the learners. It was noted that mothers seem to exert a great influence during the high school years of the children and the fathers seem to influence their college children’s decision making. However, mother’s schooling is viewed as a key determinant of the children’s welfare according to Maralani.

Okwulehie cited that according to Herbart the environment is essential for evolving abilities. Children that live with parents that live in harmony and are caring and helpful to their children are destined to take orders from his parents. Parent’s occupational status now influence the career choice aspiration of the child.

Career choice made while they are in high school is considered one of the a crucial decisions that adolescents do in their lives. Often, it is regarded by parents, family members and community as a starting point to prepare learners with the workplace ahead. This career choice has been considered as one of the most important role of the learner in establishing career opportunities.

Although a few studies exists discussing the effects of socioeconomic status on career related decisions, researchers do concur that socioeconomic status influences career choice. A research of Braza and Guillo published in the Asia Pacific Journal of Multidisciplinary Research pointed out that family’s resources affects learner’s choice in their career path. Somehow, according to Bolles as cited by Okwulehie the family’s capability to finance the schooling of the learner influence the learner’s career choice. Decisions on where to live, which school to attend is a decision made based on the family’s capacity to provide for the financial aspect of schooling. As a result, these can affect the learner’s values, occupational expectations, opportunities, and gender role expectations.

There are studies that show a positive relationship between the family’s socioeconomic status and one’s aspirations, there are also those that were in contrary. Unlike the individuals raised from higher socioeconomic statuses where they become more knowledgeable and decisive on what their professional occupations may become, career aspirations of young females who came from low-income families were restricted to experiences of their family and acquaintances. The research of Ali, McWhirter, and Chronister in 2005 stated that prominent siblings are thought to have played a key part in the career direction of teenagers from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. Therefore, aside from socio-economic status, family also play a role or influence in the career choice of the learner.

Youth having more support from family and school in career exploration have wider range of career options. Ferry reported that, “Parents, followed by other family members, provided valuable learning experiences through their own role models and supporting activities that assisted in exploring career interests”. Parents of work-bound youths helps their children understand their youth’s aptitudes which contributes to the career choice.

The work of Koumoundourou, Tsaousis, and Kounenou emphasized and stated that during the time when adolescents are still striving to form their identity, they are faced with various difficulties, which comes from either individual factors, such as the lack of self and career information thus the lack of career decision-making readiness, or relational factors like the poor quality of parent-adolescent relationship.

Family plays a vital role in the career choice of the learner. Blustein, 2001; Flum, 2001; Schultheiss, Kress,Manzi, & Glasscock, 2001 have emphasized that career development can be better understood from a relational perspective. Family expressiveness and family conflict seem to predict career decision self-efficacy.

Aside from the family’s economic status and the parent’s occupational status, the career decision-making of the children is influenced by the parents through involvement and guidance, attachment and emotional support, shared activities, providing stimuli for the formation of career interests, giving information concerning certain professionals and neglection.

Moreover, Koumoundourou et al cited some set of functions representing the multidimensional contruct of social support. The functions include emotional support, network support, esteem support, information support, and tangible assistance. Muola also reported that an educated parent become more involved in the education of a child and can assist in school work.

Gender is another factor in career choice. According to Omari, whether one is male or female has to some extent influenced some of the career choices that one have made, as well as some of the choices the parents made for the learner. Eventhough society nowadays accepts female in a career that is once dominated by males, there are still instances where boys are being propelled toward the traditional male jobs while girls are expected to huddle in the traditional fields of cosmetology, childcare, and other similar jobs as affirmed by Greenberger in her statement released to the press on the thirtieth anniversary of the Title IX barring of the sex discrimination.

As published in the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism, according to Yvonne T. Chua, increased number of girls finish high school and end up in college while boys have to work in order to earn a living and support the family.

In a study on factors affecting Kenyan students career choices conducted by Omari found out that gender and occupational stereotyping were significantly high. Puran Chand, Akshay Aggarwal, Divyanshu Mishra, Sonu Kumar study participated by 15 senior students attending ISB&M consisted of 67% males and 33% females concluded that gender has been long thought of as an opportunity issue. They cited that while barriers for both male and female are diminishing statistically, it may not reflect the underlying affective valuing that must go with equal opportunity.

Omari cited in his paper that a study on factors affecting female learners’ career choices and aspirations conducted in Zimbabwe, the researchers found out that the way learner often answer questions relating to career choice reveals the intrinsic societal biases distinctive of their backgrounds. It also discloses the way they are mixed in their families and shows the importance of gender roles nature in their society. The majority of traditional societies have placed gender role to the children and children grows up knowing that some responsibilities, duties, careers are kept for certain genders. Most female learner merely disregards certain career fields due to stereotype insights.

Conferring to theories on gender roles and work, Perera and Velummayilum noted that masculinity is classified habitually as supremacy and effectiveness, while in contrary, females choose jobs that have fixed hours of work to allow them to do domestic duties. Hewitt proposes that females prefer work that is foreseeable, lower and less financially useful, with low pressure levels, and they do not aspire to occupy positions that leads and involves decision making. Hewitt’s argument supports the fact that career choices are usually outcomes of a person’s socialization since society’s gender role socialization controls what roles men and women should aim at.

As cited by Koumoundourou, Tsaousis, and Kounenou, a prior research emphasizing the differences between boys and girls regarding the influence of family factors and personality on the career choice, it was decided that an investigation be done to identify the relationship among the concepts for each gender separately. Specifically, research showed that females showed lower levels of psychological separation involving parental figures and higher levels of general indecision. Moreover, it was found out by the researchers Nota, Ferrari, Solberg, and Soresi that career search self-efficacy partially interceded the relationship between support of the family and career indecision for Italian males but not for females. It is worth noting that family support was not directly related to career indecision in the above findings. Lastly, the impact of family support on career decidedness was interceded by agency for boys from Northern Italy and girls from Southern Italy where family support was directly related to career decidedness for girls from Northern Italy as revealed by Howard, Ferrari, Nota, Solberg, and Soresi.

Stereotypes emanates from beliefs that our society and our families have about groups. Women are taught that there are certain occupations intended just for women e.g. nursing, teaching, clerical, and they want women to believe that they have limited option.

The society believes that there are certain types of work appropriate for either men or women. Men are encouraged to explore wider variety of occupations but women are discouraged from seeking education and training in match and science related courses or in trade such as manufacturing, transportation, and construction. Stereotyping makes women work at lower paying jobs with lesser chances for advancement. 

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