Determinants of Mathematics-Related Career Choice among Senior Secondary School Students in Makurdi Metropolis, Benue State, Nigeria
This study was designed to identify the determinants of mathematics-related career choice among senior secondary school students in Makurdi metropolis, Benue State, Nigeria. It explicitly focused on parents influence, academic ability, peer group influence, influence of various teaching methods employed in teaching mathematics, students’ interest, gender differences and role models influences as basic determinants of mathematics-related career choice. A survey research design was employed for the study, with the researcher developed Students Career Determinant Questionnaire – SCDQ (Cronbach Alpha Coefficient = 0.82) administered to a sample of 125 senior secondary school students who want to major in mathematics-related careers. These students were drawn randomly from five different secondary schools chosen via stratified random sampling in Makurdi metropolis, Benue State, Nigeria. Mean and standard deviation were used to answer the research questions. Analysis of the data obtained from the SCDQ revealed that parents have a huge influence on senior secondary school students’ choice of career even if the careers of such parents may not be mathematics inclined and the parents may not insist or suggest that their students major in mathematics related careers. The study also revealed that career choice determinants such as students’ academic ability (cluster mean score = 2.73), peer group influences (cluster mean score = 2.69), various teaching methods employed in schools (cluster mean score = 3.05), students interest (cluster mean score = 2.89), gender differences (cluster mean score = 2.64) and role model influences (cluster mean score = 2.68), all have positive high influences on mathematics related career choice decisions of students. The results indicated that the various teaching methods employed in schools have the highest influence on mathematics-related career choice among senior secondary school students with a cluster mean of 3.05. Based on these findings it was recommended that mathematics teachers should endeavour to employ modern teaching methods in their classroom lessons to ensure attainment of mathematics related-career goals among these secondary school students.
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