University students' perceptions of careers guidance in African schools.
MetadataShow full item record
This study aimed at investigating African students' perceptions of careers guidance in African schools. It aimed at determining the extent to which students viewed careers guidance and the effectiveness to which careers guidance programmes in schools have been able to assist them to make informed career decisions and choices. Literature reviewed revealed that careers guidance services were inadequate in schools due to the legacies of the apartheid era. As a result a lot of school leavers found themselves unable to make occupational choices. The relevance of careers guidance in relation to career development theories argues that a holistic approach to careers guidance in African schools is important because of a variety of factors (personal, situational and developmental) which influence career decisions and choices. Also, the negative views held by teachers and learners of careers guidance greatly impacts on its success. The study drew its data from a sample of University of Zululand students enrolled in the faculties of Arts, Education, Commerce and Administration, Law and Science. The research used a questionnaire with closed-ended questions to elicit the data required. The questionnaire focussed on the importance of careers guidance, effectiveness of careers guidance programmes in career decision making and choices, and the influence parents have on career decisions and choices. The study also tested the relationship between students' perceptions of careers guidance and the variables of gender, family composition, and degree registered at the university. The findings revealed that students perceived careers guidance to be important. However, careers guidance is perceived by students as having been ineffective in helping them make informed career decisions and choices. Parents were also found not to have been influential in career decisions and choices of their children. The study also revealed significant differences between males and females, single and both parent families, and the different degrees registered. Females were found to be more wanting of careers guidance than males. Students from single parent families were found to rely more on the school than the home for careers guidance as opposed to both parent students. Females found parents to have been more influential in their career decisions and choices than males who considered parents unimportant in influencing career decisions and choices. The implications of the findings were that careers guidance programmes ineffectively enhance learners' career development. As a result they are unable to make sound career decisions and choices. Learners' decisions and choices may still be influenced by gender, family and academic constructs. It is recommended that careers guidance be enforced in schools and given equal status to the other subjects . Relevant careers guidance programmes which are context specific and related to the job market are also an absolute necessity for learners. Only effective careers guidance programmes would lead to effective career decisions and choices.