In today’s society, education is regarded as the most important factor to have for successful women empowerment. It improves her capacity to access information, learn new skills, and tolerate change. It also opens up more job options for her. There is empirical evidence that educated women are better at providing for their children’s health, nutritional, and care requirements, have fewer children, and marry later. Women and girls, on the other hand, are expected to fulfill a variety of responsibilities, many of which obstruct their access to, participation in, retention in, and accomplishment in school (Mullu, 2004).

In Africa, particularly in Nigeria, quality education for girls is thought to be quite inadequate. According to statistics from the Department for International Development (DFID, 2007), while girls’ primary school enrollment is improving in most African and Asian nations, 44 million girls remain out of school globally. DFID (2007) lists Nigeria as one of the nations with the largest number of out-of-school females (that is, children of school-going age not enrolled in primary or secondary school). Early marriages, community attitudes regarding girl-child education, and female genital mutilation (FGM) are all variables that have been linked to girls’ lack of access to school (Kagunye, 2004). Violence, gender discrimination in the classroom, and lax enforcement of regulations and laws surrounding corporal punishment, child labor, school charges/fees, and re-entry into school, particularly when females get pregnant, have a negative impact on girls.

In African civilization, factors such as family situations are seen as barriers to girls’ education. All of the domestic activities, including as caring for the children, gathering water and firewood, cooking, farming, and washing, are carried out with the help of the girls. When the mother is unwell or away from home, the girls leave school to help with the household tasks. Because she must assist her mother in the evening, the girl has less time to study. This has a negative impact on her school involvement and success. Absenteeism can lead to low academic achievement, repetition, and eventually dropping out of school, sometimes before the girl has mastered basic literacy. The majority of individuals who reach the conclusion of their educational cycle frequently score badly in their promotion tests, forcing them to leave out (Njenga, 1999).

Girls’ career goals might be influenced by vocational counseling in schools. Effective educational and occupational advisory services are becoming increasingly important in assisting young students and professionals in selecting appropriate learning routes. Many young individuals in today’s culture are confronted with the challenge of profession choice: this may frequently lead to rash and incorrect judgments, with bad effects for both the person and society, both economically and socially. An individual’s job decision is inextricably linked to the development of professional abilities in a certain didactic area, which is why students must first choose a learning subject (Ricci and Boccardi, 2010).

The development of personal and vocational identity frequently necessitates the supervision of a specialized professional who is capable of distinguishing the various components of the process of choosing a profession, particularly in a socio-cultural reality such as the current one, where workplace transformations are continuous and rapid. To carry out a successful Vocational Guidance process in this reality, according to Müller (2001), specialized training, an adequate theoretical framework, and extra technological instruments are required, in addition to ongoing reflection on the developing signals in each session. Without this, time may pass without the individual’s desired goals being met, or rather, without sufficient stimulation to pursue a professional/occupational alternative within his or her socio-cultural milieu. This is especially true for women, who have historically been underrepresented in scientific and technology fields (Njenga, 1999 and Mullu, 2004).

Women are underrepresented in science and technology across the world (Royal Society of Chemistry, 2000). This might be attributed in part to the courses students choose in elementary and secondary school. Women make up roughly 55 percent of the population in Nigeria (CBS, MOH, and ORC, 2004), and despite the country’s equal opportunity education policy, women and girls are underrepresented in mathematics, scientific, and technology-related occupations at the postsecondary level (Mullu, 2004). A lot of studies on the professional goals of boys and girls have been conducted. Anderson-Levitt et al (1994) observed that, while primary school students in Guinea displayed less gender preconceptions in the first grade, by the fifth grade, both boys and girls had succumbed to gender stereotypes that favored boys and that girls had embraced self-images of inferiority. In a study of what school meant to parents, teachers, and students in a remote part of Zambia, Serpell (1993) discovered that many students, teachers, and parents believed that any kid might succeed in school at the time of enrolling. However, most females drop out of school by the fourth or fifth grade, when they are between the ages of 12 and 15. The study’s participants believed that girls lacked the intellectual competence to deal with the curriculum. One young woman believed that the most significant issue she faced at that point in her life was to marry and raise a family, and that more education would be futile in achieving those goals. Kibera (1993) conducted a study of secondary school students’ job intentions and expectations. Male students had stronger educational and vocational goals than female students, according to her findings. Girls’ attitudes about work differed from guys’. Girls favored careers that required them to interact with people over ones that required them to engage with objects, whereas guys chose scientific disciplines. Girls’ educational goals and expectations are lower since they are supposed to be homemakers rather than full-time employees, according to her. This might explain why females in form three don’t want to study physics.

Lent, Brown, and Hackett (1994) proposed the Social Cognitive Career Theory (SCCT), which states that one’s background (or contextual circumstances) and individual traits impact one’s learning experiences and, as a result, self-efficacy. Self-efficacy therefore has an impact on one’s interests and outcome expectations, which in turn has an impact on one’s professional goals. Parents’ educational levels, elements in the family environment, girls’ ambition to learn, discipline, and academic success may all have an influence on their professional goals.


The way girls envision their future beyond fourth grade has a significant impact on the disciplines they pick at this critical juncture in their education. According to previous surveys, girls are underrepresented in most renowned jobs, particularly science-related careers. Similarly, while females are well represented in primary schools, the number of girls who complete secondary education is significantly lower than that of boys, and the number of girls who complete postsecondary education is substantially lower. This suggests that girls may have lower professional goals than guys. As a result, the factors that influence secondary school girls’ job goals were investigated in this study. Previous research on female child education has focused on the factors that determine girls’ access to school (Gicharu, 1993; Odaga & Heneveld, 1995; Kirimi, 2007). Female genital mutilation, gender roles, early marriages, and school cleanliness have all been linked to girls’ access to and retention in school in these research. The topic of the girl-professional child’s goals has not been addressed in these research. Despite the fact that past research has indicated that boys had stronger job goals than girls, this is the case (Kibera, 1993). Factors affecting females’ job goals in Nigeria are unknown due to a paucity of study in this area. Therefore, the study aims at determining the factors influencing career aspirations among girls in public secondary schools in Ile-Ife Local government in Osun State. Nigeria.


The broad objective of this study is to examine  factors influencing career aspirations among girls in public secondary schools. The specific objectives are:

i.          To investigate some of the career aspirations of secondary school girls in Ile-Ife Local government in Osun State. Nigeria.

ii.        To examine factors affecting the career aspiration of  secondary school girls in Ile-Ife Local government in Osun State. Nigeria.

iii.      To inquire if vocational guidance programmes is available in secondary schools in in Ile-Ife Local government in Osun State. Nigeria for assisting girls in career choice.   

iv.      To examine ways of improving vocational guidance for girls in secondary schools in Ile-Ife Local government in Osun State. Nigeria.


The following are some of the questions which this study intends to answer:

i.          Whar are some of the career aspirations of secondary school girls in Ile-Ife Local government in Osun State. Nigeria?

ii.        What are the factors affecting  career aspiration of  secondary school girls in Ile-Ife Local government in Osun State. Nigeria?

iii.      Are vocational guidance programmes  available in secondary schools for assisting girls in career choice?   

iv.      What are the ways of improving vocational guidance for girls in secondary schools in Ile-Ife Local government in Osun State. Nigeria?


The study may be of significance to school principals, career masters and teacher-counsellors, as it may reveal the factors that influence career aspirations of girls. Such information could be of use while planning career guidance programmes. The study may reveal where the principals and teachers in secondary schools fail to capture the interest of girls in various subjects, especially the sciences. The study may be of significance to stakeholders at the Ministry of Education so that they can come up with policies to help the education institutions to curb the problem. To the parents, the study may reveal the home related factors that influence girls‘ career aspirations, such as parental level of education and parental encouragement and involvement. The findings may form a basis upon which recommendations may be made to parents on ways through which they can enhance career aspirations of girls.


The scope of this study borders on  factors influencing career aspirations among girls in public secondary schools. This study found out the factors that affect career aspirations of girls in secondary schools. The factors considered included school related factors like guidance and counselling effectiveness, availability of resources, and support from teachers; home background factors like parental level of education, parental support and involvement, and home setting, environmental factors, Occupational Stereotyping, Personality factors, Opportunity factors and student-related factors such as girls‘ motivation  to study, interest and skill.The study is however delimited to selected secondary school in Ile-Ife Local government in Osun State.


Like in every human endeavour, the researchers encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. The significant constraint was the scanty literature on the subject owing that it is a new discourse thus the researcher incurred more financial expenses and much time was required in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection, which is why the researcher resorted to a limited choice of sample size covering only  selected secondary school in   Ile-Ife Local government in Osun State. Thus findings of this study cannot be used for generalization for other secondary school in other States within Nigeria. Additionally, the researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work will impede maximum devotion to the research. Finally, respondent could not return all the questionnaires distributed to the researcher and this has only made the researcher to only work with the ones that got to him. Howbeit, despite the constraint  encountered during the  research, all factors were downplayed in other to give the best and make the research successful.


Career Aspiration: Refers to the educational or job related ambition, goal, or target that one has set for him/herself in life.

Career: Refers an individual‘s course or progress through life (or a distinct portion of life). It usually is considered to pertain to remunerative work (and sometimes also formal education). Cluster: A combination of four selected subjects required for one to pursue a given degree programme.

Counselling is the process by which one individual, the counsellor, assists another individual, the client, to face, understand, and accept information about himself and his interaction with others, so that he can make effective decisions about various life choices.

Gender: Refers to the social roles assigned to men and women. For example, who looks after the family in our cultures, who builds the house, who takes care of the family, and so on.

Vocational Guidance: refers to the assistance offered to students by designated teachers or professionals in career choice and planning.