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Student in the library

A secondary school student in the library in search for career guidance

The need for career guidance for secondary school students cannot be overemphasized, choosing a career is a tough task for anyone talk less of a secondary school student. A child at a tender age needs proper guidance for him tap into his full potentials. This is necessary, so that we don’t end up having lots of musicians as medical doctors and vice versa.

As of today, most parents believe in the ideology of “whoever finance the project, makes the decision” when it comes to career choosing of their wards and as a result, most make wrong decisions for their wards without considering major factors that influence career choosing. 


But before we proceed, lets first understand what a secondary school, career and other related terms means.

According to Oxford dictionary, a career is an occupation undertaken for a significant period of a person’s life and with opportunities for progress. Whatever career a child choose at the tender age is what the child will have to develop till old age, we only have few people changing career in their life which is not always easy like what they chose initially.

A school is a microcosm (smaller community) of a macrocosm (larger community) where pedagogical ideas and views are being marketed, shared or disseminated.

A secondary school can however be defined as the level of education immediately succeeding the upper primary education using the (9-3-4) system or the preceding level education before the tertiary level of education using the (6-3-3-4) system.


Just like the primary section being divided into two parts, the secondary school is also divided into:

1. Lower secondary school (Junior) : This precedes the primary school but classified as the latter parts of basic classes today. It can be said to consist of either JS1-JS3 or Basic 7 to 9.

The age range of students in this category can be predicted between 10 and 13.

2. Upper secondary school (Senior): It is the final stage of secondary school education where students learn full O’level subjects and got prepared for tertiary education. The SS1-3 classes consists of four departments recently upgraded in terms of subjects and titles by the federal ministry of education, the departments are:

a. Science

b. Technology

c. Business Studies.



It is incumbent on a child progressing from JS3 to SS1 to make a choice among the subjects listed above, which is exactly where both schools and parents have come short in assistance.

Schools on the other hand has failed in helping the situation by not guiding the students in choosing their career, most schools believe it is left to the home and the child to decide.

Most children grow up hearing their parents call them doctor or saying to their hearing that they must be a medical doctor without considering the child’s brain power, intelligent quotient and interest, and the child grow up believing the only profession, he can do in life to succeed is medical doctor.


The evidence is there, 70% of science students applicants in most university put in for medicine and surgery, Do they all have passion for medicine? No! Why the high percentage? Parental influence.

Make no mistake, medicine is a noble profession with surely good chance of job opportunity and security after college, but there are too many misfits, and medically passionless people towing the path which account for high number of suicide cases among medical students.

As said earlier, career choosing in Nigeria is something imminent for a basic 9 student to choose between science, technology, humanities and business studies. Most students find it difficult and confusing which path to follow as a result of lack of orientation and information on what each department entails and the professions under each department.


The following are the major factors to consider before choosing a department;

1. Student capability

2. Interest/ passion/ talent

3. Society need/ societal relevance

4. Financial condition

5. Time

The afore-listed conditions are to be rigorously considered before choosing a department, for example, a secondary school student that is very poor in Mathematics has no business in science, someone who hates reading stories and write-ups have no business in humanity, someone who is average in Mathematics and English language is good for business studies, someone who is poor in all will be fair in one, let him go to the one which correlates with the one he’s fair at while someone who is poor in all and fair in none should go for vocational training, the essence of this is to bring the best out of every individual and have as many as possible High-flyers among the populace.

Secondary school students seeking career guidance can however use the JAMB portal to check list of courses and universities offering them in Nigeria for starter, this should provide them arrays of courses available under each department in the secondary school.


JAMB IBASS for seconday school students

We believe secondary school students seeking career guidance will find help using this information and there parents as well.

Thank you for reading.


Hi, I'm Ogundare Abdulahi, an educator, content developer and web programmer. I love helping people and disseminating information. At my leisure time, I like reading and surfing the web.

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