This study sought to examine the motivational factors and vocational preference of secondary school adolescents. Four research questions and two null hypotheses were generated to guide the study. The design of the study was a descriptive survey design. The sample consisted of 349 Senior Secondary School (SSS) III students in the secondary school in Onitsha Education Zone of Anambra State. The instrument used for the study was vocational interest and motivational factor questionnaire (VIMFQ). Means, standard deviation, chi-square test were used to analyze the data. Major findings of the study showed that there was a significant difference between male and female students who showed preferences to various vocational areas; there was a significant difference between urban and rural students who showed preferences to various vocational areas; the male and female students are motivated by external influences to a low extent, rewards/benefits, self expression values and people oriented motivated them in their choice of a vocation to a great extent, the urban students are motivated by external influence to a low extent while rural students are influenced to a great extent; rewards/benefits, self-expression values and people oriented values motivated both urban and rural students to a great extent. Based on these findings, conclusions were drawn and the educational implications were extensively discussed. Among the recommendations made were that more professional guidance counsellors should be posted to schools to perform functions like providing students with vocational information, helping students to identify their interest, capabilities and abilities in relation to their vocational choices. counsellors should guide the students in selection of school subjects which are related to their area of aspiration than allowing non-professionals to remain in that Post. Teachers should emphasis during their lesson, the career implications of subjects so that students will see how individual subjects relate to existing careers thus increasing their knowledge of occupations.

Background of the Study
In a developing country like Nigeria which is at the verge of changing from a traditionally agricultural country to an industrial one, the choice of a vocation is a complex task. The longer years of apprenticeship to the family trade such as weaving, carving and fishing are being replaced by years of formal education in primary and secondary school with resultant effect that the children may not take up their parents’ trade.

Vocation is an activity, trade or occupation and others constituting a life style expressed in time, energy and activity (Oladele, 2002). It simply refers to a type work or way of life that an individual believes he or she is specially suited for. Vocation can be said to reflect one’s calling to a particular business or profession. It is an occupation to which an individual’s life is committed to and has inherent liking and feeling for the work (Eze, 2010). For the purpose of this study vocation is a profession, occupation, employment by which one earns his living especially one for which he has a period of training in an institution or through apprenticeship.

Occupation was classified into different categories. Classification of occupation is very important to every nation especially a developing nation like Nigeria (Omeje, 2007). He added that people need to have the knowledge and information on national manpower resources, requirements, analysis, trends in employment and unemployment. The occupational category according to Ochiagha (1995) include the following areas, professional occupations (medicine, law, clergy, teaching, counselling, psychology, pharmacy, nursing, engineering), managerial occupation (heads of state, state governors, federal ministers, directors, managers, proprietors) business occupations (accounting, insurance, salesmanship, banking marketing) clerical occupations (cashiers, typists, book keepers, tax collectors, receptionists) agricultural occupations (farmers, farm managers, agricultural extension officers, palm wine tapers and palm harvesters) technological occupations (agriculture and food technicians, engineering and science technicians, air plane technicians) skilled/semiskilled occupations (photography, plumbing works, printing, hair dressing/barking, computer operator). Apprenticeship occupations (welders, electricians, cabinet makers, vulcanizers, fashion designers, goldsmiths) service occupations (waiters/waitresses, cooks in hotels, security men, firemen, army, naval force, police force, air force) unskilled labourers (farm labourers, cleaners. The choice of a vocation therefore is one of the most important decisions one makes in life.

The issue of vocational preference has attracted the interest of many individuals and government. Vocational preference or choice is a developmental process and spans almost through person’s life time (Ohiwerei and Nwosu, 2009). The choice determines satisfaction one expects to get from his work and the opportunities he has for promotion and advancement. Individual social status, income, life style, choice of friends, mental and physical health is influenced by the type of work he or she does. In other words a person’s vocational choice or preference plays an important role in his entire life. It has been observed by (Kemjika, 1995) that most student have insufficient information about different jobs, courses of study and other activities. They are thus unable to judge whether their choices are reasonable. Without detailed and adequate information about occupations, students many jump blindly into jobs to become frustrated and unhappy later in life and perhaps at such times when a retreat would no longer be easy or possible (Omeje, 2007).

There are so many sources from which individuals could get vocational information. They could be sourced from staff or ministries, government organization at various level of government, journals, bulletins, through radio, television and other media source. The locations of the school in urban or rural areas have influence on vocational preferences of individuals. Schools in the rural areas has limited source of information. The level of exposure of students in the urban area is higher and more in number than that of students in the rural area, therefore, the experience they gather in their different areas or societies will influence their vocational interest especially after secondary education (Kemjika, 1995).

The Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN, 2004:18) documented in her National Policy on Education that secondary education is the education children receive after primary school and before the tertiary stage. The broad goals of secondary education shall be to prepare the individual for

·      Useful living within the society and

·      Higher education

In Nigeria and beyond, boys and girls choose their vocation when they are in secondary school. This is mostly in the adolescence stage of their development. The adolescence period is characterized by both physiological and psychological changes in the body. It begins when an individual attains sexual maturity and stops when independence from adult authority is legally assured.

Adolescence is a period of life during which the growing individual makes a transition from childhood to adulthood (Izundu, 1991). The length of this period varies with differing culture. In Nigeria, this stage could be......

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