Influence of Gender on Career Choice in Home Science Education Programmes in Kenyan Universities
Career aspirations of students may be largely shaped by gender and would make choices on careers to pursue based on the established social orientations. Besides gender, other factors like availability of employment opportunities, guidance and counselling and personal interest in a given field could be important factors driving students to a given university programme. The objective of this study sought to establish the influence of gender on choice of careers in Home Science Education programmes in Kenyan Universities. The study was guided by the Social Cognitive Career Theory that explores how career choices are made. This study used the Convergent Parallel mixed method design. The study was conducted in Uasin Gishu and Kiambu counties in Kenya that have universities with programmes that train Home Science educators. Purposive sampling technique was used to select two universities offering the Home Science Education programmes. The 2 Heads of Department were purposively selected while the 254 students were conveniently selected. Data was obtained using questionnaire, interview schedule and focus group discussion guide. Quantitative data was analyzed and presented using graphs. Qualitative data was analyzed thematically then used to compare with that of quantitative data. The findings of this study reveal that gender played a minimal role among the respondents. The study recommended that policy makers and all stakeholders should offer civic education and sensitization that Home Science Education programme is not a feminine programme. There is need to deliberately showcase men who have ventured and thrived in Home Science and Home Science related careers.
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