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Reasons for Public Sector Jobs Preference in Nigeria

Oludele Albert Ajani, Isaac Akintoyese Oyekola


Occupational preference is an age long phenomenon. It is a product of many considerations on the part of an individual, and, varies across time and society. Despite various government programmes aimed at encouraging self-employment and or entrepreneurship, little success has been achieved in this direction in Nigeria. This study sought to investigate the reasons why Nigerians prefer public sector job to self- employment or private sector jobs with a view to understanding the dynamics of youth employment in a rapidly changing society. Concurrent triangulation mixed method research design was employed for this study to collect quantitative and qualitative data in the study location. Quantitative data were analysed using descriptive statistics, while qualitative data were analysed using thematic content analysis. The results showed that majority of the respondents preferred public sector careers. Job security; economic benefits; negative perception of other forms of employment; societal values; and altruistic service motive were the major reasons for preference. The study concludes that an understanding of the plethora of factors that engender high preference for public sector careers could inform youth employment policy directed at enhancing informal sector career outlook.

Key words: Unemployment, informal sector, career preference, public sector careers.
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