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Factors affecting the career choice of undergraduates in Nigerian Library and information science schools

A O Issa
KI Nwalo


It has been observed that not many undergraduates of Nigerian universities apply to study library and information science (LIS) in the first instance but as a last resort. This situation is unwholesome for the future of LIS profession in Nigeria. The objective of this study, therefore, was to investigate the low preference for library and information science as a first-choice course of study by the undergraduates of Nigerian library schools. The survey research design was adopted, with the Career Choice Influence Questionnaire, as the main data collection instrument. In all, 1,228 students from eight Nigerian university library schools participated in the study. The study revealed that majority of the students did not make LIS course their first choice, but ended up in the library school as a last resort. However, 38.4% who chose the course were influenced mostly by previous library work experience. Available sources of information on the course include parents/relations (29.9%) and peers (9.20%). There are slightly more male LIS students (50.3%) than females (49.7%), indicating its equal popularity among both sexes. That 46.9% of them were in the 22-26 age bracket showed that the younger undergraduates constitute the majority. The study concludes that despite the evidence of improved popularity of the programme among the respondents, it remains largely unpopular among prospective undergraduates in Nigeria, when compared with such other courses as accountancy, medicine and law. The paper recommends that public awareness about the profession and the programme be intensified by all stakeholders if it must attract some of the best brains in the country who can meet the challenges of the profession in Nigeria.

African Journal of Library, Archives and Information Science Vol. 18 (1) 2008 pp. 23-32

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eISSN: 0795-4778