In this life full of possibilities, decisions are
essential in making our lives head towards success and attainment. It gives our
lives the appropriate direction that we are opts to take in our future. Hence, decision-making
is a logical way of choosing one from the unlimited options to satisfy a man’s
ease (Alba, K. et al., 2010). It is one of the dilemmas that senior high school
students encounter in their lives where they face the reality that this certain
adjudication will be a step closer to their future careers. Moreover, it is not
a matter of fun and enjoyment, but a matter of life and death because it
requires mature and rigid discussions among the students (Alba, K. et al.,
2010). However, during the career decision, it is inevitable for students to be
spared from conflicts and issues that is why there are identified factors that
either positively or negatively affect the future career decisions of senior
high school students.

A study conducted by the group of Alba, K. in the year
2010, found out that student’s abilities or academic performances gave much
impact on the student’s college course preference. Since student’s mistakes are
highly inevitable, it would be necessary to contemplate on their profile of
abilities that which will be guided and counseled by their parents and
counselor. The researchers suggested that the higher the students are aware about
their aptitudes; they are more likely to anticipate the career option and
course choice that is best suited for them. This will aid in lessening the
burden of students in decision-making. Moreover, the National Career Development
Association (NCDA) in the United States in 1993 specified that it would be
highly necessary to assist students in contemplating their “abilities,
interests, values and goals” which are the “vital foundations of the career
development process” (Pascual, N., 2014, pg. 2). Thus, Qualifax, Ireland’s
National Learner’s Database (2018), also concluded that it is one of the
prerequisites for students in choosing a college course to develop a certain
level of self-awareness and to complexly evaluate one’s aptitudes, which will
be the basis for the success of their career choices.

A recent study by Malgwi, C. et al. (2005) showed that
the most influential factor that affect undergraduates’ college choice
preference, regardless of their gender, is their interest towards different
fields. It was supported by the studies of Kim et al. (2002) and Strasser et
al. (2002). However, there are still gender differences that influence the
student’s decision – women influenced by their aptitude in the subject, and men
influenced by the level of pay in the field. Hence, in the end, these gender
differences changed over time and the researchers concluded that both genders –
men and women – seem to be more alike in the factors that influence their
college course preference (Malgawi, C. et al., 2005).

Furthermore, parental interference also influence the
career decisions made by students, but as modern day dawns, maturity precedes
over these individuals that allows them to revolt from the choices made by their
parents (Shukla, A., 2009). This was supported by Thao (2009), where he
conducted a study of the Hmong/Mong students. His results led to a conclusion
where parental involvement has a great role to play in the career choice of the
adolescent students. Likewise, a student is most likely to succeed in their
careers due to parental pressure where they are obliged to submit their selves and
follow the aspirations of their parents (Saysay, K., 2011). In addition, a
study conducted by Keller, B. and Whiston, S. (2008) concurred that parents
could be a “source of general psychosocial support” that motivates, inspires, and
encourages their children in pursuing their future careers. Among the other
general factors, it is said that parental guidance is more salient in
influencing career preparation.

It is said that Filipinos are known for their loyalty
and respect to their elders. Hence, when it comes to decision making, individuals
always seek for guidance from their family members, especially their parents.
According to Pascual (2014), “out of respect and loyalty, it may not be
appropriate to express personal desires; rather, one may alter one’s interests
to maintain harmony” (pg. 4). He then concurred that due to the obedient virtue
of young Filipinos, they tend to follow their parent’s decisions regarding
their college courses. In this manner, the young Filipinos are able to fulfill
the aspirations of their parents and accomplish them not just for the sake of
their selves, but for their families.

Besides, Shukla (2009) claimed that the modern-aged
youth are quite “immature and impulsive” to decide for their career choices.
Their indecisiveness will often lead to faltered college course choices where
they will unfortunately encounter predicaments, such as misfit graduates and
dropouts, which will hinder them in achieving their career aspirations.
Moreover, individuals are also more likely to be influenced by other external
factors during decision-making which concerns their parents about their
children’s affairs. However, the youth of the present generation tend to revolt
against the impediment from their parents regarding their college course
preference (Shukla, A., 2009). Nevertheless, a parental guidance is still
significant as parents are most likely to influence and intensively guide their
children’s career decisions.

addition to parents’ influence in the student’s decisions regarding their
course preference, the school administration and guidance counsellors must also
be involved in making a better career plan for every student (Pascual, N.,
2014). Student counsellors and student counselling programs have a large contribution
in preparing students before they transition to a higher level of education. She
also stated that the exposure of students to different career-related matters
also helps students in their decisions and career choices.

 This was backed by Finlayson’s study in 2009
about the perceptions of Career Technical Education by middle school and high
school counsellors wherein she stated that school counsellors in both groups
indeed have significant contributions in a student’s development by providing
choices and guiding students in the career paths they choose to take.
Furthermore, Finlayson (2009) mentioned in her study that Career Technical
Education or CTE was recognized as something positive by both middle school and
high school teachers and it was necessary for students to gain awareness
regarding their career as early as before beginning high school so that their
transition from middle school to high school will be easier and odds of them
dropping out of school before graduation will be less likely to happen. According
to Keel (n.d), career awareness at a young age can help the students be
knowledgeable of the different career types offered in society and begin to
understand their traits and qualities that will help them exceed in the process
of educational and career development.

et al (2009) also associated teacher support to the levels of school engagement
of students and stated that students who received high support from teachers
were predicted to have higher levels of school engagement. Student engagement
is seen as an important factor in anticipating a student’s achievement
(Handelsman, M. et al, 2009). It was also found in the study of Perry et al
(2009) that that some urban youth may not obtain proper parental career support
and as a result, teachers play a much more eminent role in the student’s career
development. In their study, they emphasized that teacher support contributed
well to career preparation and work as a dominant source for a student’s

pressure also influences an individual’s career decision as stated by Alba and
her group in their study in 2010. This happens when a person becomes too
involved with the decision of their peers and will be forced to take the same
decision as well because of the fear that they might be separated from them.
Fernando et al. (2015) supports this by stating that students do not wish to be
separated from their group of friends or peers up until they reach college thus
making them take the same course together. Alba et al. (2010) also added that
in other occasions, peers prompt an individual to take the same course as
theirs believing that it will also benefit them when in reality, it is not
really the appropriate course for that person.

Aside from the family-, school- and peer-related
factors, Filipino parents also take into consideration some economic factors:
employability of the jobs, in-demand jobs, and the family’s financial, which
are relevant to the success of their children’s future professions (Saysay, K.,
2011). Individuals take into consideration the chance or feasibility of being
employed after their tertiary studies in choosing their college courses. Practically
speaking, college education should act as building blocks that will aid
students in accomplishing their aspirations. Hence, nobody wants to study a
course that might seem to have a lesser employability in the future for it will
anticipate wasted efforts, opportunities, money, and time (Alba, K. et al.,

Pascual (2014) also supports this and stated that students
consider economic factors such as the availability of jobs in the future in
choosing what college course to take. According to her, the employability and
the possibility of the students being employed in a job in the future are
important factors considered by students in decision-making. Furthermore,
Fernando et al (2015) stated in their study that job opportunities and economic
demands greatly affect the students’ college course preference and since there
are a lot of courses offered today, students should be aware and know what the
economy needs. By considering this factor, students will have a higher chance
of getting and succeeding in a job since they chose a course that is demanded
in society. However, Pascual (2014) stated in contrast to this and mentioned
that there is a risk to this factor since students tend to disregard their
skills and intellectual capabilities which might lead them to become
unqualified and incompetent for the job they wish to pursue.

Moreover, Pascual (2014) also stated in her study that
students tend to choose courses that are well-known and popular. Courses such
as Engineering-, Medical-, Banking- and Finance-related courses, and many more
are usually courses that people are into these days (Academic Clinic, 2009). These
types of courses are well-known and highly popular among Filipino families
while the least preferred course by students are courses related to Agriculture
despite it being highly promoted by the government (Pascual, 2014). Through
this, it can be concluded that some students only choose courses that they
think is a good course because a lot are into it rather that considering
courses that could provide them with economically feasible jobs in the future.

 In other cases,
the economic or financial status of a family dictates the course that a student
must choose. Amidst their promptness and determination in pursuing the career
choice, their financial stability confines their choices which will eventually
result in choosing a more practical college course (Alba, K. et al., 2010). Enrolling
and attending a college can cost families a lot of money and it is important
that an individual is aware of the all the costs related to the college and
course (College Atlas, 2017). The cost of college courses vary and this factor
has been given importance of some students coming from unfortunate families,
where they disregard their interests and aptitudes towards the subjects and
highly prioritize the educational expenses (Alba, K. et al., 2010). Thus,
students end up with a practical and cheaper college course that they don’t
excel in, which is a serious educational concern that needs to be addressed

Furthermore, a study by Patel, R. and Rudd, T. (2012) showed
that the possibility of low-income students losing persistence in completing a
course or degree is high usually because of financial-related problems and
issues. Being financially unstable and unprepared for college serves as a
barrier to these students to develop and this hinders them from achieving
academic success.

In line with the financial issue, there are some
measures that will aid students in choosing their college course without the
hesitation regarding their financial stability. Providing performance-based
scholarships is one of the most auspicious ways to overcome this problem
regarding financial issues (Patel and Rudd, 2012). These programs and
scholarships are made to aid students financially and encourage them to succeed
academically. Moreover, Yargo, J. (2010) agrees to this and reported that
scholarships and grants are the most effective way in addressing
educational-financial issues of unfortunate families. Though they may have some
prerequisites before attaining a scholarship or a grant, this will motivate
students to thrive harder in pursuing their career tracks. Another good way of
ensuring a student’s education is though applying for student or educational
loans. In the Philippines, there are currently a lot of lending firms offering
this as a financial solution to help students secure their education such as   Development Bank of the Philippines with its
Higher Education Loan Program for Students or HELPS, Study Now Pay Later
Programs by various private universities and colleges, Philippine Social
Security System, and other private lending companies (, 2016).