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TEACHING AS A CAREER CHOICE: PERCEPTIONS OF TECHNICAL AND VOCATIONAL (TVE) STUDENT TEACHERS

A.R. Bakar, N. Ismail, S. Mohamed, R. Hamzah, A. Suhid

Universiti Putra Malaysia (MALAYSIA)
Malaysia is moving forward to be a fully industrialised nation by 2020 and education plays a very important role in achieving this aim. One important component of education that determines the success of educating the nation’s children and youths is the teacher. In Malaysia, teaching is one of the most chosen careers by many university graduates as shown by the high number of application for the teaching post whereby annually 175,000 persons apply for the teaching post (10th. MP). Although teaching is a popular job in Malaysia, there is a concern that teaching is viewed as lesser in stature compared to other careers such as medicine, engineering, and accounting. Then, why did university graduates apply for the limited number of teaching post available in Malaysia?

For the present study we selected technical and vocational student teachers and asses their perception about teaching as a career and what motivate them to eventually choose teaching as a career. The total population for this research was 694 technical and vocational student teachers attending four public universities. A stratified random sampling procedure was employed to select 300 samples for the study. Ten percent of the sample were students in Agriculture Science program,8.0 percent % were in Technical and Vocational Education program. The study showed that almost 88% of the respondents will choose teaching as a career upon graduation and 12% will not do so. In general, TVE student teachers have a positive perception about teaching as a career (Mean=4.41, SD. =0.41). They have a high expectation for teaching (Mean=4.39, SD. = 0.43) and they think they have made a good decision to enroll in teacher education program to prepare them for teaching position (Mean=4.48, SD. = 0.53). In conclusion, TVE student teachers did not make a haphazard decision when come to choosing their potential career. Based on these findings, it is very possible that the country will have quality teaching force that will enhance education in Malaysia.