Labour Market Expectation and Demand for Higher Education in Osun State
The study examined the changing labour market expectations at different educational levels and analyzed how the expectations had informed decision for higher education in Osun State. This was with a view to providing insight into the intensity of demand for higher education. The data for the study were obtained from primary and secondary sources. The primary data were generated from a survey of a purposefully sampled final year students of Senior Secondary Schools; final year students of tertiary institutions; currently serving National Youth Service Corps members and postgraduate students. These were drawn from selected six survey areas in Osun State, namely Ile-Ife, Osogbo, Ilesha, Ire, Ede and Esa-Oke. One private and one public secondary schools were selected from the survey areas and forty students were randomly sampled from each of the schools. A total of 1430 students were randomly sampled from the five selected tertiary institutions in the survey areas. The five tertiary institutions were: Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife; Osun State College of Education, Ilesha; Osun State College of Education, Esa-Oke; Federal Polytechnic, Ede; and Osun State Polytechnic, Ire. Twenty-five National Youth Service Corps members from each of the survey areas who were about entering the labour market were contacted during their weekly Community Development Programme for the survey. Also, 165 Post graduate students were randomly selected across all the faculties of learning in Obafemi Awolowo University for the study. A total of 2,225 respondents were sampled in the study. The secondary data were collected from the publications of Federal Office of Statistics and National University Commission (NUC) Statistical Digest. The data were analyzed using descriptive and econometric techniques. The results showed that employment problem was much higher for secondary school leavers (25.3%) than tertiary institution graduates (6.5%). However, a majority of the respondents across levels of education; secondary school students (79%), tertiary students (63%), corps members (67%) and postgraduate students (87%) showed much optimism in terms of job expectations. Their mean income expectation of N67,000.00 per month was also observed to be generally higher than what is obtainable in the labour market for fresh graduates at present. The trend however showed a downward adjustment as the level of education increased. The demand for higher education was found not to be associated with government subsidy (x2 = 4.06 for secondary school, 1.19 for tertiary institution and 6.13 for youth corps, p < 0.05). Similarly, age (x2 = 4.53 for secondary school, 0.05 for tertiary institution and 0.31 for youth corps respondents, p < 0.05) and father's occupation (x2 = 11.07 for secondary school, 2.45 for tertiary institution, and 6.10 for youth corps; p < 0.05) were not respectively significant determinants of higher education in the study area. However, mother's occupation significantly influenced demand for higher education among the tertiary institution respondents (x2=15.41; p, < 0.05), while it was insignificant for secondary school respondents (x2 = 10.30; p<0.5) and youth corps members (x2=5.85; p<0.05). The perception of employment opportunity also influenced the demand for higher education for tertiary institution students (x2 = 8.61, p< 0.05) and for youth corps members (x2 = 13.30, p < 0.05). The logistic regression results showed also that only the perception of employment opportunity in the labour market significantly influenced the demand for higher education at 5% level of significance. The study concluded that labour market expectation was high in Osun State and such expectation was responsible for increased demand for higher education in the state.