The poor academic performances of Microbiology students in Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria and the increasing number of students transferring to the department prompted this study which determined the effects of the choice of Microbiology as career on the students’ academic performance. Eighty five students that consented, out of a total of 106 eligible students that were in 300 level and 400 level in the department were enrolled in the study. A Likert scale questionnaire and students’ cumulative grade point average (CGPA) results were used as measuring instrument. Correlation between the students CGPA scores and their career choices were determined using test statistic. The results showed that only 7 (8.2%) of the respondents applied to study Microbiology while 52 (61.0%) applied to study Medicine. About 29.4% of the students felt they were compelled to study Microbiology while 24.7% (21/85) of them had no knowledge of Microbiology before they were admitted. Students who applied for Microbiology and were admitted to study Microbiology had higher CGPA scores hence performed better academically than those who did not (correlation coefficient (¡) = 0.0125, α = 0.05). Similarly, the non-transferred students performed significantly (p = 0.000) better (mean score = 2.7134) compared to the transferred students (mean score = 1.8660). Thus, the choice of Microbiology as a career played an important role in the academic performances of the students. This result emphasizes the need for educational administrators, academic planners, and admission officers to carefully admit students according to their programme of choice and the need for teachers to emphasize the importance of Microbiology to create interest in the students.
Key words: Career choice, academic performance, Microbiology, students, university, Nigeria.
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