Women and racial minorities are underrepresented in IT careers. One reason for this is that women and racial minorities choose to major in IT subjects in college at a lower rate than overrepresented groups in IT careers do. Thus, it is important to better understand how high school students make decisions about whether to major in IT subjects in college. We report on a racially diverse, nationwide sample of college-bound high school seniors and their intentions to major in IT subjects in college. Using expectancy-value theory, we add the construct of outside opportunities (i.e., how many options one has for a major) with cumulative high school GPA as a proxy. We find that higher GPAs actually tend to increase the intention to major in IT for several underrepresented groups but decrease the intention to major in IT for some overrepresented groups. Policy implications include including IT training in high schools.
Harmon, Kevin and Walden, Eric A., "The Determinants of Women and Racial Minority High School Students’ Willingness to Pursue an IT Major" (2021). AISWN International Research Workshop on Women, IS and Grand Challenges 2021. 2.