ECIS 2020 Research Papers


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The shortage of IT specialists calls for the entry of more young workers into the IT profession. However, little is known about young IT professionals in their early career stages. Our study, therefore, aims for a better understanding of career decisions of young IT professionals by looking at (1) patterns in contemporary IT careers, (2) the influence of career anchors in early IT career stages, and (3) the compensation of young IT professionals. We studied the career decisions of 243 IT professionals in the US, born between 1980 and 1985. The results illustrate the boundaryless IT profession and show that persistence in IT careers is related to the choice of the first job. Furthermore, whereas there was no evidence for the attractiveness of high-tech industries and small companies, IT graduates filled significantly more jobs that help evolve technological competence and were more willing to move for their first jobs. Finally, while individuals who started in IT did not have higher salaries compared to those starting in other sectors, persistence in IT was financially rewarded in the long-term. Our study provides an improved understanding of the career decisions of young IT professionals and thus helps to acquire and retain talent.



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