Journal of Information Systems Education


Information Systems education has been concerned with student recruitment and diversity. We asked 123 students in an introductory course why they had chosen the Information Technology field. The course provided an opportunity to inquire the motivation of a diverse set of students as the course is open to anyone. We wanted to learn about our students’ backgrounds and whether the answers would differ based on age or gender. The most important themes we found were “interest,” “IT identity,” “potential of the field,” “study opportunities,” “people,” and “desire for change.” We found differences between age and gender groups that can inform inclusion efforts. People referred to recent experiences in their motivation and influences varied in different life stages. Particularly women seemed to develop interest in IT later in life. Our findings point to the significance of having the opportunity to study and the potential of the field, and the problematic online information about the field. Our findings can inform recruitment efforts and highlight potential of different groups of people that may have been overlooked so far.



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