Volume 6

Volume 6, Number 62

December 22, 2008

14 pages675 K bytes

Women Students’ Confidence in Information Technology Content Areas

Julia Colyar
University at Buffalo, The State University of New York
Buffalo, NY 14260-1000 USA

Belle S. Woodward
Southern Illinois University
Carbondale, IL 62901 USA

Abstract: This paper reports on a survey administered to 105 students in information technology majors at a large, public Midwestern university. The survey was designed to address students’ levels of self-confidence in IT-related content areas. In addition, the survey was intended to explore gender differences in IT student support needs. The study found that male and female students reported similar levels of confidence in mathematics. However, male students reported higher levels of self-confidence than female students in all IT-specific content areas. A regression analysis showed a correlation between gender and confidence in programming, networks, and cryptography. No differences were found in student support needs based on gender. This exploratory research supports some previous studies in this area, but provides additional information regarding the specific content areas in which women students need support. Unlike previous research, this survey showed no difference in math confidence based on gender. However, these findings indicate that women students may require additional support in other areas. This research is limited in terms of its generalizability; instead, it suggests areas for further research.

Keywords: Information technology, women students, academic self-confidence

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Recommended Citation: Colyar and Woodward (2008). Women Students’ Confidence in Information Technology Content Areas. Information Systems Education Journal, 6 (62). http://isedj.org/6/62/. ISSN: 1545-679X. (A preliminary version appears in The Proceedings of ISECON 2007: §4124. ISSN: 1542-7382.)