Volume 7

Volume 7, Number 1

March 2, 2009

20 pages1112 K bytes

Factors Influencing Females Whether to Become Computer Information Systems Majors

D. Scott Hunsinger
Appalachian State University
Boone, NC 28608 USA

Ashley E. Holt
Appalachian State University
Boone, NC 28608 USA

Michael B. Knight
University of Wisconsin - Green Bay
Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA

Abstract: Many U.S. universities have recently encountered decreases in computer-related majors, including Computer Information Systems (CIS), even though there is a shortage of skilled IS professionals. A disproportionate number of females choose to major in CIS. Previous research has cited various reasons why females may not choose computer-related majors. We began our study by using structured interviews to better understand why College of Business students at our university choose to major (or not major) in CIS. Based upon the interview findings, we then created and administered an online survey to 100 students at three U.S. universities to capture quantitative data for analysis. We based this survey upon the theory of planned behavior. This theory has been used in previous research to determine why people intend to behave in a certain manner. Even though students indicated that certain groups of importance to them (such as parents and professors) influence their actions, these referent groups strongly believe that students should NOT major or double-major in CIS. The interviews and surveys also indicated that students lack knowledge about the CIS major and believe that it is a difficult major. Future researchers and stakeholders can use our study’s results to focus on the most influential factors that encourage or discourage females to enter the CIS major.

Keywords: females, IS worker shortage, computer information systems, IS majors, women

Download this issue:   ISEDJ.7(1).Hunsinger.pdf   (Adobe PDF, 20 pages, 1112 K bytes)

Preview the contents:   Hunsinger.j.txt   (ASCII txt, 39 K bytes)

Recommended Citation: Hunsinger, Holt, and Knight (2009). Factors Influencing Females Whether to Become Computer Information Systems Majors. Information Systems Education Journal, 7 (1). http://isedj.org/7/1/. ISSN: 1545-679X. (A preliminary version appears in The Proceedings of ISECON 2007: §2712. ISSN: 1542-7382.)