University of Oulu

Vainionpää, F, Molin-Juustila, T., & Arhippainen, L. (2022). Understanding Interest in Studying IT – “Desire for Change” Among Adult Women. Journal of Information Systems Education, 33(1), 32-40.

Understanding interest in studying IT : “desire for change” among adult women

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Author: Vainionpää, Fanny1; Molin-Juustila, Tonja1; Arhippainen, Leena1
Organizations: 1Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering University of Oulu Oulu, FI-90014, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.7 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Information Systems and Computing Academic Professionals, 2022
Publish Date: 2023-02-08


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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Series: Journal of information systems education
ISSN: 1055-3096
ISSN-E: 2574-3872
ISSN-L: 1055-3096
Volume: 33
Issue: 1
Pages: 32 - 40
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 113 Computer and information sciences
Copyright information: © 2022 by the Information Systems & Computing Academic Professionals, Inc. (ISCAP). Permission to make digital or hard copies of all or part of this journal for personal or classroom use is granted without fee provided that copies are not made or distributed for profit or commercial use. All copies must bear this notice and full citation. Permission from the Editor is required to post to servers, redistribute to lists, or utilize in a for-profit or commercial use. Permission requests should be sent to the Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Information Systems Education,