ERIC Number: EJ1063315
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jul
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
Why Don't More Students Major in IS?
Kuechler, William L.; McLeod, Alexander; Simkin, Mark G.
Decision Sciences Journal of Innovative Education, v7 n2 p463-488 Jul 2009
The large increases in the number of information systems (IS) majors about 10 years ago have been matched by equally large decreases in IS enrollments over the last few years. This article addresses the question of why students choose any major in general, and why students no longer choose to become an IS major in particular. We used a validated survey instrument and the responses from 163 students to examine this question in detail. Not surprisingly, we found that "genuine interest" in the subject was the most salient factor affecting the decision to major in IS. More surprising were what factors did not appear to influence this decision--for example, the promise of good job salaries, job security, the advice of others, or even the image of those who become IS professionals. Students seem aware that information technology employment opportunities exist; if job and salary issues contribute to choosing majors "other than IS," it is due to the perception of an unfavorable work/salary ratio for our field rather than one of job security or availability. That is, the amount of work to get an IS degree (the perception of harder-than-average courses) combined with (for many students) the perception of an undesirable amount of continuous training to keep an IS career just do not seem to balance with salary levels. These findings have important implications for the recruiting efforts of IS faculty seeking to attract more IS majors.
Descriptors: Majors (Students), College Students, Information Systems, Information Technology, Career Choice, Decision Making, Student Surveys, Student Interests, Salaries, Job Security, Influences, Barriers, Student Attitudes
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A