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ERIC Number: EJ807711
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 59
ISSN: ISSN-1547-9714
Factors that Influence Information Systems Undergraduates to Pursue IT Certification
Hunsinger, D. Scott; Smith, Michael A.
Journal of Information Technology Education, v7 p255-273 2008
We identify factors that influence the intent of undergraduate information systems majors to pursue IT certification. Previous research has revealed that IT/IS hiring managers may use certification as a job requirement or to differentiate between job candidates with similar levels of education and experience. As well, salary surveys have shown that certified employees often make more money and bonuses than non-certified workers. If teachers and trainers wanted better to influence students' decisions about IT certification when the job market signals that being certified gives an applicant an advantage in being hired, where would they begin? We used interview and survey data and a well-known theory, the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB), to identify the factors that influence students' intentions to earn an IT certification. The TPB proposes that three constructs, 1) Attitude, 2) Subjective Norms, and 3) Perceived Behavioral Control, are significant in predicting Behavioral Intention, which in turn predicts behavior. Recent research suggests that Attitude can be predicted using two more constructs: Affect (emotion) and Cognition (outcome beliefs). We conducted interviews with undergraduates to identify outcome beliefs. We also identified referent groups for Subjective Norms and Self-Efficacy beliefs for measuring Perceived Behavioral Control. We used measures validated in other studies to measure Behavioral Intention, Attitude, and Affect. We targeted accessible undergraduate information systems students at two universities in the Southeastern US. Two hundred fifty-two (252) students were asked to participate in the study; 120 students completed our Web-based survey, a response rate of 47.6%. We used hierarchical multiple regression to analyze the survey responses. In the first hierarchical regression analysis, all three TPB constructs were significant in predicting Behavioral Intention. However, Attitude was far more influential than either Subjective Norms or Perceived Behavioral Control. In the second analysis, we found that Affect influenced Attitude far more than did Cognition. The adjusted R[superscript 2] of the model was 0.513. Responses to the on-line questionnaire reflect a consistently positive view of the outcomes of pursuing IT certification. However, about 1/3 of respondents rated their reactions to statements asking them whether they believe IT managers and hiring managers think they should pursue an IT certification as "neutral". This was surprising given that these managers are ultimately responsible for delivering the benefits of IT certification to employees. As well, little more than half the respondents indicated that they had the money and resources to pursue IT certification. Student comments suggested that lack of time was an important impediment for them, an item that did not emerge from our initial interviews. Students also suggested that teachers provide more information about IT certification to students so they are better informed for the job market after graduation. (Contains 2 figures and 9 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A