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ERIC Number: EJ830517
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 33
ISSN: ISSN-1547-9714
Improving IS Student Enrollments: Understanding the Effects of IT Sophistication in Introductory IS Courses
Akbulut, Asli Yagmur; Looney, Clayton Arlen
Journal of Information Technology Education, v8 p87-100 2009
The Information Systems (IS) discipline is facing a sharp downturn in student enrollments. Despite the steady decline in students pursuing the IS major, the demand for information technology (IT) professionals continues to increase. These trends indicate that there might be a shortage of qualified IT employees in the near future. In order to overcome this dilemma, academicians have recently begun to look for mechanisms targeted at improving IS enrollments. This study investigates how such a mechanism--IT sophistication--influences students' aspirations to pursue an IS degree. More specifically, the study suggests that IT sophistication, self-efficacy, outcome expectations, and interests are expected to independently and cumulatively affect students' choice of IS as their major. The data utilized to investigate this issue was collected from students enrolled in introductory IS courses at two large public universities. A total of 151 usable responses were obtained. The results indicate that the degree to which students perceive the IT to be sophisticated affects their aspiration to major in IS. Specifically, utilizing state-of-the art technologies that reflect current industry practices not only enhances students' confidence in their ability to successfully perform as an IS major, but also elevates students' expectations that valued rewards will be received by majoring in IS. In turn, strong self-efficacy and outcome expectations foster student interest in the IS discipline. Moreover, it was found that IT sophistication does not directly affect student interest. Rather, the effects of IT sophistication on interests are channeled indirectly through self-efficacy and outcome expectations. Similarly, our results did not provide support for the direct effects of self-efficacy and outcome expectations on choice goals. In contrast, choice goals develop through strong interests, and finally, interest serves as the primary mechanism through which goals to choose the IS major emerge. Our findings suggest that deploying sophisticated IT in introductory IS classes can be used as a powerful lever to attract additional students the IS discipline. We encourage those who teach introductory IS courses to focus on state-of-the-art technologies that reflect current industry practices. Utilizing these technologies also has the potential to increase student success in the classroom, provide a richer and more engaging learning environment for students, and help students become more attractive to recruiters. Despite the knowledge gained herein, the study has certain limitations. The constructs in the research model represent a subset of the factors that could affect student choices. In order to develop a more comprehensive set of intervention strategies targeted at student recruitment, a wider range of factors should be considered. Also, future studies should utilize additional methods using complementary samples to identify the boundary conditions of our findings. (Contains 3 tables and 3 figures.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A