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ERIC Number: EJ1419740
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2024
Pages: 29
Abstractor: As Provided
EISSN: EISSN-1946-6226
You're Hired! A Phenomenographic Study of Undergraduate Students' Pathways to Job Attainment in Computing
Stephanie Jill Lunn; Ellen Zerbe; Monique Ross
ACM Transactions on Computing Education, v24 n1 Article 7 2024
Although there is a great demand for graduates in computing fields, companies frequently struggle to find enough workers. They may also grapple with obtaining racial, ethnic, and gender diversity in representation. It has been suggested that the hiring process further contributes to these inequities. This study examined undergraduate computing students' experiences with technical interviews and their pathways to job attainment, focusing on men and women who identify as Black or African American, Hispanic or Latinx, Asian, and mixed-race. We applied the community cultural wealth framework and employed the methodology of phenomenography to investigate the different assets that students leveraged to succeed in obtaining a position. Our investigation centered around the conceptions of sixteen computing students, all of whom completed at least one technical interview and received at least one job offer. We conducted semi-structured interviews to explore their interpretations of the hiring process, the resources they utilized, and their perceptions of inclusivity in the field. The findings illustrated that students' support mechanisms included the following categories of description: intrinsic characteristics, capitalizing on experience, community, preparation, and organizational. They relied heavily on distinct forms of capital, particularly social and navigational, to attain a job in computing. Peers and clubs or groups were essential for students to learn about what to expect during the hiring process, to help them prepare, and to make connections with employers. They also helped the students cope with the discrimination they faced throughout their professional trajectories. By investigating the various experiences students have, we contribute to the understanding of how hiring practices may be viewed as well as possible ways to provide support. While students must study for technical interviews and refine their skills and pertinacity in the face of obstacles, industry and academia should consider their role in hiring and its impact. Transparency in what to expect and enhanced preparation opportunities could serve to make the process more equitable for all job candidates.
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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
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A