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Factors that Influence Women and Men to Enroll in IT Majors

Factors that Influence Women and Men to Enroll in IT Majors
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Author(s): Claire R. McInerney (Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, USA)
Copyright: 2006
Pages: 8
Source title: Encyclopedia of Gender and Information Technology
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Eileen M. Trauth (Pennsylvania State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-815-4.ch045

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Abstract

Because of the ubiquitous nature of information technology, there is a continuous need for IT professionals. There has been a steady growth in the information technology industry as well as an increase in the use of information technology. However, the number of qualified technology workers has not kept up with the demand for technology-skilled labor. One reason for the workforce shortage is that women are underrepresented. Not only are there many fewer women in the IT workforce, but there are fewer women entering and graduating from traditional technology-related academic programs like computer science (CS), computer engineering (CE), and systems science. In 1986, approximately 36% of the U.S. graduates in CS and CE were women; in 2004, 17% were women (Bryant & Irwin, 2001; Carver, 1999; Zweben, 2005). Of those earning doctoral degrees in 2004 only 18% were women (Zweben, 2005). Given that 51% of the total population is women, these statistics give a vivid explanation of why there is a shortage of IT workers.

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