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Experiential factors which influence how female students perceive computing and computing careers at different stages in their education

Pau, Reena (2009) Experiential factors which influence how female students perceive computing and computing careers at different stages in their education University of Southampton, School of Electronics and Computer Science, Doctoral Thesis , 273pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)


The declining numbers of women in computing is a cause for concern for those in education and the IT industry alike. The need for a diverse workforce is necessary in order to have a creative balance in the IT Industry. The reasons for this decline are varied and can be attributed to factors such as the media, schooling or parental influences. This thesis specifically investigates how young people experience computers both in school and out of school, and how this influences the way in which they perceive the IT industry as well as its impact on career decisions.

Questionnaires were used to provide statistical outcomes, and interviews were conducted to probe deeper into the thoughts and feelings of GCSE level, A-level and degree-level male and female participants.

It was clear from the results of the study that both male and female students have very different experiences of computing, which inform their perceptions of the IT industry, whilst role models, such as parents, influence career decisions. It was clear that where female students had a positive and exploratory experience of computers and positive role models, they were more likely to consider computing as a career. It was also significant that out of school experiences, which differed between the genders, proved to be the most influential.

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Submitted date: December 2009
Organisations: University of Southampton


Local EPrints ID: 159613
PURE UUID: ca70f07c-1018-4a2f-845a-f0730d8ba8d8
ORCID for Wendy Hall: ORCID iD
ORCID for Susan White: ORCID iD

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Date deposited: 16 Jul 2010 11:45
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 12:37

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Author: Reena Pau
Thesis advisor: Wendy Hall ORCID iD
Thesis advisor: Susan White ORCID iD

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