Examining Female Students' Motivation and Preferences for Course Choices in an Undergraduate ICT Program in a Californian University
Keywords: Women, ICT, Preferences
AbstractThis paper reports on a study of female students’ motivations and preferences for course and career choices in an Information Communications and Technology (ICT) undergraduate program. Descriptive-interpretive phenomenology was adopted to investigate the phenomenon. Bandura’s self-efficacy framework was influential in interpreting participants’ motivation toward course choices and preferences. Findings revealed intrinsic and extrinsic motivation as significant influences on participants’ decisions to go into either technical or design majors of the ICT field. Extrinsic motivation came from influences such as stereotyping of gender abilities, prior computing skills, and role models while intrinsic motivation was based on individuals’ career interests and self-efficacy in specific sectors. Findings reflected that the majority of female participants preferred the design track within the ICT career field (web design, computer animation, and instructional design), with interest in self-employment. A very small number of female participants enrolled in the technical track involving computer programming, networking, and database administration, indicating female students’ preference for the design aspects of ICT.
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