This book presents a gendered analysis of factors that shape adolescent attitudes to Information Technology (IT) at key stages in their education. Results of interviews with students in junior, middle and senior secondary-schools in Australia are presented alongside those from students studying IT at two universities. The study found that many young women and men, while being almost equal in IT use and computer literacy, do not consider IT as a valid and independent discipline for future study or as a career. It found a surprising proportion of the university students interviewed currently studying IT, did not consider this degree as their first choice and were often not convinced that they would continue in the career after graduation. This study concluded that while IT is a varied discipline that is unique in its many applications, to many students the discipline is predominately aligned to hardware and associated objects and that there is a deficit in student knowledge of what an IT career involves beyond that of the most stereotypical portrayal of a programmer, and that this deficit of knowledge is evident in both genders.
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