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Strategies To Attract Information Technology Students: An Extrapolation Of Worker Experiences

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

IS and IT Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.1121.1 - 9.1121.17

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Paper Authors

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Thomas Cullinane

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Baris Yanmaz

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Ronald Perry

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session Number 2558

Strategies to Attract Information Technology Students: An Extrapolation of Worker Experiences

Thomas P. Cullinane, Professor, Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Ronald F. Perry, Director, Graduate Information Systems Program Baris Yanmaz, Graduate Student

Northeastern University Boston, Massachusetts


The predicted dramatic increase in demand for IT workers in the next decade suggests an opportunity for IT educators to establish plans to ramp up to meet these needs. The purpose of this paper is to help educators understand factors that are important to IT workers and that can be influenced by the educational process. The work reported here is part of an NSF grant that ex- plored current IT worker experiences and motivations. Data for the study was collected using a forty-four-item questionnaire sent to currently employed IT workers in the Boston area. Stepwise multiple linear regression was used to relate certain outcome variables to attributes and opinions of the respondents as represented by question item responses. Relationships have been discov- ered that will help educators craft academic programs and identify potentially successful students in IT. For example, the analysis indicates questionnaire items associated with the challenge pre- sented by an IT profession and family educational backgrounds in technical areas are important outcome predictors, while gender and age are less important.


The availability of an increasing supply of highly skilled information technology (IT) professionals is essential if the United States is to maintain international economic competitive- ness in the near term and in the future. Given today’s level of unemployment it may seem that there is a surplus of IT workers, however when we look at the long term “big picture” recent studies indicate that there will be an overall shortage of qualified technical professionals and that the trends predicted are discouraging. For example, the state of Massachusetts has an on going forecasting process that projects the need for IT workers to grow to 146,000 by 2008, a 90% in- crease over 1998 figures 1. National figures also predict an increased need for workers in the IT field. Most studies show that the greatest need is for people who constitute the researchers, crea- tors and designers of the new and advancing technologies.

Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2004, American Society for Engineering Education

Cullinane, T., & Yanmaz, B., & Perry, R. (2004, June), Strategies To Attract Information Technology Students: An Extrapolation Of Worker Experiences Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah.

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