Perceptions of ICT Careers in German Schools: An Exploratory Study
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This paper reports on an exploratory investigation of the perceptions of information and communication technology (ICT) as a field of study and work in German secondary schools. A total of 160 students from five secondary schools in Lower Saxony participated in the study in February 2007, and four teachers of the students were interviewed. The investigation is part of the research carried out by the authors within the Griffith University Women in Information Technology (WinIT) project, which has been studying the problem of low female participation since 1995. In this paper we discuss German school students' (male and female) and their teachers' views of ICT, its use at school and home, their influences in using technology, and their ideas about working with technology in the future. We drew on the challenges faced and opportunities available to teachers in the study to put this in context. We found that many senior secondary students have not decided what they want to do when they finish school, suggesting that the environment is ripe for them to receive relevant and useful information that may help them to choose to study tertiary ICT courses. By dispelling negative ICT perceptions and allowing students to make an informed choice as to whether to take up a career in ICT, we can hopefully encourage more students into this ever-growing and exciting industry.
Journal of Information Technology Education
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