Global Advanced Research Journal of Educational Research and Reviews (GARJERR) ISSN: 2315-5132

November 2012 Vol. 1(9), pp. 202-210

Copyright © 2012 Global Advanced Research Journals

 

Full Length Research Paper

An assessment of factors that affect choice of IT degree at undergraduate level: a case of Zimbabwe

Musiyandaka Donna and Chagwiza Godfrey*

Chinhoyi University of Technology, Bag 7724, Chinhoyi, Zimbabwe

Corresponding author Email: chagwizag@gmail.com

Accepted 19 November, 2012

Abstract

The study seeks to establish critical stages in degree choice through the exploration of factors related to an IT degree choice in a low developing country context, in order to carve effective strategies to ensure industry-ready entrepreneurial graduates suited to the local context. The study sample was 216 introductory IT students across 6 state universities.  Structured questionnaires were administered to the sample to establish the major motives and the extent to which the following factors impact on a student’s choice to study IT: access to computers at school, access to computers at home, activities of exposure to computers, parents, gender, type of school (rural/urban) and influential people such as parents, teachers, siblings. Results shows that the most predominant motive for choosing an IT degree are self-interest ( 68.57%), followed by job market prospects (19.04%), university imposing the degree (8.57%) and other/no particular reason (3.80%). Whilst the majority (61.9%) of respondents made the choice of degree by themselves, unstandardized coefficient analysis indicates that  if a person is exposed to computers at home, they are less likely to choose a computer degree (-0.328) whilst those exposed at school are more likely to do a computer degree (0.334). Exposure at home makes computers ordinary day-to-day tools whilst at school computers become new tools offering different career avenues. These results encourage the increased exposure to computers and the Internet by high schools in an effort to improve the quality, attitude and availability of trained IT professionals that can grow the local IT industry.

Keywords: Factors, IT, choice, undergraduate, Zimbabwe

 

 

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