High school seniors' computer self-efficacy and interest in computer science careers
Blouin, Janet Seeley
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There is a widespread concern that colleges are not graduating enough computer science majors. The job outlook through 2018 is extremely good for a wide variety of computer science careers. Throughout the past few years, the concerns have been that students do not see computer science as a good career choice because of the dot.com bust and because they believe many computer science jobs have been outsourced overseas. Several organizations have indicated that in order to interest more college students to major in computer science, students need more exposure to computer science earlier in their educational experience, in high school and middle school. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of gender and participation in computer science courses on high school seniors’ computer self-efficacy and interest in computer science careers. A total of 217 high school seniors, 18 years old or older, participated in the survey study. A series of t-tests revealed no statistically significant difference in gender and computer self-efficacy. The t-tests indicated a statistically significant difference in participation and computer self-efficacy, gender and interest, and participation and interest. The results of this survey study may be used to inform school personnel, as well as parents, of the effects of participation in Computer Science classes on a student’s interest in pursuing Computer Science careers. Schools may be able to create an environment where students have opportunities to participate in more Computer Science classes which may in turn lead to more students becoming interested in Computer Science careers. The results of this survey study may also be used to inform school personnel about gender differences, if any, with regard to computer self-efficacy and participation in Computer Science classes. The results may be used to adjust policies and provide resources for better marketing of programs in Computer Science.