Research Output

Young people’s perceptions of computing careers.

  Recruitment into computing-related undergraduate degree courses is challenging in several countries. This is despite employers reporting skills shortages, and the sector generally offering better salaries than for graduates of more popular courses. This paper describes a study (n=111) of the interest of 16 and 17 year olds in taking Computing-related degrees, particularly those that lead to user experience (UX) careers, where there is both a local and global skills shortage. The picture that emerges is of surprisingly pronounced and entrenched attitudes, which are worthy of a more detailed study. Only one of eight typical computing job roles (Tester) was familiar while the term UX was almost unknown. The females in this study expressed antipathy even towards finding out about computing careers. An unexpected additional finding is the commonplace, and apparently inappropriate, use of Myers-Briggs-style questionnaires in offering careers advice on computing to local school children. This paper will be of interest to those who seek to progress professionalism in the field of computing and to recruit (particularly female) school leavers into computing degrees.

  • Publication Status:


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  • Library of Congress:

    LB2300 Higher Education

  • Dewey Decimal Classification:

    378 Higher education


McEwan, T. & McConnell, A. (2012). Young people’s perceptions of computing careers. In Frontiers in Education Conference, 2013 IEEE, 1597-1603. doi:10.1109/FIE.2013.6685108. ISBN 978-1-4673-5261-1



Computing; gender; computing careers;

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