Inclination of scholars to major in information systems or computer science

Seymour, Lisa (2005)

This paper describes a survey of 497 final year scholars at schools in the Western Cape, South Africa. They were asked about their inclination to study information systems (IS) or computer science (CS), their knowledge of the areas, and their opinions of salaries and job opportunities. Unlike much past research, significantly more interest came from those previously ‘deprived’ in the IT area. Those from schools previously disadvantaged by the apartheid school system and without access to computer or Internet access at home were more inclined to study CS or IS. These categories also expressed most optimism about IT job prospects and starting salaries, as did female scholars. Perceptions of the activities of IS students were far less accurate than of CS students. Males were more predisposed to study IS than females, and black students and those without school computer access favoured CS. Possible reasons for this are discussed.