Girls Don't Feel Left Out--They're Opting Out of IT - InformationWeek

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Girls Don't Feel Left Out--They're Opting Out of IT

A recent study by the American Association of University WomenEducational Foundation determined that girls consider IT careers uninspiring, computer programming tedious and dull, and video games redundant and violent. Oh, dear.

"There's valid concern about what will happen in 10 to 20 years-- these ideas exacerbate the IT labor shortage," says Pamela Haag, the association's director of research. "Here we are importing workers, and we have this untapped pool of talent, simply because they have outdated ideas about IT jobs."

The study concluded that women receive less than 28% of the nation's computer-science bachelor's degrees, and that number is dropping over time. Women account for only 9% of engineering- related bachelor's degrees, and roughly 20% of the IT workforce are women.

"They aren't concerned or scared of technology," Haag adds. Girls have no problem using technology, such as E-mail and the Internet, they just have no desire to create or design technology." They perceive those jobs as anti-social and solitary, and that's nothing positive to lure them into that career field."

Included in the study were ideas for changing girls' perceptions: train teachers to be tech-savvy and educate girls early on to be designers and producers instead of just users and create gender- neutral software.

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