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Computer Science and Engineering Students Addressing Critical Issues Regarding Gender Differences in Computing: a Case Study

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Author(s): Evrikleia Tsagala | Maria Kordaki

Journal: Themes in Science and Technology Education
ISSN 1791-3721

Volume: 1;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 179;
Date: 2008;
Original page

ABSTRACT
This study focuses on how Computer Science and Engineering Students (CSESs) of both genders address certain critical issues for gender differences in the field of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE). This case study is based on research conducted on a sample of 99 Greek CSESs, 43 of which were women. More specifically, these students were asked to respond to a specially designed questionnaire addressing the following issues: a) essential motives in selecting CSE as a subject of study, their primary experience with computers and their family’s views regarding CSE as a career prospect, b) the relationship between gender, strengths and weaknesses in CSE and cooperation with fellow students of the opposite gender, c) the desirability of having both male and female University Professors in CSE, d) CSE courses and CSESschoice, and e) career issues. The analysis of the data shows that: a) gender inequality in CSE still exists at tertiary level, b) there is a number of students of both genders who feel interest and self confident in CSE, they believe in equality in competence of both genders in CSE and have dreams of a job with prospects as computer professionals, c) interest, self confidence in CSE are closely related to previous experience with computers and to the encouragement byfamily and school to learn about computers, and d) the general atmosphere and policy in CSE Departments play an essential role for women-students to feel as equals to their male counterparts.

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