whole_YoungJudithFay2000_thesis.pdf (24.92 MB)
The career paths of computer science and information systems major graduates
thesisposted on 2023-05-27, 14:54 authored by Young, Judith(Judith Fay)
This thesis examines the career movements of those graduating from the Department of Computer Science at the University of Tasmania, Hobart, between the years 1975 to 1995. Potentially, these graduates represent one of the key human resources as society moves into the 'Information Age'. In support of a primary stated focus in careers in the IS industry, this study was based on multiple sources of data collection. The main survey, the graduate career survey, was based on a retrospective, longitudinal approach and targetted two aspects of career experiences. The analogy of a curriculum vitae was used to gather details of the work histories of these graduates. A second aspect of career experiences surveyed focussed specifically on the initial post-graduation appointment. There is considerable evidence to support that this stage in a career can prove highly influential in future career decisions, and so represents an important component in career research. In relation to the graduate career survey, purposefully constructed analytic frameworks were applied to guide a structured analysis of the data for the two stated areas of career under examination. This approach provided a considerable insight into the career patterns of graduates through the application of different perspectives and levels of detail, to describe the practical employment experiences of graduates. It also revealed outcomes that have significant implications for IS career research in general. In particular, it has served to question the stereotypical image frequently attributed to IS personnel as being a highly mobile work force sector. The results of this research have also lead to the proposition that the work experiences of IS personnel should be seen as trajectories rather than rigidly defined paths. The 'Information Age' and the emergence of the protean career add support to this view. This thesis has made a number of important contributions both to theory and practice. Essentially, as foundation research it has established a basis to promote IS career research to work towards addressing the current dearth of IS career research. It has also questioned some of the long-standing, yet largely unsubstantiated, perceptions of IS personnel in general, and careers in the information industry. One important practical contribution of this research is that it has provided comprehensive feedback into the career experiences of graduates. Importantly, this represents a response to the recognised need, spanning nearly a decade, by both government and industry. These have all recommended that to address the chronic shortages of skilled IS personnel, such information is crucial to actively promote careers in the IS profession.
Rights statementCopyright 2000 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s). Thesis (Ph.D.(Info.Sys.))--University of Tasmania, 2000. Includes bibliographical references