Combating the decline in information systems majors: The role of instrumental assistance

Asli Yagmur Akbulut, Clayton Arlen Looney, Jaideep Motwani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


The sharp decline in the number of students pursuing information systems (IS) degrees is a source of great concern not only for academic institutions offering IS degrees, but also for companies in need of hiring qualified professionals. In response, university educators are searching for mechanisms to generate larger pools of IS graduates. This study focuses on one such mechanism, instrumental assistance, to promote student choice of IS as a primary field of study. Using Social Cognitive Career Theory as a guiding framework, instrumental assistance is found to boost student confidence (i.e., self-efficacy) and expectations of valued rewards (i.e., outcome expectations). In turn, self-efficacy and outcome expectations elevate student interest, which ultimately influences students' aspirations to choose IS as a major. The study provides important insights into how a particular intervention strategy can be implemented to attract more students to the IS field.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)84-93
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Computer Information Systems
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2008


  • Decline
  • Enrollments
  • Information systems education
  • Instrumental assistance
  • Social cognitive career theory


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