Abstract—The demand for IT skills and knowledge has
increased worldwide, but nevertheless there is a shortage of
programmers and other IT workers. To ensure the
sustainability of the field it is necessary to change current IT
educational practices and identify areas for improvement. This
study, conducted in Estonia, focused on three aspects: IT
students’ source of interest in IT, their motivation to continue
higher education IT studies and their motivation to graduate. A
large-scale survey (n=1374) involving most Estonian IT students
in higher education was conducted. The results showed that
sparking an interest in IT can already start at the general
education level, where a more systematic approach is needed to
introduce programming. In-service training and retraining for
informatics teachers seems to be a solution. At the level of higher
education, the primary factor influencing students’ choice of
curriculum was their interest in IT. In order to retain IT
students, a solution offering students the chance to combine
work and studies is needed. Work-related factors are the main
predictors of students’ dropout probability, while cognitive
ability and motivation have a weaker effect. Based on this study
in Estonia, some internationally applicable recommendations
are made to different stakeholders.
Index Terms—Academic performance, IT education, study motivation, work experience, dropout.
The authors are with the University of Tartu, Ü likooli 18, Tartu 50090, Estonia (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com).
Cite: M. Pedaste, K. Kori, E. Tõnisson, T. Palts, H. Altin, and R. Rantsus, "What Happens to IT Education? The Case in Estonia with Some Recommendations for International Discussion," International Journal of Information and Education Technology vol. 7, no. 3, pp. 204-211, 2017.