IJIET 2017 Vol.7(3): 204-211 ISSN: 2010-3689
doi: 10.18178/ijiet.2017.7.3.867

What Happens to IT Education? The Case in Estonia with Some Recommendations for International Discussion

M. Pedaste, K. Kori, E. Tõnisson, T. Palts, H. Altin, and R. Rantsus

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: margus.pedaste@ut.ee, kulli.kori@ut.ee, eno.tonisson@ut.ee, tauno.palts@ut.ee, heilo.altin@ut.ee, ramon.rantsus@ut.ee).

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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.

General Information

  • ISSN: 2010-3689 (Online)
  • Abbreviated Title: Int. J. Inf. Educ. Technol.
  • Frequency: Monthly
  • DOI: 10.18178/IJIET
  • Editor-in-Chief: Prof. Dr. Steve Thatcher
  • Executive Editor: Ms. Nancy Y. Liu
  • Abstracting/ Indexing: Scopus (Since 2019), EI(INSPEC, IET), EBSCO, Electronic Journals Library, Google Scholar, Crossref, etc.
  • E-mail: ijiet@ejournal.net