Only one-fifth of girls want to study IT

Girls are often discouraged by low self-confidence, fear of studies being difficult, and lack of information about a career in this field.

Some organisations support girls who want to study IT.Some organisations support girls who want to study IT. (Source: TASR)

Only every fifth girl in Slovakia is considering the study of some IT specialisation.

The recent survey carried out by the Institute for Public Affairs (IVO) suggests that 21 percent of girls, aged 14-17 years, are considering studying informatics or a similar specialisation, while another 22 percent can imagine their future in IT.

However, only 3 percent of girls are certain about studying informatics, the TASR newswire reported.

“The problem is that the decision rate to study and then find a job in the field is still relatively low,” said Marián Velšic, the author of the project and IVO analyst, as quoted by TASR.

Discouraged in primary schools

Girls are often discouraged by low self-confidence, fear of studies being difficult, and the lack of information about a career in this field, Velšic added.

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The problem with low “informatics” self-confidence starts in primary and secondary schools, said Petra Kotuliaková, head of the Aj Ty v IT (You in IT Too) organization, which supports girls and women in the IT sector.

“When boys come to informatics lessons, they have several quick habits and tics,” Kotuliaková said, as quoted by TASR. “When they receive an assignment, they solve it slightly quicker than girls. However, this does not mean there is a difference in their knowledge.”

This creates a block in girls since it takes them longer to solve the assignment. This block then impacts their decision not to study IT, Kotuliaková added.

Slovakia at the bottom

Only 18 percent of girls are still considering studying IT, the IVO survey suggests. Apart from the rumour that this specialisation is hard and they will not understand it, they are discouraged by the lack of information about successful women in IT and discouragement from parents.

Related articleWhy should companies and NGOs help schools? Read more 

On the other hand, the possibility that girls will decide to study IT is increased by great results in school, relatively good digital skills and a positive relationship to informatics, said Velšic.

There are other motivating factors, such as the interest in and attractiveness of IT, relevant information about studies and informatics self-confidence.

Regarding the gender of IT specialists, Slovakia is nearly at the bottom in the EU.

“In Slovakia, the share of men in the sector is 88 percent, while the share of women is only 18 percent,” Velšic said, as quoted by TASR. “The digital gap is huge, but this problem is faced across the EU.”

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