Anchoring Female Millennial Students in an IT Career Path: The CLASS Anchor Model

Pam Rowland, Dakota State University
Cherie Noteboom, Dakota State University


Goals and desires are strong incentives for careers and life choices. When goals and desires are not met, change often occurs. Women are leaving the IT profession two times faster than men and often within the first twelve years of employment. Women are also underrepresented in the IT profession with only 25 percent of the current jobs being held by women. This study examines how organizations can retain females in IT professions through motivational anchors. While there are research studies that have investigated the gender gap, there is a need to investigate female millennial students’ relationship to IT through their motivational goals and desires, and how their perceptions fit with anchoring them to an IT career path. This study addresses the demographic influences on millennial female students as they prepare to enter the workforce. Following an analysis of qualitative data, collected in a Midwestern University using surveys, this study examines the perceptions of female students who are seeking an IT career path. The CLASS (Competencies, Life System, Accomplishment, Service, and Security) Anchor model informs how female students’ motivations affect the pursuit of an IT education and career.