Black men are heavy users of mobile technology but very few Black men pursue careers in the field. Researchers at Pennsylvania State University are investigating factors that propel Black men who do follow a career path in information technology to make that choice.
Lynette Kvasny, an associate professor of information sciences and technology, and Eileen Trauth, a professor of information sciences and technology at Penn State, received a grant from the National Science Foundation to conduct a study on why Black men choose to study in the information technology area. The researchers will interview Black men who are studying in IT disciplines at Penn State, Washington State University, and several HBCUs to determine “the experiences that put them on their trajectory towards information technology.”
Dr. Kvasny, who is a graduate of Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry, New York, and holds master’s and Ph.D. degrees in computer information systems from Georgia State University, states, “There’s so much technology in their world, but why do so few Black men make a connection between being a user of technology and making a career out of it?”
The researchers hope that their study will lead to an online support community for Black men in IT fields. “We’re trying to get Black males to think outside of the norms of what society holds for them,” Dr. Kvasny says.