The career choice model of Adya and Kaiser posits the availability of technology resources as a
structural element impacting on career choice. The model distinguishes between accessibility at
school and at home. Based on this theoretical point of departure and by arguing a link between
choice of major and choice of fi eld of career, this paper explores specifi cally the infl uence of the
access of internet at school and at home on perceptions and values pertaining to the career South
African students are preparing for. This exploratory study investigates whether any differences
can be found between students who selected computing majors at tertiary level and students who
selected non-computing majors. Internet availability in South Africa is potentially interesting,
as it constitutes not simply an ‘available technology’, but may be an indicator of aspects such
as technology skills, information resources, educational quality and socio-economic conditions.
A quantitative study was conducted with 1741 students as participants from three different
departments in the School of IT at a university in South Africa. Students participated in a survey
early in the academic year.
The fi ndings show that lack of internet access homogenises students’ career perceptions across
the groups of majors. However, where students have internet access the views on career choices
differ considerably between computing-majors and non-computing majors particularly in terms
of views on the nature of work opportunities and of personal qualities of IT people. Also, a
pronounced difference emerges in the perceptions of non-computing majors with and without
internet access centering around views about the importance of sources of career information
and around self-effi cacy in the chosen career. Most importantly, the computing majors group is
fairly homogeneous in terms of their perceptions regarding computer-related careers regardless
of internet access.
Since similarities shared by these students evidently cannot be ascribed to internet access or even
to the socio-economic and educational factors that make internet access possible, this research
indicates that the infl uence of the internet on perceptions of career and consequently on career
choice is complex with more diverse linkages to psychosocial factors than posited by the model
of Adya and Kaiser.