‘But what if I want to be a ‘geek’’

With Beauty and the Geek looming upon tv’s later this week, I saw it fitting to address the impact societal stereo types have on student’s opportunity. Where negative connotations are often associated with terms such as ‘geek’ and such stereotypes are often associated with subjects such as Information Computer technology (ICT). Could such stereotypes really limit students from pursuing subjects and careers they desire? Apparently they can, and do already.

With jobs in IT related areas growing, it would be assumed that more students are grasping opportunities to engage with experience and learning on such topics, but studies have shown that students are not choosing subjects such as ICT due to the image it reflects on the student’s social status as it is seen as ‘’a boring subject, devoid of interesting applications and stimulating onto to ‘geeks’’’ (Graham 2003, p 322). Where rates have dropped by around 50% of students completing ICT for their HSC, even though jobs in the subject area are growing by 7%. This is more than likely due to the fact that those who do choose to engage are viewed by other peers as being ‘’socially inadequate and isolated individual a perception which has been found to cause many students to avoid coming into contact with information and communications technology (ICT)’’ (Schott 2000, p 291). This stigma, however, has shown to be incorrect as ‘’students who are highly oriented toward ICT are… no less sociable, popular, or self-assured than their non-ICT using peers’’ (Schott 2000, p 291). Also issues of young women refraining from choosing this male dominated subject reflect issues of social associations and of gender defining ones interest which evidently still exist today.

Therefore labels and stereotypes relating to student’s academic choices have shown to have an impact on student’s final decisions in choosing not to pursue subjects of interest and for some, careers of their dreams, due to...

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