Date of Conferral



Doctor of Information Technology (D.I.T.)




Judith Forbes


African American men experience impediments when entering the field of Information Technology (IT), which may portend the disappearance of this ethnic group from the technology-driven work force of the future. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to investigate the socioeconomic factors faced by African American men from their own viewpoints. With this goal in mind, three research questions were studied focusing on the availably of IT resources; the quality of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) based education; and existing hiring practices within the IT industry. The conceptual framework for this study was the critical theory perspective, which provided an understanding of real and perceived problems of African American men attempting to enter the field of IT. To facilitate the collection of data for this study, a Web questionnaire program was used. The data analysis process was a 3-phase coding method which included open, axial, and selective coding in order to identify emergent themes such as: racial discrimination, economic hardships, employment opportunity, interpretations from job seeking experiences, the effects of unfulfilled needs, and inadequate access to IT. The data analysis strategy used for this research was the homogeneous sampling method, which made it possible to choose a target population of African American men enrolled in the City Colleges of Chicago who have sought employment in the IT field. The findings from this study have implications for social change by illuminating the experiences of previously-underrepresented African American men in the IT industry.