Home / News / ISU Research Explores Connection Between Autism, IT Careers – Peoria Public Radio

ISU Research Explores Connection Between Autism, IT Careers – Peoria Public Radio

It’s no secret that increasingly youngsters are being recognized with autism. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says about 1 in 68 children has autism spectrum disorder. That jumps to 1 in 42 for boys—virtually 5 occasions extra widespread than in women.

What occurs when all these youngsters develop up, go to school, and attempt to begin their careers? That query is on the core of analysis being carried out by Ronnie and Heather Jia, two Illinois State University professors with their very own particular connection to autism.

Ronnie Jia’s analysis explores the potential connection between autism and the IT area. Jia, an affiliate professor in ISU’s School of Information Technology, has all the time been interested by why somebody chooses an IT profession versus one thing within the humanities or social sciences.

One purpose, Jia suspects, could also be an individual’s autistic tendencies. Past analysis has established autistic traits are instantly related to overengagement with objects and orderly methods, mixed with a scarcity of curiosity in different individuals and social interactions. For an autistic individual, that might make IT a logical profession selection, filed with rule-based mostly code and computer systems, and plenty of solitary work.

“The linkage between IT and autism has long been called an open secret in the IT industry,” stated Jia, whose analysis was featured within the September difficulty of ISU’s research magazine Redbird Scholar.

Jia stated preliminary outcomes from a survey of over 200 college students have proven robust help for his hypotheses. He’s getting ready a manuscript and expects to submit it for peer assessment this fall.

The objective, Jia stated, is to stimulate curiosity and dialogue within the topic amongst college students, IT professionals, and even those that depend on IT professionals.

“These geek tendencies, this stereotypical ‘IT guy’ image, are really autism-related personality traits that some IT workers exhibit,” Jia stated. “The difference is just the degree of severity.”

Autism In The Family

Ronnie and Heather Jia’s curiosity within the dysfunction was sparked by their very own younger daughter’s autism analysis. They need to determine autistic individuals’s distinctive strengths and the way they will higher match into careers.

“We have devoted much of our time to understanding and researching the condition,” Ronnie Jia stated.

The first wave of youngsters with this autism analysis are proper round school age and are getting into the workforce now, stated Heather Jia, affiliate professor in ISU’s Department of Management and Quantitative Methods. Ninety % of autistic staff are underemployed or unemployed, she stated.

TV exhibits and films like “The Big Bang Theory” and “The Accountant” have prominently featured autistic fundamental characters, resulting in an evolution in social norms inside organizations, Jia stated.

“The impetus for organizations to embrace inclusion and diversity has never been higher,” she stated.

Now is the time, she stated, for employers to use these new understandings to the workforce. If you’re hiring for a place which will draw autistic candidates, a job interview based mostly extra on work samples or trial runs could also be extra revealing that a conventional interview based mostly on social cues, she stated. College profession facilities may also take a extra lively position in figuring out alternatives for autistic staff, she added.

“It’s important to recognize that this is not a charity,” Heather Jia stated. “Autistic individuals outperform non-autistic individuals in many of these types of jobs. We as a society just need to take the challenge to help and guide these folks to find the best fit for them.”

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