Despite Job Opportunities, Too Few Women, Minorities in STEM


Statistics show that white males are significantly ahead of other demographics in computer science while computer science courses and majors.

Eric Schulzke of Deseret News writes that many students are majoring in English, History, and other humanities and too few are majoring in the sciences, especially computer science.

A study done by Georgia Tech found that Blacks, Hispanics and women lack significantly in computer science preparation. The study compared test takers of AP computer science exams to the general population.

Women make up half the population but hold 26% of STEM (Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) jobs. For Hispanics and Blacks, the percentage of STEM jobs held is about half of their respective portions of the general population.

STEM jobs pay better than most other jobs, and there are also more of these jobs available than qualified applicants, which should encourage all three groups to enter STEM fields.

 “California currently has more than 75,000 open computing jobs and only 4,324 computer science graduates on hand to take them, says Muhammed Chaudhry, CEO of the Silicon Valley Education Foundation, in Tech Crunch”

Chaudhry suggests that California require K-12 schools to offer computer science courses. Currently, 56% of California schools don’t offer any computer science courses at all. Only 13% offer Advanced Placement Computer Science.

“Currently, only 2 percent of students taking science or math AP exams ever take the computer science A exam, even though computing jobs account for 60 percent of all science- and math-related jobs”

By 2020, Chaudhry writes, if current trends continue, there will be 1 million computer programming jobs unfilled because there will only be “400,000 computer science graduates.”

Spokane Falls Community College in Washington has responded to this demand by offering a 4-year degree in applied science, writes David Wasson of the Spokesman Review.

“The expansion is part of a statewide effort to boost educational opportunities targeting high-demand fields and is designed primarily for students with technical backgrounds. The school’s new bachelor of applied science in information systems and technology is intended to prepare students for jobs in rapidly growing computer-related fields.”

The new degree is designed specifically to get students jobs out of college and to take advantage of the booming STEM job fields. The degree is meant to prepare students for jobs as network administrators, information security analysts, data specialists, and network support specialists.

The program will launch in the fall of 2015 and they are planning to enroll 20-25 students. The new program will need an additional computer lab and the hiring of two new faculty members.

02 22, 2015
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