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May 5, Staff Writers. Despite the high job demand, computer science remains a male-dominated field in the United States. In response, many top colleges are making efforts to recruit female computer science students, making it an ideal time for women to pursue computer science degrees. The computer science field has been trying to appeal more to female employees by moving toward longer maternity leave and better work-life balance for working moms.
However, efforts to attract women to tech-related careers need to begin in elementary school. Starting when computer technology first emerged during World War II and continuing into the s, women made up most of the computing workforce.
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Byhowever, women only ed for According to NPRpersonal computers were marketed almost exclusively to men and families were more likely to buy computers for boys than girls. Computers are now commonplace, especially in classrooms. According to the American Association of University Womenwe can reverse this trend by removing negative connotations around women in computer science. Educators and parents must work together to help girls maintain their confidence and curiosity in STEM subjects.
Professional women already in the field can become mentors, while men can help create a more inclusive workplace.
Explore programs of your interests with the high-quality standards and flexibility you need to take your career to the next level. Due to the marketing strategies of the last three decades, many women have developed misconceptions about computer science.
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While the notion of the geek coder is alive and well, many young women are unaware of the myriad jobs and opportunities available in tech. The University of California at Berkeley experienced a revolution in their introductory computer science classes after changing how they marketed the course. What used to be known as introduction to symbolic programming is now called the beauty and the joy of computing. As a result, in women outed men in the class for the very first time. Discrepancies in overall male-to-female pay rates have remained stalled for the last decade, and women are greatly underrepresented in computer science fields.
Increasing the inclusion of women is a sound business strategy. Though it is still commonplace to find boards and project teams without a female member, the integration of female perspectives will naturally lead to higher revenues and a better understanding of consumer marketplaces. In addition to the reasons mentioned above, many tech and computer science companies are at the forefront of progressive workplace policies. Some of the most innovative tech company benefits are included below. In a report by the New York City Economic Development Corporationresearchers found that women working in tech companies — particularly start-ups — are much more likely to have a healthy work-life balance.
Many tech companies support non-traditional work procedures, including videoconferencing and working from home. Furthermore, many of these companies offer flexible hours, allowing employees to work around their personal schedules to complete projects.
While the average length of maternity leave in America for salaried employees is six weeks, many technology companies provide substantial paid-leave policies for new parents. Some of the best examples of parental leave policies as included below. According to recent coverage from The Journaltwo-thirds of elementary-aged children indicate an interest in science; however, as they enter middle school, the percentage of interested girls falls dramatically.
By high school, many girls who ly took advanced scientific courses drop them.
The current state of women in computer science
Two-thirds of elementary-aged children indicate an interest in science; however, as they enter middle school, the percentage of interested girls falls dramatically. The above statistics are corroborated in an extended report from Florida Gulf Coast University and The University of Colorado, which theorizes reasons for the drop in female interest.
In secondary school, less emphasis is placed on developing computer science skills in girls compared to boys. As a result, women who study STEM-related topics in college often lag behind male counterparts.
Furthermore, female students lack role models, as most leaders in the field are men. Historically, scientific fields have catered to men. While the geek-programmer stereotype has become less popular, there is still a belief that STEM-related professions are narrow, impersonal, and unsuited for those who wish to work on a human level.
In reality, computer science careers touch every part of modern human life, and many computer science positions require interpersonal skills. Beginning in the mids, the of women studying computer science and similar fields fell into decline. Girls entering the field of computer science are likely to face more resistance than in subject areas more heavily populated by females. Adults can bolster their resolve by providing examples of strong, successful females thriving in their careers.
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Whether by creating a mentorship program at the secondary or postsecondary level, bringing in speakers, or using female leaders as case studies, educators and parents can instill confidence in girls who pursue careers in historically male-dominated fields. As discussed in the section, the of women in computer science and related degrees dropped sharply in the s in response to male-focused marketing for home computers. In the interim years, women have shifted to subjects typically classified under humanities or liberal arts, as explained by Forbes.
Rather than pure programming, its introductory computer science course has been reworked to focus on creative problem solving and opportunities within the field.
Some of the most innovative include:. Outside of the organizations mentioned above, there are a of other initiatives to engage girls in computer science. This organization hosts a computer science and technology competition in which middle school girls develop a project to solve a social problem, and includes a project mentor.
This global technology program emphasizes entrepreneurship. Girls in middle school, high school, or college can compete to create and launch a mobile app during a three-month curriculum. Students are matched with female mentors and get to present their apps to investors via YouTube. Finalists pitch their ideas in Silicon Valley.
This experiential summer camp created by the American Association of University Women is for middle school girls. This weeklong summer camp is deed to help girls see that STEM subjects can be fun and meaningful, starting at a young age. Since careers in these industries are not well publicized, students have preconceived notions about the type of work available to computer science graduates.
A great way to learn about computer science career options is through MOOCs, which are free, abbreviated online courses that provide introductory curriculum materials to students across the world. High schools often take advantage of these courses, especially in areas where there are few teachers available. Teachers hope that familiarizing high school students with computer science will encourage them to pursue it in postsecondary programs and careers.
The U. Many states have also created initiatives to engage local middle and high school girls. Some of these innovative programs are listed below. A report from the American Association of University women verified those s, noting that mentorship is an important tool for instilling confidence in girls pursuing STEM-related fields.
Below is a review of American colleges with the highest percentages of women computer science graduates and takes a deeper look at how their programs attract and retain female students. Parents, educators or students seeking mentorship programs for computer science education or careers can check out the following pioneering initiatives:. These school rankings are based off the latest data pulled from the Institute of Education Sciences regarding male and female graduates of computer science programs.
Only four-year programs were included in the list, and schools with fewer than 50 computer science graduates were removed.
We then compared graduation rates for female students in each program with national averages to determine program rankings. School Profile. FIT focuses on ensuring its students graduate with more than just a degree; they leave school with a portfolio that will impress future employers.
The school features undergraduate research programs and internships, providing invaluable experience as well as bolstering student s. In addition, students can take advantage of networking and career opportunities by ing the FIT chapters of:. In addition to coursework at St. Leo, students can participate in innovative internship programs. The department is focused on ensuring graduates have marketable skills, including:. The CS program at PSU is divided into two phases: the first focuses on modern computer concepts such as programming languages and efficient programming.
The second phase focuses on data structures, program languages and computing systems in greater detail. PSU ranks fifth in the nation for computer science citations within academic papers and ranks eighth in the nation for computer science expenditures.
Aside from providing cutting edge coursework, CWU is heavily focused on equipping students to enter the workforce quickly and easily. They regularly releases a newsletter to keep students, parents and staff members informed of the latest industry trends and departmental happenings. In addition, they provide:. The curriculum is known for being both flexible and intensive, preparing students to be successful and competitive in a variety of industries and positions.
Faculty and alumni are recognized for ificant research contributions in areas of:. Many students at UW participate in faculty research, internships, co-ops and focused study abroad trips related to their major.