Thursday, October 31, 2013

Why are Today’s Young Women Uninterested in Careers in Computer Science?


In an Economix article from the New York Times, Catherine Rampell says the issue is exposure. For many girls (or the younger generation for that matter) there just is not much exposure to STEM type careers outside of what they might see in TV shows or movies. Sure there’s TV shows that display women in forensics lab coats on shows like “NCIS” and “CSI”, which has become a highly popular career aspiration thanks to the Hollywood appeal and exposure. But besides this handful of shows, there is very little representation of computer science or engineering occupations on TV or in movies, and even less representation of female characters in these fields. Hollywood role models have always been an influence over the younger generation in the careers they may choose, but as pointed out in the article there are numerous nonprofit and educational organizations (much like Project Tomorrow) that are trying to remedy this through programs that introduce students to STEM career exploration opportunities.

Here at Project Tomorrow our mission is to ensure that today’s students are well prepared to be tomorrow’s innovators, leaders and engaged citizens of the world. We believe that by supporting the innovative uses of science, math and technology resources in our K-12 schools and communities, students will develop the critical thinking, problem solving and creativity skills needed to compete and thrive in the 21st century. Each year we hold our Leading the Way: Youth Leadership Summit for Math and Science for local High School students in Orange County, CA. This free half-day event includes a student presentation of OC business trends, panel discussions from industry leaders and a diverse group of engineers, tabletop exhibits to introduce students to local STEM career opportunities and college programs, and breakout sessions led by business and education leaders throughout the region. Opportunities like these are just what students need to get exposure to these types of careers!

To learn more about how you, your company or students can get involved with next year's 2014 Leading the Way Youth Leadership Summit please visit our website at: http://www.tomorrow.org/programs/youthLeadershipSummit.html

Click here to read the full article, "Nudging Girls Towards Computer Science" on the Economix blog-New York Times.

Also please be sure to contribute to the national dialog about science, technology & preparing students for the 21st century workforce through Speak Up! This year we are asking students, parents and community members to share the types of college and workplace skills that they think students should be learning in school to be successful in the future, what is needed to acquire those skills as well as student's overall STEM career interest and how they would like to learn about future careers.

To participate in Speak Up go to www.speakup4schools.org/speakup2013, surveys are available to students, educators, parents and community members.
Thanks for reading! And please be sure to tell us your thoughts on this interesting article below in our comment section!