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  • Print publication year: 2019
  • Online publication date: October 2019

17 - Women in Computing Education

from Part IV - Cultural Perspectives from Asia-Pacific

Summary

Graduation trends in the last twenty-five years show that majors in computing-related fields have had low popularity among female students in the United States and Europe. For instance, in 2015, US women earned a mere 18% (9,209) of bachelor’s degrees in computer science (CS), which is less than the number earned in 1985 (14,431) (National Science Board, 2018). Similarly, in Europe women represented 16.7% of total graduates in information communication technology (ICT) in 2016 (European Commission, 2018). Low participation of women in computing education has been a pressing problem in Western countries. Gender diversity in computing is imperative as it will increase the skilled labor force pool, enrich innovation, and foster social justice. Most importantly, there is a high demand for people with computing skills. The number of ICT specialists in the European Union grew by 36.1% from 2007 to 2017, more than ten times as high as the increase (3.2%) for total employment (Eurostat, 2018). Employment in computing-related occupations in the United States is projected to grow 13% from 2016 to 2026, which is faster than the average for all occupations. This is expected to add about 557,100 new jobs (US Department of Labor, 2017). Often such growing needs are met by foreign skilled workers, mostly from Asian countries. It is, therefore, no surprise that a number of governmental and corporate initiatives exist in the United States and in Europe to empower students with the computing skills to thrive in a global economy.