Archive for May 11, 2012

Percent of Bachelors going to Women: Not getting better among Computing Disciplines

Lecia Barker shared some data at the recent PACE (Partnership for Advancing Computing Education) meeting, and she said I could share it here.  It’s from the IPEDS data, on the percentages of women graduating with undergraduate degrees in different majors.  Computer Science and Electrical Engineering are doing pretty badly here, but not as badly as Computer Engineering.  Information Systems was doing almost as well as Chemical Engineering, but is now diving.

Lecia gave me some explanatory text for this that I promised to share:

An important thing to note about the graph is that the “comp sci” data is from CIP* 11.0701, computer science, NOT 11.01, computer and information sciences, the general umbrella category. It makes a big difference, so some people may question whether the numbers are correct. And it’s really imperfect. Under the general category, a lot of other subcategories are included, besides computer science. However, a lot of computer science departments do not bother to report into the finer-grained 11.07 category (computer science), but instead just report into 11.01, general. So it’s really hard to sort out. The University of Texas and Georgia Tech CS depts both reports into the general 11.01 and not the specific — and they represent a lot of majors! I used 11.0701 in this graph because I think the number of entries for 11.0701 (7,929) is probably a large enough sample to represent the population of CS majors with a pretty good confidence interval, though I can’t say what the confidence interval is or what the population of CS-but-not-all-CIS is due to what I said above.

According to another data download, Georgia Tech graduated 13 women BS in all disciplines in 2011, by the way. That was 7% of all BS awarded at GT. (See below addition.)

*classification of instructional program

Addition:  I had several people question the GT data that Lecia sent me. I don’t know how to read the IPEDS data, but I can read GT’s stats:  GT graduated 925 females across all majors, which is 31%, which is comparable to the percentage of frosh females who enter GT. In Computing, we graduated 34 females in 2011 which is 14% of the total.  So, I don’t know if the IPEDS data are wrong, or if GT is reporting in different categories than Lecia was pulling from.

Second Addition:  Cameron Wilson shared some additional data with me, on the trends in women’s participation in CS across different degrees.  The actual Excel file he sent me (with permission to repost) can be found here.  The graph below tells the main story.  Series 1 is the number of female PhD graduates, Series 2 is the number of female MS graduates, and Series 3 is the number of female BS graduates.  The Excel file also provides US citizen vs. temporary residents.

Here’s a revised form, with the legend right:


May 11, 2012 at 8:36 am 10 comments

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