Is Computing Just for Men? Where are the women in the enrollment surge?

April 15, 2015 at 8:32 am 2 comments

Nice blog post from Barbara Ericson exploring the lack of women in the new surge in CS undergraduate enrollment.

A Surge in Majors, but Where Are the Women?

While a number of colleges and universities in the United States have recently seen a tremendous increase in the number of students who want to major in computing, the percentage of women who are interested is still low. A study conducted by the Association for Computing Machinery and the WGBH Educational Foundation in 2008 found that only 9 percent of college-bound teen girls thought that a career in computing was a very good choice for them, and only 17 percent thought that it was a good career choice. Teen girls associated computing with typing, math, and boredom. While the percentage of bachelor’s degrees awarded to women in the United States did increase from 11.7 percent in 2010–11 to 12.9 percent in 2011–12, women are still dramatically underrepresented.

The Percentage of Women Taking the Computer Science AP Exam Lags

The Advanced Placement (AP) computer science A course is equivalent to a college-level introductory computer science course. It focuses on object-oriented programming in Java. In 2014, only about 20 percent of AP computer science A exam takers were women. While that was an increase from the previous year, when the percentage was 18.5 percent, it is still far below the percentage of women who took the AP calculus AB exam (48.7 percent) and the percentage of women who took the AP biology exam (59 percent). It is even well below the percentage of women who took the physics B exam (34.7 percent), as shown below.

via Is Computing Just for Men? : AAUW: Empowering Women Since 1881.

Entry filed under: Uncategorized. Tags: , , .

Where Have All The Teachers Gone? It’s not just CS! BBC is giving away 1 million mini computers so kids can learn to code: Prediction — little impact on broadening participation

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. gflint  |  April 17, 2015 at 12:41 pm

    Could we ask where are all the men in Studio Art?

    Reply
    • 2. Mark Guzdial  |  April 17, 2015 at 1:56 pm

      I don’t know, but Studio Art is still more gender-balanced. There are more men in AP Studio Art than there are women in AP CS.

      Reply

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