By Allison Scott and Julie Flapan, Opinion Contributors — 11/01/19
We see the impact of technology in every aspect of our lives. The tech sector plays a major role in our nation’s economy, producing nearly one-quarter of the nation’s economic output and projects to add over 1 million job openings in the next decade. Tech giants like Google, Apple, Microsoft, and Facebook create products which have impacts across the globe, while creating jobs and wealth. And beyond these companies, sectors as diverse as defense, transportation, entertainment and agriculture are increasingly driven by technology and reliant on a tech-savvy workforce.
But, if you look inside these companies, on their engineering teams, in their boardrooms, and in the neighborhoods and communities in which their employees work and live, you will see an increasingly segregated picture. Black, Latinx, and Native American professionals are vastly underrepresented in tech fields, representing only 8 percent of the Silicon Valley tech workforce and 15 percent of the national computing workforce. Less than 30 percent are women, and less than 2 percent are women of color. There is little to no racial or gender diversity in the creation of new technologies, business ventures, or in investment, limiting our innovation potential.
Bay City News Service | SF Gate
Computer science jobs pay well yet access to, enrollment and success in computer science courses in California schools varies by gender, race/ethnicity, income and geography, a new report said.
“Computer Science in California Schools: An Analysis of Access, Enrollment and Equity” was released Monday by the Computer Science for California coalition, the Sacramento County Office of Education and Oakland’s Kapor Center, which advocates for diversity.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay in 2018 for jobs in computer and information technology ranged from $53,470 for computer support specialists to $118,370 for computer and information research scientists. Median pay for U.S. workers was $38,640 in May 2018.
But in 2017, just 3 percent of California’s 1.9 million high school students took a computer science class, according to the new report. Almost two-thirds of the state’s schools offer no computer science courses at all, the report said.
Thank you to ACCESS and CSforCA, a multi-stakeholder coalition of computer science educators from Computer Science Teachers Association, CS advocates from code.org, researchers and CS professors from UC Irvine, UC Berkeley, UCLA, education advocates from Children Now, Kapor Center for Social Impact, Silicon Valley Leadership Group, industry representatives from Microsoft, Technet, and state leaders from CDE, CTC, UCOP, L Governor Newsom, and the State Board of Education for working together to increase accessand equity to computer science education that is rigorous, equitable and sustainable.
This FAQ was prepared by Julie Flapan, Executive Director, Alliance for California Computing for Students and Schools (ACCESS) www.access-ca.org and email firstname.lastname@example.org with special thanks to Monica Lin, University of California Office of the President.