Universities Seek to Increase the Number of Women in Computer Science

Nationwide, women make up more than half of the professional work force but they hold only 25 percent of the jobs in computer science. One reason for the shortfall is the fact that women make up only about 20 percent of the students who graduate with computer science degrees.

The National Center for Women & Information Technology is a nonprofit coalition of more than 300 prominent corporations, academic institutions, government agencies, and nonprofits working to increase women’s participation in information technology and computing. NCWIT helps organizations recruit, retain, and advance women from kindergarten through 12th grade and higher education through industry and entrepreneurial careers.

Several NCWIT members recently reported impressive progress in increasing the number of women in computer science and technology fields.

• At Virginia Tech, 35 percent of the master’s degree recipients and 21 percent of the Ph.D. graduates in computer science have been women. There are six women teaching computer science at Virginia Tech.

• Over the past 18 months, the number of women enrolled in computer science majors at Indiana University has nearly doubled. Maureen Biggers, assistant dean for diversity and education at the university, reports, “We have 148 women majoring in either informatics or computer science. In addition, last year the number of women in our introductory courses doubled, with women majors increasing at a rate of 41 percent, while males increased 16 percent over the same time.”

• At Santa Clara University women make up 24.4 percent of the computer engineering majors. The number of women enrolled in all computer science majors is up 31 percent over the past two years.

• At the University of Virginia the percentage of women among computer science graduates has improved from 15 percent to 25 percent.

• At the University of California at Santa Cruz, the number of women majoring in computer science has increased by 40 percent over the past two years.

• The number of undergraduate computer science majors at the University of Colorado has increased from 18 women in 2007 to 47 women today.


Filed Under: Degree AttainmentsGender GapNetworking


RSSComments (0)

Leave a Reply