Most of the time, when we open up Google or a website such as Facebook, we do not know how it came to being or how someone sat behind a computer and created the site with code. Usually, the only exposure one has to computer science or even remotely close to coding is within the school setting during a mandatory class in order to receive credits to finish one\’s high school diploma. Within those classes little to no coding is taught or exposed to the student. However as the US Department of labor states, “by 2020 there will be more than 1.4 million computing-related job openings… however we can only fill about 30 percent of those jobs with U. S. computing bachelor grads.”
Why is this the case when we have a population of 316.3 Million, and yet, we do not have enough people to fill these jobs? This is not only because we are not making computer classes useful and an eye opener to possible careers, but also, we are not tapping into our greatest resource: girls. Women earn 57 percent of all undergraduate degrees, however only 18 percent earn an undergraduate in computer and information. These are staggering numbers showing the gap of genders in the computer and information careers sector.
The fact that education systems are not giving the resources or the exposure to the world of coding is negatively impacting the need of programmers and coders. Imagine if computer classes taught kids about the world of programming, the language that builds up our computers, websites, etc. They would be tapping into the minds of the generation that will be taking over the platforms that were created recently. We would be giving the boys and girls (especially girls) the chance to discover an upcoming field.
Girls, by society’s laws, aren’t supposed to get into fields such as computer technology or engineering because of the viewpoint that they are “fragile” or too “girly”. They are also usually not given the chance to mess with computers or games since those are made for boys by society’s standards. We need to, as the next generation, change this viewpoint and give equal opportunities for girls and boys to look into different careers. We are the generation to create equality; we are the generation to give girls and boys education in all fields so that they are able to do what they want as their career.
So let’s allow girls to get exposed to coding. Let children learn that computer class isn’t a class that is meant to be boring, it is meant to inspire. It is up to us to change what we perceive as unfair in the education system or in social standards. As a girl who can code HTML, I leave you with this: