Number of women in computer science has declined

Madison Rexroat

Despite projections that by 2024, there will be 1.1 million computing-related job openings, the number of women majoring in computer science has dropped from 35 percent in 1985 to just 18 percent in 2014.

Part of this decline is owed to the way women perceive opportunities. Girls are often taught to be ‘perfect’ while boys are encouraged to experiment and be fearless. This leads to women only pursuing what they’re good at rather than facing a challenge. A study by Hewlett-Packard showed that men apply for a job if they meet 60 percent of the qualifications. Women only apply if they meet 100 percent.

Female representation is also a factor, as women are often intimidated or discouraged if they are the only woman in a classroom or program. Some schools and classes have started to try to be more inclusive, but if a woman is in a computer science class or at a company where she feels she doesn’t belong, she will leave.  

To read the full story in USA Today College, click here.