Latinos, Other Minorities Under-represented in Computer Science
Many Young People May Miss Out on Rewarding Careers
(Washington, D.C.) – New findings indicate that the next generation of tech workers may well be less diverse than the American populace as a whole. That's because few Latino, African American, and female students are taking the Computer Science Advanced Placement test, an examination offered to high school students as an opportunity to earn college credit in computer science. It is reported in 11 states, not a single African-American took the test, and in eight states no Hispanics took the exam at all. Of the 30,000 students who took the test in 2013, just 20 percent were female.
While taking the Advanced Placement test is not a precise predictor of how many students will ultimately work in the field, these numbers suggest that the computer science field holds more interest for Caucasian male students than for other demographics. This is a concern for employers in the sector, who have often complained that they are unable to find the talent they need – and who evidently are failing to generate interest among many of today's students. It also may represent an area of concern for Latinos, who are missing an opportunity to explore a career in an important sector that can be lucrative as well.
Daniel Garza, Executive Director of The LIBRE Initiative released the following statement:
"America and much of the world today are enjoying greater well-being and better standards of living because of advances in computer technology. Fields like computer science and engineering are only growing more important. It's unfortunate that many Hispanic students are missing a chance to take an early step in shaping the technologies of the future – not because they lack the ability, but because we are failing to identify their talent at an early stage. With employers increasingly scouring the world to find the best and brightest, there are plenty of smart and talented young people here in the United States who can fill the gaps. It's critical that our educational system encourage participation and access to computer science fields for students of all races so that they may excel in fields like these, and give those who may be interested the chance to explore them.
It's also clear that our competitiveness as a nation depends partly on continuing to develop that skilled workforce – with bright young professionals educated in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. As Congress considers reform of education and immigration, we need to make sure that the United States is both attracting and growing the demanded talent – so companies develop the technologies of the future in the United States, rather than being forced to look elsewhere."
Through the ESTAMOS CONTIGO (We are With You) campaign for immigration reform, The LIBRE Initiative is providing an avenue for constituents to reach out to their Senators and Representative in Congress to work to together to pass immigration reform legislation that is employment-based and market-driven. Read more about LIBRE's Statement of Principles on Immigration Reform.
For interviews with a LIBRE representative, please contact: Judy Pino, 202-578-6424 or Brian Faughnan, 571-257-3309.