NCWIT Aspirations in Computing

NCWIT

It is exciting this time of year because hundreds or even thousands of girls across the country will spend hours working on their applications for state and national level recognition by the National Center for Women and Information Technology. Why is this important?

NCWIT is a national organization which is empowered to support, encourage, and recognize females at the high school level who are making Computer Science and technology a part of their academics both now in high school and possibly even at the college level. Hopefully those pursuits will lead to those same females finding their way into the wonderful world of technology as a career choice.

We are seeing Computer Science taking it’s place at the big kids table for the first time in it’s life. Schools and districts across the country are starting(finally!) to look at Computer Science as a core subject as valuable as math, language, and science. Funding and investment from the government, private and public organizations is in the millions of dollars. This is great in so many ways, but especially because more people with different backgrounds,different genders, different cultures, different interests will start to be part of this awesome world of technology.

Job Outlook

What we need is not necessarily more Computer Scientists, but more people who understand and can think like Computer Scientists. We need more people who love biology to also know how to write software. We need people who want to start their own company to also know how to design a website to promote their business. We need more people in research labs to also know how to write their own mobile apps to analyze their data. We need more people in politics to understand big data. We need more people in philanthropy to know how to troubleshoot their organization network. We need more environmentalists to know how to program their own sensors to read data.

In order to do this, the world of technology has to do a better job of being attractive to a wider variety of people. One way we do that is have classes which are not dominated by one single type of person. We need classrooms with students of all races, all religions, all interests, all talents, all ethnicities, and yes….. all genders.

As a teacher trying to hard to help bridge that gender gap in my own classes, I value organizations such as NCWIT who are taking that challenge HEAD ON and making huge strides forward.

About Doug Bergman

Head of Computer Science at Porter-Gaud School in Charleston, SC

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