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Diversifying CS To Change The World


The Fastest Growing Occupation In The 21st Century

Policies and practices across the educational, workforce, and economic systems have led to Black, Latine, and Native communities being excluded from the computing pipeline. Shutting these individuals out of technology as designers, innovators, and decision-makers exacerbates wealth gaps, exposes these communities to risks through harmful technological innovations, and undermines the quality, creativity, and efficacy of new tech.

While these communities comprise 31% of the US workforce, they only hold 18% of computing jobs (BLS, 2023). Only 19% of CS degrees conferred in 2021 were awarded to Black, Latine, and Native students (NCES, 2021). And while Black, Latine, and Native students make up 45% of public school enrollment across the nation, they only comprise 25% of AP CS course participants and were far less likely to pass the AP exam than white counterparts (College Board, 2022).

Despite the biased perceptions that students from historically-excluded communities merely lacked interest in pursuing a computing career (Koshy et al., 2021), a 2020 study found that race was not a determining factor in student confidence or interest in pursuing CS. Rather, CS exposure was a key correlate to student attitudes and aptitude towards CS (Gallup, 2020). As such, CS programs like SMASH can be instrumental in shaping students’ trajectories.