Globally, with the rise of computer science education to the mainstream, there are many avenues for supporting students from a variety of backgrounds and communities. Computer Science offers countless opportunities for enriching content that can engage students from a variety of backgrounds. There is no doubt that the career opportunities for Computer Science graduates are plentiful. This is also particularly true for under-represented minority graduates, as employers continue to actively seek them out in an effort to diversify their workforce. The problem is in convincing minority students to join up and see value in the courses that they are undertaking.
There are several areas that have been under-represented globally across a variety of cultures, groups and minority groups:
- STEM subjects can be seen as a difficult path generally and this can often put students off Computer Science. Having good links to potential careers would help.
- STEM subjects can be seen as ‘expensive’ or ‘exclusive’ which can often deter students from pursuing this due to circumstance. There are several organisation in the UK which can support and fund students of particular communities and backgrounds. You can also look at the Socio Economic page on CAS include for further information. We also have to be mindful of the equality of access to hardware, software and connectivity for students in all of our school community groups.
- Connecting to the subject early on in school can often be difficult for students who might be new to a school, start late or culturally have not been immersed in CS at a young age.
What can educators do to encourage ethnicity diversity in Computing?
- Theme projects and activities that embrace different cultures across topics.
- Discussions around career development in Computer Science and the fact that CS concepts will be useful for careers in Medicine, Entertainment, Lawyers, Accountants.
- Equality of access for all students in your school for hardware, software and connectivity.
Please check out the resources section of our website for further information or please contact us and share resources with the CAS community which can support students from ethnic minority backgrounds.
Research & Further Reading
- The first all-women hackathon in Lebanon saw coders coming together to develop their programming skills.
- The TED talk below highlights the areas the areas of problem solving, creativity and computer science relating to diversity:
There are also a few quick resources that students can use to inspire students quickly:
Or visit our resources page here: Ethnicity Resources