Boosting America’s Economy with More Diversity and Tech Skills for Girls

Posted by on August 30, 2017 in Education, Tech

tatapicJJAmerica’s Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts that there will be 4.4 million jobs that will need computer science and information technology skills by 2024. This demand for technology professionals is fueled by growth in mobile solutions, cloud computing, connected devices and big data. It’s exactly why the USC Viterbi School of Engineering’s Institute of Engineering, Community and Cultural Competence (IEC3) and the Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), (BSE: 532540, NSE: TCS) a leading global IT services, consulting and business solutions organisation have got together for IEC3’s Summer Camp for Girls. It features TCS’ signature program ‘goIT’, which aims to demystify computer science and help students gain the skills and confidence required to pursue science, technology, engineering and mathematic (STEM) degrees, becoming tomorrow’s technology leaders. It’s an experiential, immersive program, where middle and high school students get hands-on technology education, working in teams to tackle icon-based programming languages and design challenges as they collaborate to build their apps.

This partnership brings real-world tech skills to students. IEC3 is a new institute aiming to remove the barriers that have historically limited African American and Latino girls and women from entering and advancing in the fields of engineering and computer science in the US. It wants to expand its reach to middle school girls from underserved communities, and these types of collaborations are essential to create impact. A key feature of IEC3’s model is the integration of hands-on industry-driven skills introduced to students in a culturally relevant manner. As this helps to significantly increases the level of student aspiration and confidence.

This is another reason why working with TCS’ goIT is a great fit: it is focused toward middle school students underrepresented in computing fields and has successfully engaged more than 13,000 students in more than 50 cities and 100 school districts since 2009 in North America, with promising results. It offers a free and flexible program for schools, non-profits and other youth-organisations to help students engage actively in computer literacy by using a student-driven exploration of community-centered issues. The students work in teams to identify a problem, generate possible solutions, develop and test their mobile apps, and present their work to peers and judges. Over 88% of students said that goIT helped them realize that STEM skills affect their career options and 94% of students learned more about careers in technology from goIT.

Technology is about blending the divide between machines and people in order to develop innovative, technology enabled solutions to real-world problems. TCS recognises that its future along with that of the US economy, depends on more diversity and graduates with STEM-based skills entering the workforce each year.

Photo Credit: 3BL Media

Comments are closed.