Gallup and Amazon Future Engineer study finds students with IT role models more than 10 times more likely to pursue careers in IT than those without
WASHINGTON–(COMMERCIAL THREAD) – Students across the United States are showing a strong interest in computer science courses, but many say they have never taken or have no access to computer courses. This gap could present a major problem for the country’s economy, as American employers increasingly seek candidates with computer skills or training. Today, a new Gallup report—Developing the careers of the future: a study on student access and interest in IT–reveals that students who confirm they have computer role models are more than 10 times more likely to say they will pursue a career in computer science than students without. The study reveals that by increasing both access to computers and social bonds between students, we can have a positive impact on outcomes for the leaders of tomorrow.
The recent Gallup study of American students in Grades 5 to 12 reveals critical access issues to technical courses, with interest in computing far exceeding participation, especially among underserved populations. A majority of students (62%) say they want to learn computer science, but only 49% have taken a course on the subject. The gaps between interest and participation are much larger for students from low-income households (59% vs. 37%), as well as black students (60% vs. 42%) and Hispanic students (61% vs. 44%).
Amazon Future Engineer, Amazon’s global philanthropic computer science education program, commissioned the study to help understand student interest and engagement. In addition to finding gaps, the study highlights the importance of social networks, such as peers and role models, in generating interest in a career in IT. The findings offer new perspectives for educators and employers looking to help students from all walks of life equip themselves with the tools they will need to succeed in higher education and secure the jobs of tomorrow.
“This research highlights the importance of role models in inspiring and maintaining student interest in computer science careers, and the unfortunate inequalities we see in access to models nationwide,” said Stephanie Marken, Director Education Research Executive at Gallup. “Role models help students understand the many career paths available to them. Computer science programs, like Amazon Future Engineer, which provide access to computer training and mentoring for students who might not otherwise have it, could play a role in helping students take a first step. towards a job in IT.
The study found that overall, 70% of students report that computer classes are available at their school. However, this figure is significantly lower among underserved groups, especially rural students in low-income households (46%). Students with access to school-based computer courses are more than twice as likely as those without access to say they plan to study the subject at university (42% vs. 18%, respectively ) and that they aspire to have a job in the field (43% against 15%).
More than half of the students in the study (53%) agree that they have a role model in computer science. This figure is somewhat lower among girls (49%) and black students (46%), but the gap is greatest between students in large cities (73%) and those in rural areas (36%). . Overall, 35% of students plan to one day have a job in a computer related field; however, this figure is more than ten times higher (73%) among students who strongly agree that they have a role model in computer science, than among those who strongly disagree who do. ‘they have a role model (7%). This ratio is valid among students of all demographic groups, including girls, black and Hispanic students, and low-income students.
Currently, boys are generally much more interested in learning computers (72%) than girls (53%). Additionally, girls are significantly less likely than boys to say that they plan to study computer science at university (27% vs. 46%) or that they want a job in the field (26% vs. 43%). However, among black students, girls are about as likely as boys to say they are interested in learning computers (61% vs. 59%). While black boys are less likely than white or Hispanic boys to be interested in the topic (59% vs. 71% and 72%, respectively), black girls are more likely than white or Hispanic girls to be interested. (61% versus 51% and 52%).
“Amazon Future Engineer aims to bridge the gap between interested students and computer science courses and opportunities. Through our research partnership with Gallup, we can assess the state of computer science education and discover the most effective ways to continue to inspire students, support teachers and further develop our program, ”said Victor Reinoso, Global Director of Amazon Future Engineer. “Meet an Amazonian, our latest initiative, underscores this commitment by reaching out to students with career interviews, called Classroom discussions, and on the subject of IT Distribution center visits. The two connect students with a diverse group of role models to help bring the tech industry to life so they can conceptualize their path forward. ”
Learn more about Amazon Future Engineer at About Amazon.
Gallup provides analysis and advice to help leaders and organizations solve their most pressing problems. Combining more than 80 years of experience with its global reach, Gallup knows more about the attitudes and behaviors of employees, customers, students and citizens than any other organization in the world.
About Amazon Future Engineer
Amazon Future Engineer is a childhood-to-career computer science education program designed to inspire and educate millions of students from historically under-represented communities around the world, including hundreds of thousands of students in the States -United every year. Students explore computer science through the curriculum and project-based learning, using code to make music, program robots, and solve problems. Additionally, each year, Amazon Future Engineer awards 100 students four-year scholarships, $ 40,000, and paid internships at Amazon, as well as ten Teacher of the Year winners, awarding prize packages of 30,000. $ to go beyond to inspire computer science students and promote diversity and inclusion in the field. For 2021, Amazon Future Engineer aims to reach 1.6 million students from historically under-represented communities around the world through virtual and hands-on learning of real-world-inspired IT projects. The program is currently available in the US, UK, France and Canada.