June 23, 2013
June 23, 2013
June 26, 2013
Computing & Information Technology
23.144.1 - 23.144.11
Alternate Pathways to Careers in Computing: Recruiting and Retaining Women StudentsThe U.S. Department of Labor (2005) has predicted an increase in demand for computersystem analysts (29%), database administrators (37%), and software engineers (38%).Even with these increasing demands, there is a severe lack of representation of minoritywomen in the field. According to a recent National Center for Women in InformationTechnology (NCWIT), although 25% of the current computing workforce are women,Black and Hispanic women make up only 3% and 1% of this population respectively.Numerous reasons have been discussed in the literature for why women do not choosecareers in computing and information technology, including stereotypes of computing asa male field (Martin, 2004; Moorman & Johnson, 2003), lack of desire to sit in front of acomputer all day (Clarke & Teague, 1996), having little prior experience in the field(Buzzetto-More, Ukoha, & Rustagi, 2010), a dearth of role models (Margolis, 2008), anda desire to be in a more people-oriented field (Hall, E. R., & Post-Kammer, P., 1987).Human-Centered Computing (HCC) is a relatively new discipline which attempts tosolve real-world problems through the integration of computing with people, technology,information, policy and, sometimes, culture. Although there are only two other programssimilar to the one at Clemson University specifically, at the Georgia Institute ofTechnology and the University of Maryland at Baltimore County, the field is growingrapidly.In the HCC PhD degree program at Clemson University, students are required to have astrong computing or computation core with training in areas that emphasize people or thehuman condition and research methods for studying people, technology, policy andinformation. In this paper, we first discuss the curricular structure of the PhD program.Next, we will discuss evidence, that although many women choose fields other thancomputing, Human-Centered Computing is well positioned to support the recruitmentand retention of women into computing careers and information technology. In fact, ourHCC program already has the distinction of being the nation’s first, and only, computing(i.e., any computer-science related field) PhD program at a major research institution thathas a majority African-American and majority female enrollment.
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