By offering our program online, every student can have access to coding education. However, even where coding instruction is available, it idoesn’t mean the education is effective. Our one-on-one lessons ensure coding is not only accessible but also empowering and supportive. We enable students to go at their own pace, delve into subjects they’re interested in, and forge meaningful relationships with their mentors.
Currently, 82% of computer science graduates are men. Around 62% of CS majors are white, 10% are Black, and 12% are Hispanic. At codeConnects, we focus on offering coding opportunities to underrepresented middle and high school students – including females, minorities, students with learning disabilities, those from rural communities, and from low SES backgrounds. Yet we go further than simply providing CS access to these students. First, we match students with instructors from similar backgrounds. Research suggests mentors with shared ethnicities and gender increases students’ commitment to CS careers. Second, our mentorship one-on-one programming ensures students – who may not feel comfortable in a traditional educational setting – are empowered with increased confidence and skills through their coding education, which is supported by prior studies.
There are 13 open STEM jobs for every available STEM worker. By 2020, 1 million programming jobs will go unfilled. Compared to the market average, jobs that require programming skills are growing 12% faster. Through codeConnects, we aim to increase the supply of qualified computer scientists. First, we begin educating students early on with real programming skills. Studies show early exposure to CS increases the odds of majoring in computer science in college. Second, we offer long-term and personalized support to aid students in the development of real, usable coding skills. Third, we increase access to coding education to places never before reached. Fourth, we provide education for students in a range of fields they can use their CS skills in, such as healthcare, financial services, and security.
By working with students in disadvantaged communities, our goal is that these students will reinvest their tech-focused skills into their community, whether this is through starting their own company or bringing much needed tech talent to these areas.
A more diverse workforce in the field of technology could increase revenues by $400 billion per year. A one-percentage point increase in diversity leads to a three-point increase in revenue. Moreover, diversity increases creativity and innovation in product development. The more underrepresented students we teach, the more diverse, inclusive, and innovative the tech field will be.