Global director of diversity Maxine Williams introduced TechPrep in aNewsroom post, calling it “a resource hub where underrepresented people and their parents and guardians can learn more about computer science and programming and find resources to get them started.”
Williams wrote that TechPrep was created with the help of research from McKinsey, and she described the premise behind the initiative:
TechPrep brings together hundreds of resources, curated based on who you are and what you need, such as age range, skill level and what kind of resource you are looking for. The website is designed for both English and Spanish speakers.
TechPrep connects people to resources including games, books, in-person opportunities and community events to help learners, as well as parents and guardians, guide their kids in to computer science and programming. It also includes profiles of real people pursuing these careers.
Parents and guardians are influential figures in students’ lives. By exposing people to computer science and programming and guiding them to the resources they need to get started, we hope to reduce some of the barriers that block potential from meeting opportunity.
She also shared some of the findings by Facebook and McKinsey:
- There was great self-confidence about their own potential among black and Hispanic learners despite their underrepresentation in the industry. 50 percent of blacks and 42 percent of Hispanics say they would be good at working with computers, compared to 35 percent of whites and 35% of Asians.
- However, 77 percent of parents say they do not know how to help their child pursue computer science. This percentage increases to approximately 83 percent for lower-income and non-college graduate parents or guardians. Yet being encouraged to pursue computer science by a parent or guardian is a primary motivator for women, blacks and Hispanics.
- Lower awareness of computer science in blacks and Hispanics is driven by less access to both people in CS and CS programs, and it is a major driver of black and Hispanic drop-off when pursuing programming as a career path.
- Men are five times more likely than women to say that they “know a lot about computer programming.”
Readers: What are your initial impressions of TechPrep?