Why Aspirations in Computing (AiC) Matters
Computing Skills Are Essential
Computing and computational thinking are increasingly important 21st-century skills. These skills lead the way for innovative solutions to long-standing problems at national and local levels. Given that technology increasingly permeates every aspect of society, experience in computing and technology is in high demand by virtually every industry.
A Computing Career Offers Job Security, High Salaries, and Meaningful Work
- For someone choosing to study computing now, the prospect of finding a job in the field is extremely good. By 2026, the U.S. Department of Labor predicts 3.5 million computing-related job openings in the U.S. However, far too few people are being trained to fill those jobs.
- Compared to other major occupational groups, computing tends to pay very well. The median annual pay for computing occupations is approximately $76,000 a year, more than for any other occupational group, except management.
- Technology professionals work on creative teams to develop cutting-edge products and solutions. They are at the forefront of solving health problems, improving the environment, keeping us connected, and more.
Yet, Not All Individuals Are Benefiting From Computing Education
Inadequate computing education and lack of encouragement shortchanges all students:
- Students with disabilities are rarely encouraged to study and pursue science, engineering, and math in high school and college—subjects that are key to the successful pursuit of computing fields.
- Just 34 states and the District of Columbia allow Computer Science (CS) to count as a math or science graduation requirement. Because boys get more informal opportunities for computing experience outside of school, this lack of formal computing education especially impacts girls and many youth of color.
- Twenty-eight percent of CS Advanced Placement (AP) test-takers were female; even though 56 percent of all AP test-takers were female.
NCWIT Aspirations in Computing (AiC): Revolutionizing the Face of Technology
Inclusion changes what’s possible. Computing is a field created by innovative thinkers whose products and systems have become critical to our daily lives. Ideally, these technologies should be developed by a population as diverse as its users. Yet, this is not currently the case. As a society, we lose out on potential innovations when we do not have a diverse workforce fully participating in technology creation.
AiC helps to address barriers in women’s participation. Technology too often has a culture of invisibility, otherness, self-doubt, and closed doors. AiC program elements turn barriers into possibilities by offering exclusive awards, scholarships, internships, and community—building women’s leadership, technical, and entrepreneurial skills. (Find out more about AiC program elements.)
AiC offers practical tips for closing the diversity gap, by way of the NCWIT resources library. Take advantage of hundreds of free and easy-to-use resources for K–12, higher education, and corporations that efforts to raise awareness, increase knowledge, and empower action to make sure every voice is heard. (View a list of recommendations from AiC to get started.)