Creativity can help extend coding opportunities to girls and underserved youth

The technology industry is challenged with addressing the compounding need for computer scientists as the gap continues to widen. The U.S. Department of Labor projects that by 2020, there will be 1.4 million computer specialist job openings. Yet, U.S. universities are expected to produce only enough qualified graduates to fill 29% of these jobs.

One of the ways Adobe is addressing this gap is by partnering with organizations that provide opportunities for youth who never considered coding as a career option – particularly girls and underserved youth. For example, while 74% of middle school girls express interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math), only 0.3% of high school girls choose computer science as their college major [1]. If Adobe can inspire girls to explore computer science by showing them that the field also requires creativity, we will have accomplished our goal.

Adobe proudly supports Girls Who Code and this summer hosted 20 students from across the country to learn everything from graphics and animation to mobile app development. The girls came to Adobe headquarters in San Jose for seven weeks, fully immersing themselves in our technology and collaborating with volunteer Adobe mentors.

Our 20 Girls Who Code participants at the program’s graduation.

Our 20 Girls Who Code participants at the program’s graduation.

Many of the program’s participants had never considered computer science as a field of study, nor did they have the guidance to pursue it as one. For their final project, the girls collaborated as teams to create Apps that reflected their collective interests. Each team impressively presented the business case for their app at graduation, and to my delight, more than half of them focused on a solution to a social issue. What’s most rewarding is 100% of the participants decided to either major in computer science, or consider it as a career option.

At Adobe, we believe that a diverse workforce drives more collaboration, innovation and creativity. I’m excited by the success of the Girls Who Code program and look forward to even more alliances to help expand the computer science talent pool.

Learn more from a few of the participants through the Adobe Voice videos below, and tune in next week for a look inside the creative apps these talented group of women developed.

 

Karina Moreira-Ruiz shares what a day in the life of Girls Who Code at Adobe was like through this Adobe Voice video.

 

Rebekah Chavarin also shares about her experience during the summer program through Adobe Voice. Learn how she went from having no knowledge of computer science to creating learning apps that anyone can use.

[1] See Girls Who Code website homepage.