Girls and underrepresented minorities are represented in courses

Note: As of September 2020, this post contains outdated language or graphics referencing “underrepresented minorities.” To see our current language policy around race, ethnicity, and gender, see this support article.

Today, we’re happy to announce that our annual survey results are in. And, for the second year in a row, underrepresented minorities make up 48% of students in our courses and females once again make up 45% of our students.

Source data

At the high school level, of the total 54,379 AP CS A exams that were taken across the US in 2016, only 23% of those were female, and just 15% were underrepresented minorities. To address this imbalance, it’s critical to offer computer science early on in a student’s education before they are influenced by stereotypes. It’s also critical to offer computer science in K-12 classrooms, where students of all backgrounds begin on an even playing field.

When females learn computer science in K-12 classrooms, they’re ten times more likely to major in it in college. Underrepresented minorities are seven to eight times more likely.

Teachers are invaluable in bringing diverse students into computer science. Without a teacher’s encouragement, students are less likely to pick up computer science on their own, especially students who have been historically underrepresented or marginalized in computer science classrooms — like female, Black, and Latinx students. In professional development workshops, we help teachers, counselors, and district administrators build awareness of their own stereotypes and help them recruit diverse students to computer sciences. Professional development offerings also focus on schools with underserved populations to reach the students who don’t typically participate in computer science.

We still have plenty of work to do to before every student in every school has the chance to learn the foundations of computer science. But we’re so proud of every student who has tried computer science for the first time and for every teacher who encouraged students who initially didn’t think CS was for them. Keep up the great work.® is dedicated to expanding access to computer science increasing participation by young women and students from other underrepresented groups.