Here's A Nice, Hopeful Sign For Women In The Male Dominated Tech Industry

After all the news about rampant sexism in the tech industry and the lack of women entering the field, here’s some good news: a record 40% of incoming students enrolling at Carnegie Mellon’s Computer Science program are women.

Yes, that still means women are a minority in the program, but it is an all-time record for the school, the university said in a press release:

“The last time that a class of first-year computer science majors came close to including 40 per cent women was in 2000 during the first dot com boom.”

And a school record for CMU is fairly significant because it tends to have higher than average graduation rates for women with computer science degrees, it says. Women earned just 14 per cent of bachelor’s degrees in computer science in the 2012-13 school year nationwide, according to the most recent Taulbee Survey.

However, at CMU, 22% of its computer science grads were women that year. It’s been averaging 21% women grads since 2008, it says.

This record may be beat as soon as next year. Enrollment of women in the program has been steadily increasing: about 29 per cent and 34 per cent of the 2012 and 2013 freshman classes, respectively, the university said.

Plus, the university also received a record number of applicants for the computer science program overall — almost 6,200 — indicating that more young adults are looking for careers in the tech industry where the jobs are plentiful. It expects to accept 142 freshmen into the program in the fall.

Now, it’s true that enrollment numbers are not the same as graduation numbers, but this is definitely a step in the right direction.

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