NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Fewer Female Students Opt For High-Tech Careers

April 12, 2000

A new study reveals that girls avoid high-tech careers -- not because they think the work too challenging -- but because they see it as boring and anti-social. The study, "Tech-Savvy: Educating Girls in the New Computer Age," comes from the American Association of University Women Educational Foundation.

  • Women now receive less that 28 percent of computer science bachelor degrees -- down from 37 percent in 1984.
  • "They are not phobic about computer technology but disenchanted by it," explains Pamela Haag, the foundation's research director.
  • In the absence of role models such as "a female Bill Gates," Haag says, there is a persistent "computer geek" stereotype that many girls want to steer clear of.
  • The report recommends a variety of improvements in everything from computer games to teacher training, so as to attract more women to high-tech professions.

A similar report released by the foundation two years ago found that while girls were closing in on boys in math and science performance, wide disparities existed in technology use.

Source: Carmen J. Lee, "Girls Shun Careers in High-Tech Industry," Washington Times, April 12, 2000.


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