- While the number of students who took the 2014 Advanced Placement (AP) computer science exam was at an all time high, the breakdown of the demographics indicates female and minority students were underrepresented in the testing.
- According to data broken down by Education Week, some states didn't have a single minority student taking the exam — and in Montana, not a single minority or female took the test.
- California had the highest percentage of female test takers, comprising 25% of the total.
The AP computer science exam saw a 26% increase in the number of test takers since 2013 — the largest gain in the last decade. While the news indicates all the rhetoric around pushing STEM in schools is working, the fact that so few minorities and females took the exam is troubling.
This is an issue that has been recognized by the non-profit Girls Who Code, which recently announced it would expand its course offerings so that more girls can be folded into the tech world. Girls Who Code often brings up the fact that women represent only 15% of Google's tech workers and 17% of Facebook's. The reality is that there is a lot of room for improvement.
While females are definitely a minority in the computer science fields, so are people of color. Finding ways to prepare and attract minorities to these fields is another challenge the tech world is currently facing. Code.org reports that of the 3.5 million students who took the AP Computer Science exam in 2012, only 3,000 were black or Hispanic.