The study looks at why women are underrepresented in Computer Science. Sylvia Beyer got data from 1,319 American, first-year college students that indicated that there exists gender differences in computer self-efficacy, stereotypes, interests, values, interpersonal orientation, and personalities. A student having a positive experience in their first Computer Science was more likely to take another one. Beyer suggests that this underrepresentation is not inevitable. To make changes, we need a clear understanding of the reasons they are not as high in numbers. She suggests social psychological variables to be looked at. She also saw that having a terrific instructor influences students to continue with CS also.
I learned from this source the variables that can influence whether a student pursues computer science. A student’s first CS course is vital in their possible future in the field. Also, I saw the strong influence of instructors for students. The different factors that Beyer says exists in influencing success in a CS course was new and interesting to see. This source is from a published journal, and heavily credible. This article raises many new questions on factors that influence students, including female students in pursuing a career or even taking CS courses.
This article looks directly at what my focus is on: women’s underrepresentation in computer science. It uses data and analyzes the findings, to come up with solutions that can help female students pursue Computer Science degrees. The article focuses on men also, but a lot of the focus is on women, as the title proclaims. This article is a lot more specific than other articles I’ve read, which is better for my research.
Portion of survey questions from the article:
13. What is the average starting salary of a computer scientist with a BS? $ _______ per year
14. What is the average number of hours worked by a computer scientist each week?_____ hours
15. What percentage of computer scientists are women? ___%
16. What is the average GPA of a Computer Science major here? (on a 4-point scale) ____
17.Since coming here, have you taken any Computer Science courses?
___ Yes Please skip to question 18.
___ No Why didn’t you take any Computer Science courses? (Check all that apply.)
___ I never had any interest in Computer Science.
___ Computer Science courses are very difficult.
___ Computer Science courses are very boring.
___ I don’t think I would learn anything useful in a Computer Science course.
___ I don’t think I would do very well in a Computer Science course.
___ Computer Science courses are not offered at times that fit my schedule.
___ I don’t think I would fit in with the other Computer Science students.
___ Computer Science professors are not very approachable.
___ I am not required to take any Computer Science classes.
___ I was not aware that Computer Science courses were available.
___ I need to fulfill my other (non-Computer Science) course requirements.
___ Other. Please specify _______________
Now skip to question 19.
18. Which Computer Science course(s) are you currently taking? List up to 3 classes on the lines
Computer Science class #1: _______________
Computer Science class #2: _______________
Computer Science class #3: _______________
Sylvia Beyer (2014) Why are women underrepresented in Computer
Science? Gender differences in stereotypes, self-efficacy, values, and interests and predictors
of future CS course-taking and grades, Computer Science Education, 24:2-3, 153-192, DOI: