TechPrep is a newly-launched website that offers free content including tutorials, games and short clips to parents. The idea is to inform parents and convince them that programming careers do pay off for their kids.
Nevertheless, the site also provides learners with important sources that can help them start a tech career or develop their programming skills. Facebook said that it would focus on Blacks and Hispanics because minorities are underrepresented in the tech world.
The social networking site also said that by 2050, minorities would account for more than 50 percent of global population. But because of poverty, lack of interest and access to resources, these people rarely decide to pursue a computer science or programming career.
Eddie Bernice Johnson of the Congressional Black Caucus recently argued that the situation cannot continue. Since our future heavily relies on computer science and programming, we cannot afford anymore to exclude members of minority communities.
“We must all work together to leverage our respective strengths and resources to tackle this issue,”
Facebook had the idea to launch TechPrep in the wake of a survey showing minority members’ position toward tech careers. According to the study, 77 percent of parents do not know how to guide their kids toward a computer science career. If the family is low-income and parents do not have at least a college degree, the number hits 83 percent.
Facebook’s Diversity Director Maxine Williams explained that in coding and programming, the ignorance of parents can lead to the loss of whole generations of people with real talent for these money-making, engaging and satisfying careers.
Williams added that it is crucial for the company to prepare the ‘influencers’ of these kids i.e. their parents and guardians. Facebook also said that it shared with influencers the optimism about their children’s potential.
Before releasing the website, Facebook teamed up with the management consulting firm McKinsey & Company.
Other surveys have shown that the situation may be even grimmer to minorities when it comes to pursuing tech careers. For instance, in 2014, U.S. tech companies hired 36 African-Americans and 73 Latinos. The numbers are insignificant when comparing them with 603 white people that got a tech job in the same period.
Additionally, only 2 percent of Facebook employees are black, and 3 percent are Latinos. Close to 55 percent are Caucasians.
Image Source: Flickr
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