The world of technology is constantly evolving, and with it, the need for diverse voices and perspectives becomes increasingly crucial. What’s the ambitions of the students in tech these days? And where are they studying?
In our “The State of Women In Tech 2023” report, pubished late June 2023, we explored the educational journey of aspiring women technologists and the future that lies ahead for these students.
One striking finding from the report is that 52% of the surveyed women studying tech subjects are currently enrolled in Higher Vocational Education (HVE/YH), while only 32.5% are pursuing academic studies. This statistic highlights the growing prominence of vocational education and emphasizes the need to widen the scope of talent search beyond traditional academia – especially for companies as there is a shortage of talent.
15% of the respondents, answered ‘Other’, of which a majority are conducting self-studies through e.g. online courses or YouTube. This might be a result of the current trend of self-studies – and is hopefully a sign of increased interest in tech from the lot.
While the number of women applying for IT/data programs in Higher Vocational Education is increasing steadily, there is still a notable gender gap. According to statistics from the Swedish Central Bureau of Statistics (SCB), women currently account for only about one-third of the total enrolment in these programs.
Within the respondent group of students, a significant 42.50% expressed their desire to pursue a career as a developer, making it the most coveted role. Following closely behind, 16.67% of respondents expressed their aspiration to become designers.
In light of the report’s findings, Åsa Johansen, Chief Communications Officer of Women In Tech Sweden, emphasizes the urgent need for closer collaboration between the tech industry and educators: “In Sweden only, there is an estimated lack of 70 000 head counts in tech*. To bridge this gap, the industry needs to work even closer with current educators as well as to expand the views on what type of requirements are needed for various tech roles. Many companies still demand academic backgrounds from their applicants while many young people and career shifters choose different routes to gain tech competence”.
All in all, “The State of Women In Tech 2023” sheds light on the educational journey of women in the tech industry. The prominence of vocational education and the aspirations of women towards technical roles demonstrate the evolving landscape of technology education. However, the gender gap persists, and efforts must be made to bridge it by reevaluating qualification requirements and collaborating closely with educators.
In July 2023, the Swedish Minister of Higher Education, Mats Persson announced that a government strategy for increasing the number of women choosing tech education, something we at Women In Tech truly welcome. By embracing diverse perspectives and expanding educational opportunities, we can pave the way for a future where women thrive in the exciting world of technology.
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