As the demand for technology professionals accelerates, computer science education is failing to keep pace.
There are currently over 500,000 open computing jobs yet only 50,000 students graduated with degrees in computer science last year.1 As the skills gap widens, the field continues to be plagued by a lack of diversity. Black and Hispanic employees together comprise only fifteen percent of the tech industry, and some analysts claim this percentage is shrinking.2
Motivated by a commitment to develop the workforce of the future and the importance of diversity to its business, BNY Mellon is investing resources and talent to ensure a career in technology is available to every student, no matter their background.
BNY Mellon has entered into a cross-sector partnership with the New York City Department of Education (DOE) and City University of New York system (CUNY) to strengthen pipelines to tech careers. On December 6, BNY Mellon and the DOE also hosted the second installment of “Futures in Tech,” a program which connects employee mentors with aspiring technologists from the DOE's Career and Technical Education high schools.
The “Futures in Tech” event is an opportunity to highlight Computer Science Education Week (CSEW) and provide students with an opportunity to use technology to solve real-world problems. CSEW is held the first week of December each year in recognition of the birthday of computing pioneer Grace Hopper.
BNY Mellon’s multi-level partnership with the DOE will also pilot a summer bridge program for students at select Grades 9 to 14 Early College and Career high schools. The program provides vital academic and college preparation training to support students’ transition into high school and technology-focused studies at college in addition to ensuring students’ skills anticipate the needs of the market.
“Our support of these bridge programs helps provide a seamless transition for low-income students interested in technology careers. It offers critical support at the most important educational milestones,” said Daisey Holmes, President of the BNY Mellon Foundation.
This effort is not limited to the classroom.
At “Futures in Tech,” 120 students from NYC’s Career and Technical Education schools were matched with BNY Mellon employees who served as coaches in a social impact hackathon. Students were charged with developing technology-powered solutions to benefit the lives of New Yorkers.
The winning concept from IN-Tech Academy in the Bronx converted abandoned City property into affordable housing featuring job training centers and other useful amenities. The students’ work was informed by the results of two online surveys and renderings of the buildings were showcased on a fully functional website for prospective residents.
"The hackathon coaches helped us focus our ideas and accomplish so much. We learned a lot today and it was great for us to work alongside real technology professionals." – Siare Williams, Brooklyn Steam Center
Considering the scope of the challenge and size of the opportunity, achieving and sustaining diversity in the tech workforce requires cross-sector partners and an approach that combines classroom instruction and experiential learning. Leveraging its talent, institutional partnerships, and community investment, BNY Mellon is helping to prepare the tech leaders of tomorrow.
2U.S. EEOC “Diversity in High Tech”