Silicon Valley’s Diversity Problem/HBCUs Slow Response

We keep hearing about Silicon Valley’s diversity problem: According to the Washington Post Facebook is 3% Black, 7% Hispanic. Google is 2% Black, 3% Hispanic.

A USA Today study noted that universities graduate Black and Hispanic computer science and computer engineering graduates at twice the rate that technology companies hire them.

Why?

Because Silicon Valley recruits from places like Stanford (7.8% Black) and MIT (10% Black).

HBCUs have computer science and engineering programs, yet Silicon Valley doesn’t recruit at them.

A recent BuzzFeed article blames Silicon Valley for failing to recruit at a broader range of schools.

But it also blames HBCUs for teaching a 20th century curriculum that doesn’t match Silicon Valley’s 21st century needs.

Let’s fix this now. Google has started by embedding Googler in Residence engineers to teach at Howard, Hampton, Fisk, Spelman and Morehouse. On campus Googlers are beginning to expose HBCU students to Silicon Valley.

According to Buzzfeed, Aaron Saunders, an entrepreneur and adjunct faculty member at Howard contacted Apple, before he designed his computer science course, to see what Apple would need from his students as they entered the work force.

African Americans need the best and most current curriculum, to have access to tech networking opportunities, to create top notch academic records and know how to navigate the tech employment field.

We need to be nimble, responsive and proactive to ensure our scholars get to the front of the line in the 21st Century.

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