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ACM TechNews

Native American Representation Lacking in U.S. Tech Roles

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Around 9.15 million people in the U.S. work in technology, with over 280,000 jobs added each year, yet Indigenous communities often are excluded from those opportunities.

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A report by the Kapor Foundation and the American Indian Science and Engineering Society found that Native American students continue to be underrepresented in U.S. college computer science courses.

Computer science enrollment for these students has remained stagnant at all two- and four-year institutions, with Native Americans accounting for fewer than 1% of computer science degree holders.

Although tech boot camps and apprenticeships provide alternative pathways for upskilling or reskilling, the Indigenous population accounted for just 2% of U.S. coding boot-camp alumni in 2020.

Further, American Indian and Alaska Native individuals, and Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders, held only 2% of technical apprenticeships offered that year.

Among other things, the report recommends institutions offer Native American students scholarships, fellowships, and research awards; launch Native American-led coding boot camps, and eliminate arbitrary barriers to a computer science major.

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