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Role of educational institutions in encouraging female students to enter IT

The predictions of the National Science Foundation (NSF) say that more than 80% of the jobs in the market will require STEM skills in the upcoming years.

Corporates, private institutions, and the Government should collaboratively think over to promote equal opportunities.
Corporates, private institutions, and the Government should collaboratively think over to promote equal opportunities.

By Harsh Bharwani

It became a global issue that there is a lack of females in the IT field along with STEM-related areas. Here STEM refers to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths, and only 40% of graduates in the total population in India are females. So, it is a need to encourage females in different sectors including IT from the very beginning. Schools, colleges, and universities need to enhance the female quota in IT education and give them equal opportunity.

Most girl students between the age of 12-15 years said in a Mastercard survey that for them STEM is just a career choice but not a perfect selection. They feel that there is a domination of male students in science, maths, and technology areas. So they are likely to take these studies further. This is because of the negative stereotypes, old-fashioned mindset, lack of encouragement and women role models, lower confidence, and fear are the most reasons. These are putting female students behind the competition in the tech industry.

Moreover, the predictions of the National Science Foundation (NSF) say that more than 80% of the jobs in the market will require STEM skills in the upcoming years. These careers will be highly paid and there will be a long secure future also. So, this is a great opportunity for female students including males that most IT and tech careers are looking forward to them.

However, the following steps that the educational institutes can follow to encourage the girl students to join IT careers.

Start Early

To increase the interest of female students in STEM subjects, there is a need to start this at a very young age. The institutions need to develop a fun, engaging, and interactive curriculum for them. This will create an interest in girl students and stimulate the studies of STEM. At first, the fear in their mind regarding the hardness of STEM subjects should be removed. So that they can learn easily.

Further, the girl students should be given the facility to take part in competitions, tech arenas, robotics, coding, IT master quizzes, national olympiads, etc. These things will encourage them to study technical subjects and further, they can get into the IT field.

Increase digital teaching practice

As we know that the rapid pandemic disrupted all the areas including studies. But the digital and online mediums have helped many girl students to go for virtual studies in the tech areas. Most digital tools and mediums have given personalized unique experiences for pursuing higher studies to each student. If this practice continues, we can expect more female students will engage in studying tech subjects easily. In this way, educational institutes can engage girl students well.

Role models

Most students are inspired by highly successful people in different areas like movie actors, scientists, scholars, and many more. So, identifying such role models will be more helpful to encourage girls in tech fields. Personalities like Kalpana Chawla, Shakuntala Devi, Vanitha Narayan, Deep Madhavan, etc. These are the most influential females who turned the entire technology and science industry. Presenting these people as a role model and their success stories can give female students more confidence to move ahead.

Presenting career discovery

There is a need to develop the vision of the future tech industry and how they can involve in this career. The STEM requirements and the need for change should be taught to them highly. Also, they should be given different ideas to engage in the IT field. Girl students can get hands-on experience of STEM employment and its value through internships, career fairs, counseling, tech meetups, etc.

Therefore, they should be given the right advice and exposure so that they come to know their future paths with freedom. Corporates, private institutions, and the Government should collaboratively think over it to promote more equal opportunities.

Teacher’s involvement in the development

Every teacher in the school, lecturers in the colleges, and universities should also play a great role in developing skills in students. They are critical people to build creativity in each and every student they teach. The educational institutes should give more importance to girl students by encouraging them to dream big. They should create awareness on STEM courses and teach the necessity of it through training, camps, fairs, etc.

Girl students will develop themselves with such ideas, and encouragement and they can think innovatively. These skills will help them to plan well for the IT career that is waiting to provide millions of opportunities.

So, these are a few ways that female students can get entry into the IT field and make their career well. Also, they will become a strong part of the growth of the IT industry across the globe. All is the need to encourage, engage, and develop future skills and interests within them.

The author is CEO & MD, Jetking Infotrain

Read also: Ministry of Education issues clarification regarding fake websites, promising job opportunities

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