But why do high school girls ignore computer science training?

Estimated read time 3 min read

But why do high school girls ignore computer science training?

France is struggling to encourage women to take an interest in the growing digital sector. Questioned on the subject, the co-founder of LightOn, Igor Carron, referred the state to its own responsibility.

The reform of education and its consequences on the study of mathematics, according to him, would have aggravated an already unflattering balance sheet. “To be very clear, we will have fewer women in the future because of this (…) Education is not doing its job so that there are more women in Prep school. »

4.7% of students in Digital and computer sciences

On the teaching of computer science in high school, the observation is also more than mixed according to ‘ The Computer Society of France. The association – created in May 2012 and recognized as a public utility since 2018 – has focused on the interest of students in the Digital specialty and computer sciences (NSI) introduced in 2019.

For SIF, this discipline “must grow rapidly because it is intended to participate in the diversification of students’ profiles alongside other more classic specialties and because it is in direct connection with the most tense professions that are.”

Since its creation, NSI is certainly progressing, but remains “at too low a level”. This is not his only weakness. Indeed, the specialty interests “very little girls”. Finally, she is one of the most abandoned between the first and the final.

Nevertheless, some encouraging signals should be noted about the 2022-2023 school period.  The share of students choosing NSI increased from 4.3% to 4.7% between 2021 and 2022. So a progression, but small.

A specialty massively abandoned in terminal

“NSI is on a fault line: far below the 7 main specialties, between 10% and 40% on the one hand, and well above the rarer specialties, all below 3% on the other hand,” analyzes the association.

For this one, NSI should aim to rise to the average rate of a specialty, that is 15.4%. With a rate of 4.7%, the road promises to be long. At the current rate of growth, the 15% will not be achievable before 2045.

The current system does not benefit this specialty either. Terminal students only take 2 of these subjects, compared to 3 in the first. In 2022, NSI lost a little more than half of these students, “and the divide between girls and boys remains”.

The number of girls following this specialty is increasing (from 1814 to 2612 between 2020 and 2022). The rate of girls is thus 14.6% in 2022. In absolute terms, however, the balance sheet is particularly weak. These “figures represent only about 1.5 girls per high school (all high schools combined) on average.”

“They do not seem to be able to increase significantly as long as no proactive and incentive policies are put in place in this area,” regrets the French IT Company. At the current rate, the 30% mark set by the ministry would not be reached before 2043.

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