STEM JOBS

EARLY FALL 2017

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STEMJOBS.COM // EARLY FALL 2017 19 of backgrounds of our girls who code across the United States. We hope that girls will be able to seem themselves in these characters and as a result see themselves as coders. SJ: You released two new books, Girls Who Code and The Friendship Code, at the end of August. What is the inspiration behind and the goal of each? RS: After hearing from parents across the country that they wanted their daughters to learn to code, I went on Amazon to see what books were available and didn't see anything for girls and coding. Thus the idea of GWC books were born. The nonfiction book contains explanations of computer science and coding principles using real life examples to get readers to start to think like a computer scientist, including examples of projects from our very own girls who code. Girls Who Code: Learn to Code and Change the World is the Girls Who Code approach to computer science in graphic novel form—we have art on every page to make the content relatable and visually engaging. The fiction book series really stems from the idea that you can't be what you can't see, so we wanted to create a series of books with relatable characters and role models from all walks of life. Each of the books is told from the perspective of one of the five characters we've created so that all girls can see themselves as coders, whether they like sports or baking or fashion! SJ: Did anything surprise you as you began to work with girls through Girls Who Code? RS: What has amazed rather than surprised me is how imaginative and innovative girls are when they learn to code; they become change makers. SJ: What advice do you have for teens interested in computer science and coding? Why do you think this is a career path worth pursuing? RS: This is absolutely a career path girls should pursue! Today alone there are 500,000 open jobs in computing. These are the best-paying jobs in the country. These jobs pay twice that of the average private sector job and are at the center of innovation and growth. And they're not just in Silicon Valley. In fact, 91% of open software and computing jobs are outside of Silicon Valley. In Michigan there are 15,000 currently open jobs. In Virginia, 34,000. In Ohio, 15,000. Georgia, 20,000. These jobs aren't just in tech either. Sixty-seven percent of computing jobs are in retail, banking, transportation, entertainment, agriculture, manufacturing, even government! I'd also ask them to think about a problem they want to solve. If you learn to code, you can solve that problem. As for advice, just be brave and go for it. In our society, we train boys to be brave—to throw caution to the wind and follow their passions. And we train girls to be perfect—to please and play it safe, to follow the rules, and to always get straight A's. The result? Girls are kicking you-know- what in the classroom, but falling behind in the real world. Because in the real world, success is a product of bravery, not perfection. If we don't start teaching girls to be brave, they are going to miss their chance to code the future in Silicon Valley, to build the future in the C-suite, and to legislate the future on Capitol Hill. So jump in and start learning, and don't worry about failing. RESHMA SAUJANI CEO & FOUNDER OF GIRLS WHO CODE DEGREES: BACHELOR'S IN POLITICAL SCIENCE, MASTER'S IN PUBLIC SERVICE, JURIS DOCTOR (LAW DEGREE) YEARS IN THE INDUSTRY: 5 STEM TYPE: INTEGRATOR "TODAY ALONE THERE ARE 500,000 OPEN JOBS IN COMPUTING. THESE ARE THE BEST-PAYING JOBS IN THE COUNTRY."

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