Code Fellows is a strong advocate for increasing diversity in the tech field. They acknowledge that there is a significant deficit in the amount of women, veterans, and African and Hispanic American professionals in the tech field.
“The percentages of coders who are women (less than 20 percent), black (less than 3 percent), or hispanic (less than 2 percent) are shockingly low in comparison to their place in the general population. The low number of veterans moving into tech-related jobs is also surprising considering the leadership and problem-solving skills they can bring,” stated Code Fellows.
The level of engagement amongst these groups in STEM fields is staggeringly low all the way from high school to the workplace. At the high school level, in 2013, of the 30,000 students that took the AP computer science exam “less than 20 percent of those students were female, about 3 percent were African American, and 8 percent were Hispanic,” reported Liana Heitin of Education Week.
Companies understand the importance of diversity in the workplace and are investing heavily to balance the scales. In January, Intel announced it was investing $300 million on diversity improvement fund. Last year Google put $50 million into their Made with Code initiative to help increase the number of women in technology and this year they have earmarked $150 million for increasing diversity in tech.
By the same token, the Code Fellows Diversity Scholarship Fund was created. Code Fellows understands that proper training can kickstart a career in web development. Their brand of expedited and immersive learning can be the key ingredient in turning ambitious dreaming into a reality for those without any access point to the tech field.
“The Diversity Scholarship Fund will award scholarships of up to 70 percent of full-time course tuition to women, U.S. military veterans, and minorities underrepresented in technology (black, hispanic, and Native American, including Alaskan and Hawaiian).”
Once accepted into a full-time course all a student has to do is forward their course acceptance email to firstname.lastname@example.org (with the subject line "Scholarship Application"). They will then receive a scholarship application which then must be completed and submitted no later than three weeks before the first day of class.
Sarah Fischer of Code Fellows explains the application process, "Once students have been accepted into a advanced, full-time course, they can request a scholarship application. The application consists of five essay questions. Our team evaluates the applications, and then notifies all applicants to let them know if they received a Diversity Scholarship."
According to Sarah Hermanns, a Code Fellows scholarship recipient in the iOS Development Accelerator, “You answer 5 questions in an online survey; I spent a lot of time editing and treated the application like it was a merit scholarship.”
Scholarships like this are necessary to invoke change in the tech field. Code Fellows is taking the initiative to make a true impact to the communities in which they operate as well as the national tech landscape. Plus, the Code Fellows diversity scholarship is funded by companies that want to invest in Code Fellows students. According to Code Fellows, "We have a program called the Pay It Forward Initiative that gives our partner companies a chance to improve diversity in tech and invest in future developers. The fund is facilitated by the Washington Technology Industry Association's Workforce Institute (WWI), and all donations are tax deductible." We look forward to hearing about the powerful life-changing experiences that these scholarships will surely ignite.