New Report: Shortage of Hispanics in Technology

I’ve written before regarding the lack of Hispanics in science, technology, engineering, and mathematic (STEM) careers. Research conducted by the Latino Technology Alliance (LTA) provides additional data as well as further recommendations to address the issue. Among the key findings:

In 2007 Latinos age 18 or over comprised 13.2 percent of the US population but were employed in only 5.5 percent of information technology jobs nationally and only 5.8 percent of key non‐IT high technology jobs.

In 2000 and 2007 Latinos in Illinois comprised a lower share of IT workers than the national share (4.1 percent and 4.8 percent respectively). They also did less well in non‐IT high technology employment than the nation as a whole in 2000 (4.1percent), but grew at a faster than average rate by 2007 to a 7.9 percent share.

Latinos in science and engineering (S & E) earn lower median salaries than all S & E workers, $60,000 for Latinos in 2003 compared to $66,000 for all S & E workers. 

Latinos are at an educational disadvantage in pursuing careers in STEM occupations as evidenced by low scores in standardized tests in mathematics and literacy.

Educational intervention programs have been shown to be critical factors in increasing Latinos’ entry into the STEM pipeline.

Schools that serve minority students in areas of concentrated poverty have less access to computers, have limited access to the internet, are less likely to use computers for complex forms of learning, and have teachers who less frequently use computers for instructional purposes. 

Knowledge about how to advance to college is low among Latino parents. Knowledge deficits were significantly greater among parents with lower income and educational backgrounds as well as among first‐generation immigrants. 

Since many Latino students are the first in their family to attend college, they may have poorly developed goals or may not be adept at navigating the pathways between coursework and career success; hence they may be overwhelmed with the choices that confront them in college.