Several groups of people remain underrepresented in the tech industry.
According to an October 2019 Wired survey, Black, Latinx, and Indigenous employees made up approximately 5% of Silicon Valley firms, far lower than their number in the US population as a whole. And while there are signs that this is changing, many students will still enter an industry in which they’ll face discrimination and biases — both conscious and unconscious.
Student affairs professionals have a role to play in addressing this challenge. Encouraging black and other students who are underrepresented in the technology industry to get into – and stick with – tech-based courses and programs can be a real challenge.
With that in mind, I’ve compiled a list of resources to help you empower students who are underrepresented in the technology industry to pursue a tech career of their dreams.
1. The Bloc/New Relic Scholarship awards $500 for scholars to attend any Bloc program (an online tech education portal).
2. The Diversity Scholarship Fund provides scholarships for students who “come from underserved backgrounds that are not well represented in the tech industry.” To date, over $2.7 million in scholarships have been awarded to more than 600 students. This includes one full-ride scholarship that is awarded to one Black American in every cohort.
3. Grand Circus Scholarships runs a coding boot camp and offers scholarships ranging from $1,000 to $1,500 per student.
4. Galvanize Scholarship awards full-tuition scholarships for its data science and software engineering programs.
Job Boards & Career Support
5. Brainstation offers career guides and training resources that can help students develop their skills in data science, web design, tech, marketing, and SEO.
6. Jopwell helps minorities in tech jump-start their careers with information on learning pathways and peer resources.
7. Include.io is a job board with loads of filter options to help techies discover new opportunities.
8. Project Basta runs fellowships for first-generation students, empowering them with communication and job search tools.
9. Hack The Hood is a new initiative that introduces younger students of color to local businesses and empowers them to create their own websites.
10. Technolochicas raises awareness among young Latinas about opportunities and careers in tech. It has a great mentorship program as well.
Podcasts & Publications
11. Black Tech Unplugged is a podcast that shares stories of Black professionals’ success in the tech industry. The hosts also offer advice and guidance for listeners in pursuing their own careers in tech.
12. Tech Forward is a podcast that features stories of successful female and minority venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, and industry executives.
13. PeopleOfColorInTech.com features articles and interviews about people of color excelling in tech. This is a great site to inspire students!
14. The Tokenist offers resources on blockchain, investing, and financial education. Anyone looking to learn more about blockchain or trading will find a lot of valuable information here.
15. Two Black Nerds is a podcast hosted by Iheanyi Ekechukwu and Romeo Kwihangana, two Black techies who chat about culture and tech trends.
16. Black Is Tech is a two-day conference that features highly reputable speakers, bringing together the best minds in tech.
17. REFACTR.TECH is a three-day conference aimed at showcasing the ideas of the Black tech community. It focuses on connecting techies with industry leaders and investors and is a great place to inspire students on their next school projects or to see the directions the industry is moving in.
18. Coding Black Females organizes online meetups and networking events to support students and seasoned professionals alike.
19. BlacksInTechnology.net is an online community for Black professionals in tech. It provides expert insight into some of the biggest issues facing Black pros in tech today.
20. BlackTechPipeline.com grew out of the Black tech community on Twitter. It collects resources and aims to connect Black techies with each other. This community is impressively global, making it great for students looking to network outside of their local communities.
21. /dev/color focuses on increasing and maximizing the role of Black software engineers within the industry. The A* Program encourages professionals to participate in networking events, think about how their careers can be developed for maximum impact, and share their knowledge with a new generation of techies.
22. Diversify Tech offers a massive series of resources to aid aspiring tech pros — connecting them with new careers, networking events, scholarships, and tech communities. This site is huge; it’s the most exhaustive collection of resources out there.
23. BlackCodeCollective.com is a vibrant growing community that encourages Black developers to collaborate and learn from each other. It also has some great resources for careers in tech.
24. Black Female Founders is one of the biggest and best communities for Black women in tech, offering advice and support for everyone from college students to start-up founders.
25. Latinas In Tech aims to increase Latina representation in tech. The site’s primary focuses are on job matching and peer learning.
26. Techqueria.org is an online community for Latinx in tech. It aims to provide a central clearinghouse of job opportunities, mentorship resources, and learning materials.
27. Latinxs in Tech is a Facebook group for Latinxs in tech to talk about their careers, discuss frustrations, and share job opportunities. It has a highly active membership of techies living all across the U.S.
28. We Build Black focuses on software developers, though other aspiring Black techies can find plenty of inspiration here, too. Some of the biggest names in tech frequent this board, so it’s a great place for an ambitious new generation.
So there you have it – a list of resources to help you encourage your students who are underrepresented in the technology industry to get excited about pursuing careers in tech.
Of course, self-directed learning will only get them so far; students also need the support of dedicated student affairs professionals.