Nonprofits to Build Pipeline of Black and Latinx Software Engineers
Advocates for equity in tech develop pathways to help software engineers of color access in-demand coding skills
Today, two national nonprofit organizations dedicated to empowering students of color announced a partnership to grow the pipeline of underrepresented minority software engineers. CodePath and Management Leadership for Tomorrow (MLT) will identify high-achieving students of color in undergraduate engineering programs and equip them with industry-relevant technical training, along with the mentoring and networking supports needed to not only land jobs, but thrive at leading tech companies.
The partnership will combine CodePath’s expertise in delivering industry-backed computer science education courses with MLT’s experience in providing peer support, coaching, and mentoring for highly-talented students of color. CodePath students will be selected to join a group of 115 college software engineers for MLT’s fifth annual Silicon Valley Tech Trek, a 3-day program designed to help students of color develop a career vision in computer science, share MLT’s professional playbook for career success, and connect them directly with companies and engineering professionals. Students will receive an assessment of where their skill set stands against the industry’s technical bar and a plan to bridge those gaps through CodePath’s software fundamental course series.
African-American and Hispanic students continue to make up a disproportionately low percentage of candidates for high-paying tech jobs in growing fields. At the same time, major tech employers are grappling with a national shortage of computer science engineers with the technical skills commonly required by industry standards. The new partnership will help to solve for these skill and diversity gaps by expanding the pool of engineering talent to continue rapid growth and product innovation through a broader and more diverse talent pipeline.
MLT and CodePath will partner to reach computer science education departments at schools including Howard University, University of California-Dominguez Hills, and Queens College CUNY. CodePath.org will serve as the official technical training partner.
“While a record number of undergraduates are enrolling in computer science nationally, we’re still seeing a shortage of available CS courses and gaps between technical skills most valued by employers and traditional undergraduate curriculum offered on campuses across the country,” said Dr. Legand Burge, Howard University computer science professor and former department chair. “CodePath’s curriculum has been a powerful resource that enables young engineers at Howard to connect their engineering studies to the fastest-growing careers in tech. This partnership is emblematic of how industry, higher education and non-profit can partner together to expand educational and career opportunity.”
Since 2013, CodePath.org has trained more than 4,000 developers at over 800 technology companies, including Microsoft, Facebook and Airbnb. They deliver online and on-campus courses that complement existing computer science (CS) curricula by teaching the technical fundamentals and tools used at the nation’s preeminent tech companies. With more than 1,500 alumni in the tech sector, MLT has helped thousands of underrepresented minority students reach the high-performance bar required for professional roles at top-tier technology companies.
“Today, the widening opportunity gap in STEM education paired with continuing workplace inequities too often prevent students of color from accessing the same quality and breadth of opportunities in the tech industry,” said Michael Ellison, founder of CodePath.org. “If companies want to meet their goals of 10x growth and hiring, the status quo of talent and training has to change. Our partnership with MLT will bring together the best software engineering curriculum and career networking and support, creating multi-year pathways to tech career success for thousands of additional students from diverse backgrounds.”
“Through this partnership, Management Leadership for Tomorrow and CodePath.org will help thousands more students of color access the mentoring, support and educational experiences required to step into elite tech jobs,” said Mark Taguchi, Vice President and West Coast Managing Director of MLT, “Our vision for this work is to not only help companies to reach a critical mass of new talent, but also create an environment where people of color feel like they belong and the full return on diversity can be realized.”