Bridging The Tech Career Confidence Gap With Couragion Challenges
Over 70% of individuals cite confidence as a factor that discourages them from pursuing a technology career – this is according to a 2018 research study conducted by CompTIA with 1,000 18- to 34-year-olds. The research study also found that the number one reason cited for lack of confidence in the pursuit of tech careers was a concern over skill deficiencies.
This confidence gap was a primary driver in Couragion’s latest round of National Science Foundation R&D. Couragion’s research premise was that students’ confidence to pursue tech careers could be boosted by infusing work-based skill development into middle and high school computer science (CS) and technology courses.
With that premise in mind, Couragion added a set of Challenges (focused on CS, technology, and data analytics) into its web-based career literacy app. Each Challenge exposes students to career-specific skills and terminology and then asks students to complete in-app tasks that simulate actual “to dos” a person in the career would complete. For example, in the Software Product Management Challenge students are taught micro lessons about conducting user research to uncover important product feature ideas. They then listen to an excerpt of a real-world customer interview and pick out ‘must-have’ and ‘nice to have’ feature ideas for a new mobile app. This structure enables students to gain practical occupational and employability skills.
Couragion’s research shows that such skill building increases students’ confidence. In a study involving over 430 11- to 17-year old students, Couragion found that 75% of students agreed they felt more confident about pursuing STEM careers after completing the Challenges. These confidence boosts were further validated by reviewing comments made by users after they completed the Challenges. For example, one user summed it up nicely by stating “Getting to practice changed my perception of what the job is. I think it did change because I felt more confident in how I was able to complete the tasks.”
With 75% of students feeling more confident about pursuing STEM careers after building tech skills, Couragion’s research shows the positive impact of working with students when they are younger. With Couragion, we have the opportunity to reduce the number of students and adults who report a lack of confidence as a major reason for not pursuing tech careers.
Would you like to learn more about how to bridge the tech career confidence gap with your students? If so, we can show you the Challenges in action and share additional data trends in a 30-minute demo session. You can schedule a session here!