This article is published in the February 2015 issue.

Undergraduate computing students’ parental education level differs by ethnicity


Undergraduate computing students’ parental education level differs by ethnicity

Feb 2015

Recently, 2776 computing majors reported their parents’ highest education level on CERP’s annual Data Buddies survey. African American and Latina/o students were significantly less likely than Asian American and Caucasian students to have at least one parent with with at least a Bachelor’s degree, p < .05. Further, Asian American and White students were significantly more likely to have at least one parent with a graduate degree, p < .05. Importantly, parental education level is positively correlated with the degree to which students perceived their family to be supportive of their decision to pursue a computing degree, p < .05. Given that parental support is an important predictor of persistence and confidence in students’ academic career, this discrepancy in students’ parental education level is important. That is, disparate parental education levels, as seen above, may help explain why African American and Latina/o students pursue computing careers at a lower rate than Asian American and Caucasian students.

These data are brought to you by the CRA’s Center for Evaluating the Research Pipeline (CERP). CERP provides social science research and comparative evaluation for the computing community. To learn more about CERP, visit our website at http://cra.org/cerp/.