A long-standing program of the Computing Research Association’s Committee on Widening Participation in Computing Research (CRA-WP) is the Career Mentoring Workshops (CMWs). CMWs are designed to support individuals in the early and mid-career stages of their career pathways, from senior doctoral students to mid-career faculty or researchers preparing for senior positions. There are tracks for those in academia, industry, and government research labs. For the latest workshops held in November of 2020, attendees attended virtual workshop sessions tailored specifically to their needs based on their current career trajectory.
CERP has provided evaluation for the CRA-WP CMWs since 2015, using a pretest-posttest evaluation design, wherein participants completed a survey both before and then after the workshop. Although workshops prior to 2020 were held in-person, CERP employed the same evaluation design for the virtual workshop in 2020. Of the 122 attendees, 30 individuals completed both the pre and post surveys (Time 1 and Time 2, respectively) for the workshop.
Survey respondents answered on a five-point scale the degree to which they disagreed or agreed to the following statements: “I have a long-range vision for my career”, “I know the steps I need to take to reach the next step in my career”, and “I know people I can go to for guidance on how to advance my career.” Data were analyzed using paired-samples t-tests with a significance level of p ≤ .05. Results indicate that after the workshop, as compared to before the workshop, participants were more likely to report they knew people to whom they could go to for guidance on how to advance their career (t = 2.73, p = .01). There were no statistical differences between means at the Time 1 and Time 2 for the other two statements included in the analysis.
Of importance, this analysis does not separate early and mid-career respondents. It is possible that early-career respondents have a different viewpoint on their career trajectory than mid-career respondents. Additional analysis will be conducted to tease apart differences in these results based on career track as well as respondent demographics.
This analysis is 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. Subscribe to the CERP newsletter here. Volunteer for Data Buddies by signing up here.
This work is supported through National Science Foundation (NSF) award CNS-1840724. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.