Virus Bulletin small talk: Diversity in tech

Virus Bulletin small talk: Diversity in tech

Hardly a week goes by anymore between posts about the impending doom that will be brought about by a lack of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) workers, particularly in the US. There are many who feel that the shortage is a myth. If you drill down further into different STEM disciplines, and into different specific demographics, the picture gets even more complex.

Top universities are saying that they’re graduating twice as many African American and Hispanic people with computer science degrees than are being hired. Women are statistically more likely to be unemployed from computer-related jobs than are men. This implies that there are considerably more people out there who are potential job candidates than are being hired.

But there are plenty of people who are worried about the existing “negative unemployment” rate in certain sectors of technology, particularly in information security. Certainly in the wake of ever-larger breaches in retail, healthcare, education and government, demand for talented defenders is significant.
What now?
Next week begins the 25th annual Virus Bulletin conference in Prague, Czech Republic where my fellow researcher Stephen Cobb and I will be leading a discussion of this topic. We’ll be discussing a variety of aspects of this shortage: including whether improving diversity and the educational pipeline can help, or if we need to decrease burnout and turnover, and how people are going about changing things at various levels.
So if you’re at Virus Bulletin next week, please stop by and join our discussion. If you can’t be with us in Prague, you can also follow the conference and join the discussion on Twitter at ‪#VB2015.