Sarah Serussi about girls and programming

Sarah Serussi is writing her specialization project about girls’ views on programming and technology. Through Kahoots, interviews and questionnaires she is hoping to find some reasons as to why programming as a subject is generally less appealing to girls versus boys.

In 2008 the percentage of female applicants to the Computer Science master’s degree programme at NTNU was at 3,46%. Although the number has increased during the years leading up to 2016, the number is still low; only 13% of the applicants were female in 2016. In a world surrounded by information technology and social media, one might assume that more women would be interested in studying technology studies.

Five lower secondary schools in Trondheim are participating in a pilot project where programming is taught as an elective subject. There are very few girls attending these classes, and already some girls have dropped out of the class. Why is this? 

Research performed by Google indicates that there are many different reasons for girls’ decisions to start studying computer science; where the main factors are social encouragement, career perceptions, academic exposure and self-perception. Is this true in Norway as well?

The expected outcome of this specialization project is an overview of the situation in Norway today (including measures taken to improve the girl ratio in programming classes and technology studies), reasons for girls not choosing to study IT (from research through Kahoots, interviews, and questionnaires), and finally some suggestions as to what can be done to improve the situation.