Programs

Programs that unlock young people’s potential in technology by focusing on middle school


Our innovative in-school and out-of-school programs make high-quality tech education available to more middle school students. We help spark an interest in tech, build skills for life and unlock life-changing opportunities.


 

Middle school students in computer lab

CompTIA Spark curriculum

Bringing engaging, high-quality technology education to more middle school classrooms

Give your middle school students the confidence and skills they need to succeed in today’s tech-driven world. Designed for middle grades, our curriculum is inspired by real-world work and the latest technology concepts. Backed by industry, it is available free of charge for educators and requires no previous tech experience to teach.

 

Explore the curriculum

Girls and an instructor looking at a computer

TechGirlz workshops 

Helping create a future where girls and women are equal participants in the digital world

Powered by CompTIA Spark, TechGirlz workshops provide hands-on learning opportunities for girls in grades 5 to 8. By solving real-world challenges, participants build confidence and open their minds to new possibilities. With the support of partners in communities across the country, we’re empowering more girls to become tomorrow’s tech leaders.

 

Learn about TechGirlz

Other CompTIA programs powering tech careers

CompTIA provides training solutions for adults looking to begin or advance their careers in tech as well as opportunities for professionals to connect with industry peers around the world.

CompTIA logo

As a trusted provider of training for millions of technology workers around the word, CompTIA helps people get the tech careers they deserve with industry-leading certifications, courses and expert knowledge.

 

Learn how CompTIA unlocks tech careers

CompTIA Community logo

CompTIA Community members are businesses that provide technology solutions and IT services. Representing professionals around the world, the CompTIA Community is a shared industry voice.

 

Connect with the CompTIA Community 

LATEST

Blog

Addressing the Gender Gap: How To Inspire More Girls To Pursue Tech Careers

By Scott Campbell

The numbers don’t lie: Women make up nearly 50% of the workforce but hold only about a quarter of tech jobs. Over the next 10 years, tech roles are expected to grow twice as fast as other sectors, offering exciting and rewarding careers for young people. But unless girls of today are engaged in tech pathways, tomorrow’s women will miss out on these opportunities.

So, what’s stopping girls from pursuing tech careers? And what can we do about it?

Overcoming the Misconceptions That Tech Is Boring, All-Math

As girls start to explore what the future will hold for them—often in middle school—many will have already self-selected out of tech pathways. Some simply may not know about the multitude of tech careers available, or others might believe that those careers aren’t interesting or suitable for them.

Unfortunately, misconceptions about jobs in tech persist—like tech is boring, tech is all about coding or that to work in tech you need to be a math or science whiz.

These myths can contribute to the “confidence gap,” especially for girls. Moreover, only 32% of girls say that tech jobs offer exciting, interesting work. Combating these misconceptions and exposing girls to a variety of tech skills and dynamic tech roles before they opt out of these career pathways is vital to keep their minds open to the multitude of rewarding opportunities in tech.

More Boys Than Girls Are Encouraged To Pursue Tech

Misconceptions about tech not only affect girls’ perceptions of tech careers, but also the perceptions of educators, parents and other adult champions. In fact, despite the fact that boys and girls perform equally in STEM education, boys are still more likely to be encouraged to pursue a STEM career (51% of boys vs. 41% of girls). These kinds of statistics show that it’s not only vital to engage girls around the opportunities in STEM, but others in their community too.

Parents, Adult Champions Can Be Part of the Solution

It’s not just the false perceptions of students that may be holding girls back from pursuing tech pathways. Parents, caregivers and other adults may not know about the rewarding opportunities in the tech industry, or they believe many myths about tech themselves. For example:

  • They may not be comfortable with technology
  • They may not be actively aware of the gender disparities around tech and why girls may need some additional support pursing tech interests
  • They may subconsciously push girls toward jobs more traditionally filled by women

CompTIA Spark research indicates that parents have a significant influence on their children’s career decisions — and that the myths and misunderstandings parents may have about tech could be diverting students away from even considering careers in tech.

It Takes a Collective Effort To Diversify the Tech Workforce

So, how do we encourage more girls to explore the opportunities in tech? That burden doesn’t fall on any one group’s shoulders. Commitment from parents and guardians, educators and school districts, tech companies, and tech education initiatives like CompTIA Spark and its TechGirlz program are all important individually. But if all of these groups can work together, the results can be even greater.

Three Steps To Help Close the Gender Gap in Tech

1. Provide opportunities for tech exploration and meaningful role models

Focused efforts to enhance inclusive tech education curriculum in schools can help expose students to a variety of tech skills and pathways in an engaging and dynamic way — including girls who may be less likely to seek out these topics.

Offerings designed specifically for girls go one step further, create a safe and supportive environment for them to explore tech concepts, expand budding interests and build their confidence. It’s also vital for girls to hear from women who are succeeding in the industry, offering role models that strengthen their belief that the tech industry is for people like them.

2. Meet girls where they are

The technology industry certainly doesn’t stand still, and neither should tech education. It needs to be responsive to new innovations and demands in the market but also meet students where they are. Finding the right lessons, instructors and messaging to attract young people, especially girls, is critical.

3. Provide programming to give girls confidence, interest in tech

CompTIA Spark helps middle-grade students develop interests and feel more confident while studying a variety of tech subjects from learning what’s inside a computer to more advanced topics like programming languages, robotics, augmented reality, cybersecurity and more.

CompTIA Spark is the social impact arm of CompTIA, the world’s leading IT industry association; the middle-school curriculum is developed by industry experts, always up-to-date with the latest tech developments and offered free to participants to make high-quality tech education available to all girls—regardless of their background.

Learn more about the CompTIA Spark curriculum and help empower more girls to be tomorrow’s technology leaders.