An investigation of students learning to code indicates that there’s simply no difference in the performance of men versus women among adult learners. We do, however, find enormous differences in the ratio of women versus men who enroll in coding classes. With all the qualitative debate around the issue of gender in software education we thought we’d be transparent about our own numbers.
Graduation & Engagement
So, how do women perform in online coding classes versus their male peers? Thinkful’s data (when normalized for a gender gap at enrollment, more on that later) indicates that graduation rates are almost identical for both women and men:
There is a small difference giving women the slight edge, but it’s within the margin of error given our sample size of just under 1,000 enrolled students.
“Graduation” can be a very coarse way of gauging success, mostly because we set the bar for achieving it much closer to the way most traditional schools define their “honors” programs. In fact, around 20-30% of students (i.e. those that want to build their own projects) don’t care about “graduation” at all. To gauge their success throughout their time with us we currently look at the rate at which students disengage, or withdraw, from our program.
Again, no significant difference. The key takeaway here is that while there are small differences in how much women and men are engaging in our courses the two groups are actually very similar. If anything, across the first two months men and women have the same withdrawal rates with the data showing that women seem to stick it out longer in the first month than men.
Fascinating looking at how 16% of the male enrollees want to found a startup but only 5% of the women. Also this is excellent content marketing and I think I shall consider converting to a Thinkful course!