The demand for workers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) occupations is increasing at every education level and across every industry, according to a report by Georgetown's Center on Education and the Workforce.
There are more than 500,000 computing job openings nationwide and fewer than 43,000 computer science students graduated into the workforce last year, according to code.org, a nonprofit dedicated to expanding access to computer science.
The problem, Zuckerberg said, is that some job seekers are deterred from the field altogether by the rigorous tech skills required — particularly women, she added. (Women continue to be underrepresented in STEM occupations relative to their position in the labor market as a whole: Only 23 percent of workers in STEM are women, compared with 51 percent of workers in all occupations, according to the Georgetown center.)
"I spent a lot of time being the only women in the room," Zuckerberg said, "so I have a personal drive and passion to make sure that this tech skills gap applies to women and girls in a meaningful way also."
In terms of ultimately landing a high-paying tech job, computer science and engineering majors were the most successful, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers' most recent annual survey of college students.