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Study finds New York City’s tech education programs lacking

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A study from the Center for an Urban Future found geographic gaps in the city’s tech training and education programs with most programs being offered in Manhattan and Brooklyn. There are at least 238 organizations running 506 tech-education and training programs in 857 sites across the five boroughs. 

Just over 300 of the 378 K-12 tech education programs are offered in the boroughs with three neighborhoods—Chelsea, Greenwich Village and Park Slope—home to a third of those sites. The study also found that out of the city’s 55 Census-defined neighborhoods, eight did not have any K-12 skills-building programs at all.

There is also a disparity between the K-12 grades that take part in tech education programs, with very few programs offered to students in the 5th grade and below. 

The distribution of tech education programs for adults is slightly more even,  317 out of 467 programs are located in Manhattan or Brooklyn. 

Problems with the city’s tech education problems don’t end just with their location. The study also found that the majority of tech education programs geared toward low-income adults were only basic computer literacy courses or offered introductory skills. Only a small amount offered any in-depth training that could better prepare a student for a tech-related career. 

Out of the 160 free tech training programs provided through a nonprofit only four percent offer participants advanced coding or engineering skills, according to the Center for Urban Future. And only 6 percent offer “career-oriented training for mid-level jobs in tech,” the study said. 

The report mentions that the number of tech education programs is growing. At least 238 organizations running 506 tech-education and training programs in 857 sites across the five boroughs. Mayor de Blasio also promised that computer science classes will be taught in all public schools by 2025. 

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