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Department of Labor says there is a push for more women in tech

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Posted at 5:36 PM, Nov 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-30 18:44:17-05

The robust industry of programming has more than 447,000 professionals working in the field. Yet, few women are entering into the lucrative profession.

There are more than 370,000 men working in programming, while only about 77,100 women are holding positions in the industry, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Vicky Lackey, 60, of Teague developed an interest in computers in the 1970s.

"I fell in love with computers," she said. "I started playing around with them myself."

Last year, she decided to enroll at Texas State Technical College to pursue a degree in computer programming technology. She is now learning new programming languages like Java and C#.

"The logic is kind of the same," Lackey said. "You just have to use the script and terminology with each language and then learn the code."

Lackey is one of 20,800 computer programmers in Texas, as of May 2017, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The state had an annual mean wage of $86,200, which is higher than its border states.

"The industry looks for competent programmers," said Casey Jones, a TSTC Computer Science instructor. "That comes down to those students who come in and work and grow with the complexity of coding."

According to the National Center for Women and Information Technology, 26 percent of professional computing jobs in the United States were held by women in 2017.

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