We all live in an intelligent world. Today, digital skills are highly valued. Tomorrow, digital skills will be vital. However, although the College Board reported that Black and Hispanic students who try AP Computer Science are 7x more likely to major in it in college, according to The Case for Improving U.S. Computer Science Education, less than 10% of students who take the Advancement Placement (AP) Computer Science exam are Hispanic.

To reduce the gap and incite the community to pursue a career in the industry, all young U.S Latino students need the opportunity to learn computer science, especially those least likely to have access since according to Voto Latino, a low number in STEM careers exists not because of a lack of interest in the industry, but a lack of access the community has to tech tools and training.

At Microsoft, we recognize that education and training are key determinants of success in the labor market, which is why we are celebrating the World Youth Skills Day 2018, a day created by the United Nations to focus on how innovation and emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI), are transforming labor markets, as well as what skills youth need to operate in future economies to become drivers of a sustainable future.

Why are digital skills important for the youth?

In a world being transformed by technology, all youth should have the opportunity to develop the creativity, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills gained by learning computer science.

How we’re helping to close the gap?

When young people have access to digital skills, they can help solve the world’s greatest challenges and innovate in ways that benefit themselves, their families, and their communities. Microsoft partners with nonprofits, governments, educators, and businesses to reach young people who are least likely to have access to computer science education.

Programs like TechSpark are aimed at growing economic opportunities for all U.S Latinos. Free YouthSpark summers camps and STEM Saturdays are some of the training programs and opportunities that Microsoft offers, for free, to those who have Limited access to digital skills.

Explore all our digital skills resources, learn more about the impact of computer science education and get started with digital skills TODAY.