The 14.1% of women studying for a bachelor's degree in computer engineering in academic year 2021/2022 in Spain entered the program with more prior learning than their male peers, perform slightly better, and chose different pathways, according to an open-access report by researchers at Universitat Oberta de Catalunya.
Women joining the program had already either started or completed a university degree, whereas men tended to join from advanced-level training cycles. Having a degree means the women are better prepared or have more academic experience than men when they start the program, the authors say. "Women generally get better grades, particularly in more theoretical pathway, and graduate one semester earlier," says the report.
Course difficulty does not significantly affect female students' choices, says the study, which notes a clear difference between the chosen pathways of male and female students. "Women tend to choose courses relating more to developing applications and user interaction, whereas men tend to prefer hardware and systems development," the authors say.
From Universitat Oberta de Catalunya
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