IN DEPTH | 3 Kent State women plunge into STEM by creating app, where job growth is

Here at Channel 3, we are seeing the possible with jobs and job development.

Here at Channel 3, we are seeing the possible with jobs and job development.

We’re taking a look at what some young women in our area are doing to launch an app that they believe could change the world, all while preparing to pursue STEM careers.

Those are professions in science, technology, engineering and math.

Loading ...

That’s where the jobs are predicted to be.

If like many parents you’re thinking about what your children can pursue in college that has the highest likelihood of guaranteeing them a job when they graduate, STEM fields are likely a good place to start.

A group of three minority women at Kent State University say they’re developing the “Fresh App” from scratch.

Kortney Arnold, Asia Frazier and Tiffany Coleman are not only friends, they’re business partners.

They’re leaping boldly into the tech world, with the hope of taking it over. “We definitely want to pave the way for young black kids.. young minority kids to have a chance to have their voice heard… to make it to the top,” Kortney Arnold said. “It’s possible, anything’s possible as long as you put your mind to it.”

“How do you parlay this into a career?” WKYC’s Hilary Golston asked. “Hopefully it goes big and that’s my career for the rest of my life. It’s something that I definitely love to do. It excites me more than any 9-5 job. It’s something that I want to do for the rest of my life," Kortney replied.

Kortney, Asia, and Tiffany are not just entrepreneurs they’ve also landed themselves squarely in the “T” of STEM, where the National Science Foundation notes over the past two decades… there's been a lot of progress, but there's still a wide gap in the number of women and underrepresented minorities obtaining science and engineering degrees.

That reality seems to translate to the workforce.

About half of all people with careers in science and engineering are white men. 18 percent are white women. Black and Hispanic men and women combined only make up about 11 percent of the total in these careers.

Loading ...

"It is not proportional to the population as a whole,” Dr. Jodi Tims, chair of the Computer Science Department tells Golston. There’s “lots of room for improvement,” she explained.

Job security is also high in STEM careers. In 2015, scientists and engineers had a lower unemployment rate compared to the general U.S. population. 3.3 versus 5.8 percent.

Careers like computer systems analysts and systems software developers are expected to see significant increases by 2020.