According to a new report from, more minorities — including women, black and Latino students — took Advanced Placement computer science classes than ever before in 2018. Even rural participation was up in a major way, expanding the average demographic for who takes AP courses in America.

In general, 31% more students are taking AP computer science exams than previous years, but within that group, black students who took the courses grew 44 percent, Hispanic and Latino students grew by 41 percent, women grew by almost 40 percent this year and rural participants grew by 42 percent.

The growth is significant, especially when you consider that just 2 percent of schools with high percentages of underrepresented students of color offer AP computer science classes to begin with.

These courses are essential because of the power and opportunity that comes from computer science. We’re still on the technology wave, and through these courses, students can get exposed skills that lead to successful careers in tech, a job market that is always growing.

“There will be one million job openings in the next decade that require computer science experience,” said Trevor Packer, senior vice president of AP and instruction at College Board.

By providing the opportunity for more minorities and women to participate in the program, the future tech leaders in the country have a higher chance of being diverse in race, gender and experience.