Northrop Grumman Software Engineer Amber Johnson is first African American woman to receive a doctorate in Computer Science from Purdue University


Northrop Grumman Software Engineer Amber makes history

Northrop Grumman Software Engineer Amber makes history

Amber Johnson embarks upon a new journey with Northrop Grumman, having become the first African American woman to graduate with a doctoral degree in Computer Science from Purdue University.

Working in the role of Software Engineer with Northrop Grumman, Amber says she realized she loved computers from the early age of four years old and went on to learn to code. As a child, she used to program her own calculators and was always trying to fix things. 

“I’ve always been really into gadgets, figuring things out, taking things apart. I was self-taught,” Amber told The Exponent.

Amber received her undergraduate degree in Computer Science from LeMoyne Owen-College in Memphis, TN, and her master’s from Jackson State in Mississippi before moving to Purdue.

Encouraging more girls into coding

At Purdue, Amber became an instructor for Girls Who Code and Black Girls Rock Tech and was an active member of the Black Graduate Students Organization, an important group as black students are a minority at the university, accounting for around 3 per cent of all the students enrolled (according to Purdue's 2019 graduate enrollment survey). 

Amber, delighted to join Northrop Grumman, added "I don’t look like the stereotypical computer scientist. You don’t find many black women in this academic space. This is what computer science can look like.”

Pleased to be welcoming Amber, Northrop Grumman tweeted: "Welcome to the team, Amber, and congratulations on your pioneering doctorate at @LifeAtPurdue #NorthropGrumman."

Join inspirational women like Amber at Northrop Grumman

Northrop Grumman is a leading global security and aerospace company with a wide range of career options available. 

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