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Message to women: Apply for high tech jobs!

Despite the tough economy, there are lots of jobs available in engineering and computer science.

So why do companies have to go overseas to fill those jobs? As CBS News business and economics correspondent Rebecca Jarvis explains, one possible reason could be that not enough women are applying.

It's true and it's shocking: Just one in every 10 computer science graduates is a woman. Getting more females on the tech track is becoming a priority for industry leaders.

"The economic trends are super clear. The technical roles are in demand. Even in what is currently a very difficult situation for our country in unemployment. There's a huge shortage of engineers who can build products like Facebook. And women need to have their fair share of those seats," Facebook's chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg said.

Sandberg, who was ranked number five on the Forbes list of most powerful women, says today her top priority is to convince more women to join her in the world of high tech.

"These jobs pay more, there is more job security," she explained.

If you want to make money, go into technology.

Software engineers at top tech companies average $100,000 a year. Yet women make up just 13 percent of the field. Sandberg takes every opportunity to change that.

Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg
Facebook's chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg CBS

"If America wants to stay in the leadership opposition its had in the world economy, that's going to be incredibly tightly tied to how educated our population is and how good we are in technology," she explained.

Sandberg thinks our education system needs to be revised: "I don't think anyone looking at the situation could conclude anything but [that] our educational system is broken. We are not giving kids enough of a chance, and we're therefore not setting up our country for the success we need going forward. This is absolutely critical."

"I don't know if you've ever had the experience of walking into the wrong restroom by accident. And you sort of have this instant full body shock, 'I'm not where I'm supposed to be!' I think it's that same feeling when you walk into a class room and you are the only woman there," Jocelyn Goldfein, director of engineering at Facebook, said.

"Once girls start seeing women as role models in these fields, then it's a lot easier to feel they belong in that room," she added.

Goldfein says the stereotype of a lone nerd coding in a basement doesn't help. "We don't have a very clear idea of what it's like to be a software engineer. Most of the images we get from Hollywood are about hackers breaking into a basement at the CIA and starting World War III. The real work of software engineering is actually quite collaborative," she said.

"I don't think you have to love doing the programming all the time. It's about what you can do to change the world. And that's what girls want to do to change the world. And this will get you there," computer science engineering student Mo Kudeki said.

Getting more women in the door is a start, but Sandberg would really like to see is more women competing for her job. "If we can get more women to stay and lean into their careers we can really make a big difference. And make sure the progress happens at every level of society," she said.

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