Click the link, below, to learn about U.S. President Obama’s bold new initiative to empower a generation of American students with the computer science skills they need to thrive in a digital economy. (Article by Megan Smith.)
“ACM, the world’s leading computing society, today praised the enactment of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) into law as an important and historic step for K-12 education in the United States. The new law recognizes that computer science is a fundamental academic subject, along with reading and writing, vital to a “well-rounded” education in the 21st century. The increased emphasis on providing early and ongoing exposure to computer science and connecting it as part of learning in other curriculum areas will bring long-lasting benefits for our work force, economy, and society.”
“Digital technology is now so ubiquitous that many think a rounded education requires a grounding in this subject just as much as in biology, chemistry or physics. That is one reason that the pendulum is swinging back towards teaching coding. Employers’ moans are another. The shortage of skilled programmers is clear from the high salaries they command. The shallower the pool of people who know the basics, the smaller the number of potential tech entrepreneurs.”
According to a report released by US News and covered by both Slate and Business Insider, Software Developer tops the list of the 100 best jobs of 2014. From the report:
These professionals are the brains behind your Candy Crush obsession and Android phone dependency. They might be applications developers, who design computer software, databases and games, or they could be systems-focused developers, who are responsible for building operating systems. Growth for both types of IT professionals should balloon: The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts there will be nearly 140,000 brand new positions created before 2022.
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“At the annual Grace Hopper event for women in computing, TechCrunch TV asked software engineers: What is it that they love about the act of building things through code? The answers were all unique, and all pretty inspiring.” (YouTube) See them here.
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During a recent conversation with computer scientist Ed Lazowska of the University of Washington, Seattle, he alerted Science Careers to a very impressive analysis from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) looking into trends for science-related jobs and predictions for job growth between the present and 2020.
These are only projections, and job-market projections are generally not to be trusted. Yet, these come from an authoritative source, and the trends are hardly subtle. Here’s an image Lazowska put together from the BLS projections, reproduced here with permission:
Parents should demand that more schools teach computer programming, according to a new online video campaign from Hadi and Ali Partovi, brothers who formed Code.org, a nonprofit organization created to promote computer science education. The Partovi brothers immigrated to America from Iran in 1984, and Hadi says an early interest in computers and a formal education in writing software has put them in a position to have flourishing careers. The brothers graduated with computer science degrees from Harvard University, and launched companies that were sold to Microsoft and MySpace.
The 10-minute video includes familiar startup scenes, as well as interviews with tech entrepreneurs such as Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, and Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, and some unexpected pop celebrities. The brothers also have lined up endorsements from Bill Clinton, Al Gore, and American Federation of Teachers union leader Randi Weingarten. “Computer programming, right now, is the best embodiment of the American Dream,” Hadi says. “The tragedy is the skills it takes are not hard to learn, but only 10 percent of schools offer [computer science] courses, and these are usually the privileged schools.”
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