January 12, 2017

As an educator, it shocks me that we are still not seeing a majority of schools offering some kind of programming/computer science course during or after school. Obviously there are many challenges that schools must face like finding qualified teachers, funding, time, and space. This being acknowledged, these challenges must be overcome to make sure we aren’t failing the students passing through our public school system.

When you really get down to the point of why we educate students, it is to give the students the opportunity for a brighter future where they can get a job, pursue higher education, and survive. Now surviving is definitely the bare minimum of what we want our students to do. I can honestly say I have never heard an educator or parent say that their goal for their student or child is to “survive”. This is because we know that mere survival is far too low of a goal for our children. It wouldn’t be uncommon or unreasonable to set goals like having a successful job that our students enjoy. We may even push our students to strive for higher education to allow them to live a comfortable life.

So if we have such high dreams and hope for the students we are educating, why aren’t we educating them on something that would certainly guarantee job opportunities? The White House informed us earlier this year that more than 600,000 IT jobs were going unfilled. To top it off, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics is estimating that by 2020, one million programming jobs in the U.S. will go unfilled. Jobs that are here right now, not being filled because they couldn’t find someone qualified to take the position in the U.S. If we see and can foresee the need for IT jobs today and into the future, why are we ignoring how important or helpful these skills would be to our students?

We have to do better as a country to adapt our education to fit the needs of the current and future U.S. job market. If we don’t, we are failing our students and children who never got the opportunity to be exposed to or learn computer science in school.

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1. Smith, Megan. “Computer Science For All.” The White House. The United States Government, 30 Jan. 2016. Web. 12 Jan. 2017.

2. “Computer Science is for Everyone!” The White House. The United States Government, 11 Dec. 2013. Web. 12 Jan. 2017.