Times are changing. Technology is changing.
And, as a result, the skill sets that employers seek are changing.
Knowing HTML, CSS, or a programming language like C can give a jobseeker a serious advantage over their competition. Even knowing programming basics can help. And computer science graduates are some of the highest paid college graduates in the country.
But – get this:
Most U.S. schools don’t teach computer science at all – not even fundamentals.
And, by “most U.S. schools,” I mean an estimated 90% of K-12 schools.
On top of that, most of the schools that do actually offer computer science courses don’t count those courses toward graduation. They can’t count as math or science requirements – they can only be taken as electives.
How does that make you feel?
I mean, right now, there are more computer science jobs available in the country than there are graduates able to fill those jobs. So, why aren’t we giving our kids the opportunity to learn any coding fundamentals in high school so that they can excel in college computer science courses?
College computer science courses can be extremely difficult – even for someone who has coding experience. That being said, imagine how hard those courses are for someone with zero coding experience – pretty difficult!
Chances are, if coding courses were offered in high school, more students would become computer science majors. They’d have the fundamentals under their belt and likely be able to pick up on the more difficult coding concepts more quickly.
So, why aren’t these courses being offered?
The problem is, computer science is still fairly new. Lawmakers cannot be easily convinced to add computer science courses to a curriculum because they feel that it will take away from the core curriculum.
Also, many people are under the impression that computer courses offered in high schools tech students how to code. In reality, those courses often just teach computer basics, like Microsoft Office programs and computer literacy. With advanced technology becoming more common, computer literacy has become an expectation in the workplace. It’s no longer impressive to say that you are good with computers – you need to have some coding skills to be truly impressive.
Computer science courses the code, but they also teach much more than that. They teach logic and how to think critically. They teach perseverance and how to turn concepts into something real. Those skills are critical in many different types of jobs – not just computer science jobs.
Computer science courses should not only be offered in all high schools – they should count toward high school graduation credit for math or science. When offered simply as an elective, computer science courses can seem intimidating or too difficult for students who already have a full plate of challenging math and science courses.
By teaching students how to code, we can empower them to innovate and create a better future for themselves and the world.