Here's why you should care and why you should encourage a young person in your life to learn how to code...
  1. I've made similar lists to this a few times before but, nevertheless still relevant...
  2. This week is Computer Science Education week. CS Ed Week is an annual program dedicated to inspiring young people and specifically K-12 to take an interest in computer science.
  3. So, why is CS education important?
  4. Our world is increasingly technological. Nearly everything we do, work with, create utilizes technology (including, and it follows that in order to continue innovating and creating you need people who have the actual hard skills and computer literacy to do so.
  5. Students who are exposed to computer science in high school are twice as likely to pursue computer science in college.
    This number is higher for minority groups in tech. Girls exposed to CS before high school are ten times more likely to major in CS than their counterparts. Black and Hispanic students exposed to CS early on are 14-17% more likely to major in CS than their non-CS counterparts.
  6. Well, why study computer science at all?
  7. In 2015, over 600,000 tech jobs went unfilled in the US
  8. That number is growing; by 2020, there will be 1.4 million jobs in computing related fields and by current estimates, graduates will only be able to fill 29% of those
  9. By 2018, 51% of all STEM jobs will be in computing and technology or related fields.
  10. Computing is not limited to tech. Companies like J.p. morgan Chase and Goldman Sachs have begun calling themselves tech companies because they employ more technologists than any other department in their companies.
  11. Computer literacy and programming has become more and more vital to simply being able to understand the world that we live in.
  12. But not only this, it gives you an edge and a say in where the future is going because you understand the science of technology.
  13. There are an onslaught of barriers to CS education.
  14. First and foremost, it's not taught.
  15. Only about 25% of secondary schools in the US teach CS, despite over 90% of parents and superintendents and principals saying that they'd like to see computer science in their schools.
  16. Why?
  17. Well first, superintendents and principals don't believe that parents want to see it in school.
  18. Second, there isn't money to train a teacher to teach CS curriculum adding to the misconception that CS is too hard for someone to just pick up.
    In something like 40 states, school districts are not allowed to hire someone who majored in computer science to teach computer sciences
  19. Third, the money schools do have is focused on testing. Because most schools don't offer any AP Computer Science or a similar standardized curriculum there is seemingly no reason to put money toward CS, where does it show?
  20. Women represent about 21% of the tech sector right now and that number is shrinking.
  21. Latino and Black computer scientists represent even less at just 3 and 2 % respectively.
  22. Exposure to technology is the prerequisite to computer literacy, to being able to speak knowledgeably about our technological world, and to fixing disparities of gender and race, giving minorities a stake in the world we're building, and the future of society as a whole.
  23. And the paycheck isn't bad either.
    The average rate for an entry level software engineer is well over six figures.