Computers have never been so relevant in our lives. Most fields, if not all, are dependent on computer technologies and benefit from workers who are well versed in computer programming. If you know how to code, it means you know how to make a product readily available online within the reach of millions.
According to statistics from the nonprofit Code.org, by 2020 there will be a million more computing jobs than students prepared to take them. The solution to this problem sounds simple: just implement computer science in schools as a core subject as soon as possible. But so many obstacles lie ahead.
About thirty thousand students take the AP Computer Science exam nationwide, accounting for only 1.4 percent of high school AP students. The situation worsens when taking diversity into consideration: in three states, no girls took the test at all; in eight states, no Hispanic students took it, and in 11 states, no black students took it. For an industry whose growth is arguably faster than any other, these numbers disappoint.
So, offering Computer Science AP exams as an elective in mostly wealthy schools will not suffice for a subject that is becoming as important as English and math. In a world of computers, coding means literacy. The Common Core Standards, established to revamp the education system, do not include Computer Science as a core subject in high school. This decision surely needs to be rethought, since early exposure to computer programming is what ultimately will change the disappointing statistics.
Teaching more students programming doesn’t bring only the advantage of high demand in the job market. It teaches students how to better solve problems, persevere in difficult situations, and think outside of the box. Students of all subject interests can benefit from learning how to code; it involves creativity, organizational skills, design, and many other concepts that schools aim to teach. As a plus, Computer Science helps to teach them while also applying them to real world situations.
Here’s a video to encourage you to think more about the topic: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q0z-C8Ke2FQ
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