In 2013, only 100,000 computer science students graduated to meet the current demand for 400,000 computer science jobs. Recent studies indicate that by the year 2020 there will be a demand for over 1.4 million jobs in the field of computer science. If something is not done to encourage the number of computer science graduates to increase, the projected shortfall in 2020 is 1 million. Unless the pool of qualified in-state job applicants increases to meet this new demand, the unfortunate, yet logical conclusion is that Kansas employers will have to turn to outsourced labor for these computer science jobs, thus limiting Kansas students’ access to an emerging and lucrative segment of the job market.
A Solution to the Problem
In order to address this issue, we propose that the Kansas Board of Education encourage more students to enroll computer science courses by allowing computer science courses to count as a math or science credit for satisfaction of the high school graduation requirements. As CNN describes, “[e]arly exposure to computer science can lead students to develop an aptitude or liking for the subject, apply for opportunities like tech internships, and pursue it as a career path.”
Implementation of this proposal should not cause any increased costs for the State of Kansas or Kansas school districts. A school district would not need to change their course offerings. The district would simply allow students to count computer science courses as a math or science credit, as opposed to an elective credit computer science course.
By allowing computer science courses to count as math or science credits, we believe the Kansas State Board of Education would encourage an increased interest in computer technology, thus better preparing Kansas students for the current job market.
For more information about the national movement to growing computer programming education visit: http://www.code.org/