K-12 teachers and administrators have been listening to policy makers and industry leaders warn of the need for computer science instruction, such as a coding or robotics program, in U.S. schools for years. And the evidence they cite is compelling. For instance…
- Global management consulting firm McKinsey & Co. estimates there will be 50 million new technology jobs created by 2030 as automation transforms the workforce. While artificial intelligence and robotics will change or eliminate many jobs, McKinsey says, these advancements will also create many new high-paying opportunities for computer scientists, engineers, and IT administrators.
- According to Code.org, there are nearly 500,000 open computing jobs in the United States right now, and yet the nation is not producing enough computer science graduates to fill them. Last year, fewer than 50,000 computer science majors graduated into the workforce.
- Although 58 percent of all new jobs in STEM-related fields are in computing, only 8 percent of the STEM degrees earned in the United States are in computer science, Code.org says.
Learning about coding and robotics can give students of all ages an effective on-ramp to computer science exploration. As educators Lynne Schrum and Sandi Sumerfield wrote for ISTE last year: “Robotics and coding provide hands-on and creative opportunities for learners to invent, solve problems, and create — perhaps the most appropriate implementation of STEM.” When taught well, these subjects can be fun and engaging for students.