CS opportunities are growing, and we have a chance to make sure every student is prepared to take advantage of them.
WHAT IS COMPUTER SCIENCE?
Computer science encompasses “the study of computers and algorithmic processes, including their principles, their hardware and software designs, their applications, and their impact on society.” Exposure to computer science will develop a student’s computational and critical thinking skills, while showing them how to create, not simply use, new technologies. This fundamental knowledge is needed to prepare our students for opportunities in the 21st century, regardless of their ultimate field of study or occupation. It doesn’t matter if your students want to be a musician, politician, doctor, dentist, or teacher. The skills they acquire taking computer science courses will prepare them for a bright future in any field.
“We might miss out on the next Turing or Lovelace or Gates or Zuckerberg just because she was born in the wrong zip code. That’s a crime. We have to tackle this new form of illiteracy head-on, and the only way to do it is to push for P-12 CS education across the country.”
WHY DOES CS MATTER?
Learning computer science (CS) is empowering, exciting, and engaging. Computing-related occupations are among the five fastest growing occupation groups and computing-related jobs are among the highest entry-level and median salaries. Despite the incredible opportunities presented to students with a strong foundation in computer science, courses in the subject are only offered in one out of four high schools in America. Though the number of students taking computer science courses nationwide is increasing, the portion of Black, Latinx, Native, and Pacific Islander students remains disproportionately low—especially given that students of color comprise over 50 percent of the overall student population. We have an opportunity to reverse this trend and promote diversity in computer science fields and disciplines at the post-secondary and professional levels.