You’d be hard-pressed to come across a high school student who isn’t glued to social media, or even a first grader who can’t navigate any new game or app.
Software is everywhere
Computing-related jobs are growing at 4 times the national average. These aren’t just tech jobs; the majority is in other fields, from finance to science to manufacturing to the arts.
Our students will increasingly rely on computer science, but the majority of K-12 schools across America don’t teach it. Even in schools where computer science is offered, stereotypes often hinder girls and underrepresented students of color from taking the class. They think learning to code is too hard, boring or only for nerds.
Challenging status quo
Today, women only hold 26 percent of computer jobs across the United States. It’s hard to believe that the first ever computer program was written by a woman.
In 2015, every student—boy or girl—should at least have the choice to unlock the best opportunities of the 21st century. The great news is: the faces of computer science are changing, starting with our earliest learners.
Since 2013, 100 million students worldwide have tried computer science for the first time with the annual Hour of Code, a movement organized by Code.org and backed by over 100 partners, ranging from Disney to Microsoft to the White House. Nearly half of all participants have been girls.
Above and beyond
Students are going far beyond just one hour. Ten percent of all students in K-8 schools across the United States are enrolled in Code Studio, Code.org’s learning platform, which has partnered with public school districts, including all seven of the top seven largest, to establish inclusive computer science classes in high schools that relate to real life. Forty-three percent of Code Studio students are girls.
Building the technology that’ll shape our future shouldn’t just be for a privileged few. If you’ve seen the excitement on a student’s face when they see their work come to life and run their first line of code, you’ll know we have a shot at changing the future of computer science. Every student at least deserves the opportunity to try it.
Alice Steinglass, Vice President, Product and Marketing, Code.org, [email protected]