Amazing article I saw in Governing this week discusses how Most Schools Don’t Teach Computer Science. The article discusses the lack of computer science and programming offerings in American public schools. This despite the fact that there is a huge demand for workers with computer science skills and that these skills pay an average of $80,000 per year.
I started programming in 1979 on a TRS-80 in my sixth-grade class. Granted, it was an elective class in which some students were able to participate. However, it was coding and it was in school. I still remember writing a program in BASIC to randomly draw a name from the list of students. I learned about arrays, variables, even random access at the time.
Skip forward 35 years and my son is writing GUI-based programs in SCRATCH, a programming language developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
He is fortunate enough to have a computer science elective, in which he’s been learning business computing as well as database design and programming. Yet studies are showing that most schools do not have the ability to teach computer science in the classroom. This, in spite of the fact that Computer Sciences teach a myriad of high quality skills needed to secure our future as leaders in the world.
Fortunately, for those who have access to a computer and some initiative, there are new avenues for learning programming. Sites like Code Academy and Code.org are becoming ever more popular and provide a free easy-to-learn process for learning programming.