Every Student In Every School Should Have the Opportunity To Code

April 11, 2013

By most measures, employees have lost ground in the marketplace. This should come as no surprise. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that real wages (adjusted for inflation) have steadily declined for 40 years and the news media frequently report these facts.

I’m not an economist, but even I know the trend will change only when the demand for workers outpaces the supply.

jobs employment chart

Jobs outpace workers 3 to 1

Recently I came across this info graphic developed by Code.org, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the proliferation of K-12 computer science education. If you want leverage as a worker, go into computer science. The jobs outpace the workers by more than 3 to 1. The organization’s data also show that computer science ranks among the highest paid fields for college grads.

Their solution for solving the worker shortage involves getting kids exposed to and excited about the field at an early age. The problem stems from the fact that nine out of 10 elementary and secondary schools don’t offer programs in computer science. Is it a shortage of school programs or something else?

I am not alone in believing the field suffers from a branding issue? What picture comes to mind when you say “computer programmer?”

Something like this?


Recently, Leslie Chilcott, who produced “An Inconvenient Truth” starring Al Gore, directed a documentary for Code.org to help change the perceptions of the computer science field. Watch the teaser version of the film below and go to YouTube to see the five-minute version of the documentary, which has more than 10 million views.

In the film, Will.i.am declares, “great coders are today’s rock stars.”  I agree completely. I encourage you to watch the film and more importantly, join the movement. All schools should offer computer programming as part of the core curriculum. Go to code.org and join the over 600,000 people who have signed this statement: “Every student in every school should have the opportunity to learn code.”