Excel in Ed and Code.org have teamed up to bring a new report focusing on the demand of the U.S. workforce for graduates skilled in information technology and computer science.
Companies are struggling to find workers with information technology (IT) and computer science (CS) skills to fill hundreds of thousands of jobs. While the demand for IT and CS remains strong, the supply remains weak.
The U.S. will not keep up with the growing demand for skilled workers in IT and CS unless something changes. Students need expanded opportunities to learn IT and CS knowledge and skills that sequentially build to a level of mastery and prepare them for college, careers and life. To better capitalize on these opportunities to earn positions requiring IT and CS skills, students need learning opportunities to begin at the K–12 level. However, IT and CS skill acquisition opportunities are limited in K–12 education.
There is considerable confusion regarding the definitions of CS and IT. As a result, policymakers may create policy incentives that fail to match up with the problems they are trying to fix or fail to address both areas. The important takeaway is the foundational nature of a comprehensive CS education for all students. This foundation will support students in most career paths, now and in the future. And when it comes to IT, this strong CS foundation is the best way to meet the current and future needs of specialized careers in information security, networking, software development and more.
To address the supply side skills gap in IT and CS, both IT and CS career pathways in K–12 need to be expanded and better aligned to postsecondary and professional opportunities. The Council recommends states and schools consider the following four solutions:
Working together, employers and K-12 education can engage in more meaningful ways to connect learning and earning.
State-level employers and policymakers can focus engagement on offering high quality opportunities to traditionally underserved students in IT and CS.
Increase student access to career pathways in IT.
Provide students with access to career pathways in CS and expand opportunities for students to learn CS skills.
For more, see: