The big internet giant Google has been punting for kids learning computer science in a big way and conducted a huge survey to understand why schools are not adopting this practice. It is the new literacy, and with an expected 1 million jobs that will go unfulfilled by the year 2020 in programming there has never been a time like now for kids to learn this all-important skill.
So why in the world are k-12 schools not adopting the practice of kids learning computer science? We set out to find out why this essential tool for tomorrow’s leaders is being excluded from school curricula.
There will be more than 1.3 Million Computer Science Jobs in the Year 2022
If any company has a vested interest in fostering a strong talent pool of computer scientists, it’s Google. Because of this they set out to learn why schools in the US aren’t adopting computer science in their curricula. In a big surveyconducted with Gallup, Google found a range of unbelievable reasons why more K-12 students aren’t learning computer science skills. The most surprising finding is that schools don’t think that the demand is actually there. However there is clearly a need as the survey states that “Underscoring the increasing demand for people with computer science skills in the labor market, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates that jobs in computer and mathematical occupations will increase by 18% in the 10 years leading up to 2022, creating more than 1.3 million job openings by 2022.”
Google and Gallup Survey Thousands
Google and Gallup spent a year and a half surveying thousands of students, parents, teachers, principals, and superintendents across the US. And it’s not that parents don’t want their kids learning computer science. A staggering nine in ten parents surveyed viewed computer science education as a good use of school resources. There however seems to be a gap between the actual demand and the perceived demand.
“Most principals and superintendents surveyed say it is important to offer computer science education,” the survey’s authors wrote. “However, given the tendency to prioritize subjects that are included in required testing, computer science is not a top priority.”
Even more worrying is that the people who are there to represent the interests of parents and communities just don’t understand it.
“Less than half of principals and superintendents surveyed say their school board thinks offering computer science education is important,” the research found.
Kids need Early Exposure to Computer Science to Attract them to the Field
Of course computer science can be learned from scratch when kids enter college, but it has been found that those kids who are exposed to computer science in their early education will attract more people to the field. According to another study conducted by Google last year, those who had the opportunity to take an advanced-placement computer science exam were 46 percent more likely to show an interest in a computer science major.
And just about everybody involved in educating kids seems to agree that this exposure to kids learning computer science is crucial. The majority of parents, teachers, principals and superintendents said they thought computer science was just as important to a student’s future success as math, science, history and English. Two-thirds of parents surveyed said computer science should be required learning in schools; in lower-income households, parents were even more likely to hold that view.