3.14 marks a special date that ACT | The App Association celebrates every year. It’s Pi Day, which coincides with the mathematical constant that has served as the basis for math and technology as we know it today. It also offers offers an opportunity to highlight the critical importance of computer science (CS) education.
Over the past decade, enthusiasm for CS education has become a bit muted. Every year it becomes more difficult for companies to fill job openings for some of the most important – and most highly compensated – positions in the fast-growing tech industry.
If the United States wants to continue to lead the world in innovation, advancing our commitment to education in these fields must be a top priority.
Recently, ACT | The App Association helped launch the Computer Science Education Coalition (CSEC), a diverse group of organizations and companies focused on expanding K-12 computer science education across the United States.
The coalition is urging Congress to help fill critical tech sector jobs, and ensure the U.S. remains a global leader in innovation. In honor of Pi Day and the recently launched CSEC, we found it appropriate to outline three necessities for the advancement of CS education and 14 facts to back them up.
(You guessed it – 3.14)
3 immediate needs to advance CS education:
- $250 million in federal funding put toward CS education, which would help put computing classes in more than 1,000 K-12 schools nationwide
- An increase in state efforts and new state initiatives to expand CS education for all students
- Support for private-sector groups like CodeNow and BlackGirlsCode, which work to bring CS education to underrepresented communities
14 reasons why it matters:
- Today there are over 600,000 unfilled computing jobs
- Our universities graduate only about 43,000 computer science students each year
- By 2024, there will be more than 1 million unfilled computing jobs
- 71% of all new jobs in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields are in computing
- Only 8% of STEM graduates are in computer science
- The average salary for coders – one of the most critical positions in any software company – is: $99,530
- Only one in four schools teach any computer science, depriving the vast majority of our nation’s students of the opportunity to develop skills that could help them and our economy thrive in the future
- 90% of parents want computer science taught in their schools
- 29 states have acted to ensure computer science credits are counted towards a student’s high school graduation, and state leaders have launched initiatives to better integrate computer science into K-12 classrooms
- 78% of the students who take the high school AP computer science exam are male
- Just 12% taking the exams are students of color
- Girls who take AP computer science in high school are ten times more likely to major in computer science in college
- African-American and Latino students who take AP computer science are seven times more likely to major in the field
- President Obama recently submitted a $4 billion proposal to bring computer science to K-12 education all over the country
So this Pi Day, spread the word about the serious need for increased CS education in the U.S. This, of course, is best done over your favorite circular food – we recommend pizza and pie.