Oct 12, 2017
The recent news and findings on computer science in education.
Tech and computer science in K-12 education has been a popular topic in recent years, and in recent months it’s been getting even more attention. New funding within U.S. schools and public support behind increasing access to computer science education make it an ideal time to offer tutoring services on this topic. Furthermore, as computer science has become increasingly established in academia, the data collected confirms a substantial uptick in demand. Read on to learn more about the recent federal grant news and five additional reasons you should consider tutoring students in computer programming.
The Trump Administration just announced a $200 million annual commitment to STEM and computer science. Computer science is being recognized as a priority because of the growing demand within the job market. Access to the subject for K-12 students is clearly lacking, and the goal of the grant is to expand resources by increasing both the number of schools offering classes and the number of teachers equipped with the skills to teach the subject. In addition to the government’s grant, a large group of major players in tech, such as Amazon and Facebook, collectively announced their contribution of $300 million to the commitment announced by the White House. The substantial grant money committed to this initiative by players across many industries underlines the urgency to propagate computer science and provide resources in K-12 schools today.
Today’s public support is a clear marker of just how strong current demand is for computer science education, making it a great time for tutors to start teaching this skill. If the funding news isn’t reason enough, the following statistics may help make it even more attractive for those on the fence.
Fulfill high demand. Demand for education in computer science is as high as ever. Over 90% of students believe computer science to be an exciting and fun subject, and over 80% believe it’s an important skill to have for jobs later in life. Students aren’t the only ones looking for access to computer science education. More than 90% of parents want their child to learn computer science in school. However, in the current U.S. school system, only 40% of schools are actually offering any form of computer science education to students. With demand so high from both the student and the parent perspective, tutors have a big opportunity to enter the current market in the subject.
Prepare students to enter the new job market. Jobs requiring knowledge of computer science make up 71% of all new jobs within STEM categories, although only 8% of students graduating in a STEM field are CS graduates (source). The Computer Science Education Coalition published a letter in 2016 stating that 500,000 jobs are open in the U.S. within the field. It’s become increasingly clear that having a background in the subject makes for an attractive candidate across many sectors. It’s an ideal time to be a tutor in the topic, and these tutoring services can be especially appealing to students who are older and closer to entering the workforce.
Make a positive impact on society. 93% of both parents and students believe that computer science, when utilized, can improve the lives of people. This number speaks to just how strong the support for the subject is today. There are many sectors that require computer science outside of tech. Tutors can work with students who are interested in entering the medical field, social services, business, science, government, and essentially any other industry that can be considered instrumental in improving greater society and the lives of individuals.
Help promote diversity within the field. The current computer science landscape is not diverse. Women represent only 20% of the population and Black and Hispanic students only make up 13%. Diversity is essential to the health of any industry for a variety of reasons, and the case for diversity specifically within computer science has been made many times. By offering education in computer science, tutors can help increase diversity by working with students who don’t currently represent a substantial portion of the population. Furthermore, data shows that perception about the field and social norms can lead to feelings of inadequacy and fear of entry into the subject, and one-on-one tutoring is an effective way to make students more comfortable in a less peer-focused setting than the classroom.
There is a growing demand to increase access to computer science education, and advocates are coming from all angles. Coupling the current demand with today’s lack of resources, the drive to find qualified educators is significant making now the time to become a computer science tutor.
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