Sunday, May 1, 2016

Are there really 500,000 computer jobs open in the US?

No shortage of computer science graduates.
Stephen Krashen

There is now a petition to congress to provide more support for computer science in schools, because “There are currently over 500,000 open computing jobs, in every sector, from manufacturing to banking, from agriculture to healthcare, but only 50,000 computer science graduates a year.” (“Offer computer science in our public schools,”; change.org/computerscience#CSforALL)

The petition is signed by a number of “business leaders,” including Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, state governors, and various heads of education organizations, including David Coleman of the College Board.

A footnote to the text of the petition notes that this data comes from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Not noted in the text is that the gap is a projection FOR THE NEXT TEN YEARS (from 2014 to 2024).  We will need 500,000 more computer science grads in 2024. NOT RIGHT NOW.

If we are producing about 50,000 computer graduates each year, this appears to be enough.

Additional note,
I discovered today (May 5) that the crucial footnote is no longer present in the petition. But the figure agrees with my own estimate, also based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  Combining estimates for programmers, systems analysts, software developers, computer research scientists, web developers and database administrators, the total needed in 2024 is about 425,000.  



16 comments:

  1. It is unavailable how educators wordwhile still post stuff related to the dream education system and do not want to open eyes about a reality that it's not only for USA as many countries will follow the stereotypes. I am so glad we have you with us,Steve. I am proud of being a Peruvian teacher who does want to share, not only about conferences issues and webinars that I have realised are only part of trying to hide the reality of the whole system. I wish we could have webinars and round tables about proposals solutions to eradicate all the greedy evil system which makes learning process in danger.
    Education is NOT business, dear colleagues. We may need a huge reminder why we are in this field. Thanks from the heart, Steven.

    ReplyDelete
  2. It is unavailable how educators wordwhile still post stuff related to the dream education system and do not want to open eyes about a reality that it's not only for USA as many countries will follow the stereotypes. I am so glad we have you with us,Steve. I am proud of being a Peruvian teacher who does want to share, not only about conferences issues and webinars that I have realised are only part of trying to hide the reality of the whole system. I wish we could have webinars and round tables about proposals solutions to eradicate all the greedy evil system which makes learning process in danger.
    Education is NOT business, dear colleagues. We may need a huge reminder why we are in this field. Thanks from the heart, Steven.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Good morning Stephen,

    Giving kids an opportunity to experience computer programming is a positive thing!

    To see why, check out the video I made for our school district, and then scroll down and look how students will be able to complete traditional assignments in core subject areas with their new 21st century skills.
    http://www.codingwithkdog.com/coding-for-teachers

    No one is suggesting that we minimize instruction in writing or history or any other subject area. Teaching our students to be comfortable with technology and how to integrate technology with their assignments will indeed make them more prepared to take advantage of future opportunities.

    There are many reasons for kids to be given an opportunity to experience computer programming. Future job opportunities is certainly one of them - but it is only one of them.

    I have worked in the computer game industry for 19 years and can attest that skilled programmers are in high demand. A producer friend told me that his company has a standing hire order for programmers - meaning that they continually interview programmer candidates even when they are not currently staffing up a new project. They would rather hire a talented programmer early, than not be able to find one when they need one. When layoffs occur in my industry, programmers are the last ones to go - and the first ones to find a new job. It takes a little longer for designers, artists and producers.

    Software developers frequently hire programmers from overseas because they are hungry for talent. I've worked on teams where 30% of the programmers were from other countries - literally from all over the globe. I know you suspect that companies do this because they can pay these programmers less, but I am confident they would rather not go through the hassle of looking overseas. Once hired, these programmers held important jobs, and were free to take jobs at other companies if they didn't feel they were paid enough.

    Going back even further in time, I remember during the dot.com boom we were hiring ANYBODY that had experience with different software and programming languages. We hired many people with no college experience who had taught themselves a valuable skill we needed. That was how one friend of my escaped poverty. When I worked as a financial analyst in business many years ago there was only one person in our team who knew how to make a macro script in Excel. That one skill made this person extremely valuable.

    In the Fullerton school district we give our kids opportunities in music, drama and art. We have math clubs and math tournaments, and field trips for social studies. We also give our kids opportunities to make videos with a green screen, collaborate in Google docs on their iPads or laptops, and yes, even learn how to do a little coding. As a parent, I think that's a good thing.

    If you didn't get a chance to watch it yet, do take a look at the video I created for our school district. You will see why I am so positive about giving our students programming opportunities. Thanks!

    http://www.codingwithkdog.com/coding-for-teachers

    ReplyDelete
  4. I will watch your video .... in the meantime, I think we are talking about two different things. (1) Giving students a basic understanding of computers - I'm all for that. (2) Producing graduates in computer science. How do you reconcile your experience of a shortage with the US Labor Statistics - they predict a decline in the need for programmers (but increases in other areas of computer science over the next ten years).

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi, thanks for getting this out there. I have a plethora of research on STEM and the farce it is for America. If you would like to see and read it, please let me know.
    Thanks again,
    Common Core Diva

    ReplyDelete
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