Blog Feature

By: Jennifer Devitt on January 18th, 2015

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Graduation requirements for the class of 2019 compared to the Top 100 Jobs list.

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In the last week or so, an article/list with the 100 Best Jobs has been circulating.  I have always had an interest in these types of lists. I find it interesting to see how the world and job market has evolved. This time, we went over this list with our teenagers. In my opinion, if the economic downturn and sky-high unemployment in recent years has taught us anything, it's that students need to pursue careers that are somewhat bulletproof.  Now, of course, I know that there are no guarantees in life, but let's face it, jobs are changing and some are more dependable than others.

In February of 2012, here on the blog, we discussed the graduation requirement for the high school graduating class of 2017. Well, suffice it to say, I have another teenager, now looking forward to the graduating class of 2019. Now being the parent of two teenagers is blog in and of itself. Sure that alone causes me enough grief. But what really gets me about having two high school aged children, graduating two years apart is the graduation requirements. If you read my piece two years ago you know we were astounded to see that only a half year of computer science was required for graduation. Well, sadly it has not changed. Now, you may say that I may be more outraged than other parents because I own a technology company. But, honestly, if that is the case than parents need to review the list of the 100 Best Jobs.

Let's take a look at this 100 Best Jobs list a bit shall we? Five out of the top 25 on the list are directly listed with one of the following in the title, "IT, programmer, developer, web, computer or information security". And, mind you those are just the obvious ones. And, these are just in the top 25, there are others peppered throughout the 100. There are many others on the list that fall into either "computer science or technology".  Let's see, there are engineers of varying types and research analysts. But it's not just those obvious fields that require some type of computer science or programming knowledge. In 2015 technology is present in almost every job and industry.

I am a big supporter of code.org. If you have never seen it,  take a few minutes to watch their original video about why coding is important. The participants in the video outline how industries have been "turned upside down" by technology. They mention race car drivers, baseball players or even agriculture. Today even fashion designers are using code to design 3-D printed fashion.  I think what is important to stress to today's students is that pursuing technology or a career in computer science doesn't mean all you can be is a programmer. But, and I may be biased, students pursuing a computer programming is pretty promising. Don't believe me, check over that Top 100 Jobs list again. Or do what we did with our sophomore, take some time and look up job openings in your city or state. Look up openings in varying industries and then look up technology jobs or programmer positions and you will see that there are far more openings. In fact, we have a opening in our office for a skilled PHP Programmer/Software Developer.  I think what parents and students alike need to understand is that  it's not about learning to code. It's about embracing technology and understanding how it has changed the job market forever and will continually take it in new directions. Gone are the days of relying on a marketing degree or liberal arts degree.  That's not where the jobs are. If our children or young adults hope to avoid being forced out of the job market, they need to consider what the world is like today and how it is changing. They need to change their view point and pick majors and careers that are realistic in today's fast passed every changing world.