Blog Feature

By: Jennifer Devitt on January 19th, 2016

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How the Hour of Code initiative is reflected in the top jobs of 2016 lists.

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Back in 2013, a non-profit called code.org was launched. It was initially geared towards women and students of color. But ultimately their goal was that everyone should have access to computer science education.

The "Hour of Code" initiative runs every year during Computer Science Education week. Last year, that was December 7-13th. But code.org encourages the initiative all year around. Yesterday, I read an interesting post by code.org founder Hadi Partovi titled "Here is the actual impact of the Hour of Code".  Mr. Partovi breaks down some key statistics that go beyond 200 million hours and 11 billion lines of code. Some highlights are the following:

1. Of organizers and educators, 85% of new comers to computer science said it increased their interest in teaching computer science.

2. 49% of educators said they plan to continue teaching beyond the hour of code.

3. 90% of parents say they want their child's school to offer computer science.

4. 67% of parents and 56% of teachers believe computer science should be required.

5. 50% of Americans rank computer science as one of the two most important areas of study.

Now, take these statistics and the information Mr. Partovi outlines in his post and compare it to the several posts I have read today about the top jobs in 2016. According to an article from Fast Company, 8 of the top 25 are in tech. In fact Fast Company touts "Tech is tops". Also intriguing is this post from Business Insider showcasing the "Top 8 jobs every company will be hiring for in 2020". It outlines that careers in computers and math will continue to rise, but it showcases the need for specialized sales staff. As technology continues to grow and develop, it is no longer tied to one niche or one industry. Take SYDCON, for example. Our custom software has no boundaries. To our software engineers, code is code we can apply to to any industry.  Sales professionals need to be specialized to have success in a broad spectrum of the Business Insider post sites, "they need to be able to explain offerings to a wide range of clients, businesses, government and consumers."  Some of the key jobs in tech according to the list at Fast Company (as well as many others published today) are the following:

1. Solutions Architect with 2,906 job openings and a median salary of $119,500.

2. Mobile Developer with 2,251 openings and a median salary of $90,000.

3. Software Engineer with 49,270 openings and a median salary of $95,000.

4. Software Development Manager with 1,199 openings and a median salary of $135,000.

5. UX Designer with 863 openings and a median salary of $91,800.

6. Software Architect with 653 openings and a median salary of $130,000.

Now, make no mistake these jobs are not the only ones encompassing tech. Tech these days touches all industries. As we have mentioned before companies like Domino's Pizza, Warby Parker and Goldman Sachs are leading "technology firms". This information, coupled with the leading jobs in 2016 and forecast for 2020 backs up the findings of Mr. Partovi's survey as a result of the Hour of Code initiative.  These statistics show how important it is to have computer science readily available in schools. Many firms will hire tech employees without a 4 year degree because they are self-taught. Often times classes in computer science are teaching outdated areas of study and do not apply it to how technology is used today. Tech-savvy kids and students of all ages can start with initiatives like the Hour of Code or madewithcode.com/ and quickly advance to online coding boot camps.

These surveys and popularity of initiative's show that children today are interested and thrive in STEM and computer science.  Parents are eager for their children to learn in for future success. Isn't it time it is moved to mainstream education?