This morning Martin Armstrong released a post titled, “Most Schools Do Not Teach Computer Science.” After hearing a few years ago that some schools don’t even offer Physical Education (PE) any more – better known as play time to kids – I’m not surprised one bit! Do you know what Computer Science is and the benefits? Many people may not know or others may think fixing personal computers is all the field has to offer. Not so my friends! So let’s explore the field a little more, Bri Alys style! (Two of my three degrees, Bachelors Tuskegee and Masters RIT, are in Computer Science so I like to think I have a bit of expertise in this area. I’ve also taught college courses in this space.)
What is Computer Science ? As you can see in the video above, the key theme is PROBLEM SOLVING, followed by the USE OF COMPUTERS (or other technologies) to solve those problems. They both go hand in hand. The field is all about logic, reasoning, rational thinking and creating a solution.
Putting this back in the context of schools, Martin argues, “computer science is probably the most essential qualification next to reading. You can even get a pocket calculator to do your math, and you can have phones read your text messages, but the one skill set that children cannot do without is computer science.” Studying Computer Science trains your brain. It trains you how to think. It trains you to focus on the solution rather than the problem. It trains you to break complex problems down into smaller components and come up with a solution. It teaches you how to think critically. These traits are not just valid for a computer, they are valuable in real life!
The article Martin references in his post points out three problems with kids not studying Computer Science:
- First, employers are clamoring for qualified people to fill tech-related jobs.
- Second, the lack of computer science in earlier grades also makes it more difficult to attract students into computer science majors in college.
- Finally, and perhaps most important, basic education in computer science makes sense for all students—even kids who’ll never earn a living writing software code.
We’ve all read the recent reports about the lack of diversity in the tech field – I’ve written about my own experiences before. Some companies like Intel are upping its referral bonuses to attract diverse tech talent. Couple that with Forbes recently reporting The College Majors With The Highest Starting Salaries. In at #1? Computer Science.
Makes me want to teach again! But for you, it’s never to late to learn. Checkout free online courses from Stanford and edX. Yes, you! Or if you have a kid, get them started early with a Kids Coding magazine.