New Programs Aim to Lure Young Into Digital Jobs


Labor experts say that the new American jobs of the future will be hybrids. Most likely combining computer sciences with other fields, yet not many students are interested in computer science these days. According to the article below, “Educators and technologists say two things need to change: the image of computing work, and computer science education in high schools.” Janice C. Cuny, a program director at the National Science Foundation said, “Today, introductory courses in computer science are too often focused merely on teaching students to use software like word processing and spreadsheet programs. We’re not showing and teaching kids the magic of computing.”

Teacher groups, professional organizations and major technology companies hope to explain the important advances in many career fields due to computing. Along with technological advances, introductory courses in computer science teach “computational thinking,” which takes a difficult problem and reformulates it so that a person can solve. This skill is not only applicable in computer science careers, but in others as well – any time a difficult problem needs to be solved. Attracting more students to study and go into digital careers is important to America’s economic future in the global marketplace.

How can student success publishers lead the way by attracting more students to this dynamic career field?

How can teachers integrate information on the advances computer science careers have created in all fields into their core subject curriculum?

Could computational thinking be taught within other disciplines or classes?


The New York Times
December 21, 2009
New Programs Aim to Lure Young Into Digital Jobs

Growing up in the ’70s, John Halamka was a bookish child with a penchant for science and electronics. He wore black horn-rimmed glasses and buttoned his shirts up to the collar.
“I was constantly being called a geek or a nerd,” he recalled, chuckling.

Dr. Halamka grew up to be something of a cool nerd, with a career that combines his deep interests in medicine and computing, and downtime that involves rock climbing and kayaking.

Now 47, Dr. Halamka is the chief information officer at the Harvard Medical School, a practicing emergency-ward physician and an adviser to the Obama administration on electronic health records.

Hybrid careers like Dr. Halamka’s that combine computing with other fields will increasingly be the new American jobs of the future, labor experts say. In other words, the nation’s economy is going to need more cool nerds. But not enough young people are embracing computing — often because they are leery of being branded nerds.

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