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Coding Is Key to Stemming STEM Gap
Technology is changing the way that we live and work, and it’s happening fast.
By the end of this year, 51% of STEM jobs will be in computer science-related fields, according to the White House.
However, the number of tech employees hasn’t increased along with the number of jobs available. Why? The answer is simple: lack of relevant education.
The White House maintains that just one quarter of K to 12 schools offer high-quality computer science with programming and coding. In addition, in 2016, the PEW Research Center reported that only 17% of adults believed they were “digitally ready.”
When diversity is examined, things only get worse. In 2015 22% of students taking the AP computer science exam were girls while 13% were African-American or Latino. These statistics are not U.S.-specific. In 2015 Australia reported that only 28% of ICT jobs were held by women.
So how do we ensure individuals - especially girls and women - are digitally literate? Through coding.
“Coding can provide people with the awesome ability of being able to create tangible things like websites and apps. It also instills less tangible things like a greater aptitude for systematic thinking and logical decision making,” says Derek Lo, in an interview with C.M. Rubin, founder of New York, NY- and London, U.K.-based CMRubinWorld, cmrubinworld.com/the-global-search-for-education-hello-coding-when-did-you-get-so-cool.
Lo is the co-founder of Py, a new application launched in 2016 that offers interactive courses on everything from Python to iOS development. The program also avoids using any programming jargon until the learner is ready. Lo states that “gamification isn’t a hindrance to learning - it accelerates it.”
He further notes that coding “instills a greater aptitude for systematic thinking and logical decision-making.”
Lo recently partnered with the non-profit Girls Who Code to further reduce the gender gap and “change people’s image of who a coder is.”
Jobs with Fast-Growing Salaries
Profession Annual Median Salary 2017 Annual Median Salary 2013 Wage Growth to 90th percentile Hiring Outlook
Computer Systems Analyst $87,220 $79, 145 57.9% 21%
Information Security Analyst $92,600 $88,590 59% 18%
Mathematician $105,810 $101,171 51.5% 21%
Online Sales Manager $117,960 $88,249 42.7% 5%
Operations Research Analyst $79,200 $72,680 67.5% 30%
Physician Assistant $101,480 $89,097 40.1% 30%
Software Developer $102,280 $92,820 54% 17%
Note: Salary and growth outlook information are compiled from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) with growth outlook through 2024.
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