Davisson: Computer science courses prepare students for Hoosier jobs

Posted by: Randy Spieth  | Friday, September 20, 2019

Schools are better preparing students for success in Indiana’s job market through computer science classes. In fact, the Computer Science Teachers Association named Indiana a top five state for providing these important courses. Offering computer science classes at an early age gives students opportunities to gain valuable skills in a growing field.

Indiana received high marks in the 2019 State of Computer Science Study, which also placed us top three in the nation for increasing funding to support computer science teachers. In 2018, I supported legislation devoting $3 million annually for our teachers to receive quality computer science professional development, so more teachers can guide students through these hands-on courses that get our children thinking critically and foster innovation. These types of classes help students develop computer programs, games, apps, and as they get older, they can learn about data, security and robotics.

Educators in Henryville, Mitchell, Orleans, Paoli and Washington County have already completed training, and more will go through it so we can offer a computer science curriculum in every public school for K-12 students by the start of the 2021-2022 school year.

During the last school year, computer science courses were offered in 62 percent of our Indiana high schools, growing by 11 percent from the year before. At the start of the 2021-2022 school year, all public and charter schools are required to offer at least one course. Students in these classrooms will gain knowledge to prepare them for work in computer science where there are expected to be 50,000 new computer-related jobs in Indiana by 2025. This includes jobs in agriculture, banking and manufacturing.
 
Studies also show that close to half of these jobs are projected to go unfilled due to a lack of qualified talent. Students who have taken computer science courses say they are one of the most enjoyable classes, and getting our students involved in technology now will help Indiana fill high-paying tech jobs in the future.

More than 90 percent of parents say they want their children to study computer science, and more teachers are working toward becoming certified to teach these courses. Thank you to the educators who have already completed this professional development, and to the many more who will soon be better prepared to teach our kids these much-needed skills. Whether it is learning how to make an app or how the internet works, it is never too early to begin this valuable education. You can learn more about computer science in our classrooms at csforin.org.

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 State Rep. Steve Davisson (R-Salem) represents House District 73,
Washington County, and portions of Orange, Lawrence, Jackson, Clark and Harrison counties. 
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