Harrisburg, PA – Last week, on behalf of Governor Tom Wolf, the Pennsylvania Department of Education highlighted the importance of making computer science education available to all students in the commonwealth during a State Board of Education meeting and Governor Wolf and the department are urging them to endorse ‘Computer Science for All’ standards.
“Over the next decade, seven in ten new jobs in Pennsylvania will require workers to use computers and new technologies in a constantly changing economy,” Governor Wolf said. “Businesses are growing in Pennsylvania and we know they need skilled workers. We must begin to prepare students now by establishing standards for computer science education in Pennsylvania schools so that our students have the skills necessary for these emerging high-demand jobs that will support middle class families and attract new businesses to commonwealth. I have asked the Department of Education to work closely with the State Board of Education to adopt Computer Science for All standards for Pennsylvania and I will work with the legislature to codify computer science standards into law.”
Pennsylvania is already a leader in STEM education. The PA STEM coalition works with schools and students to expand STEM and Computer Science offerings. In Pennsylvania, over 1,200 educators are trained in Code.org K-12 resources (DCIU and AIU3 partnership) and 18,332 students took a Computer Science class in high school last year.
Because of legislation signed by Governor Wolf, Pennsylvania already allows computer science classes to count for graduation, making it one of 24 states with this policy.
“This emphasis on computer science would build on our efforts to make Pennsylvania a national leader in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education,” Governor Wolf said. “Pennsylvania now ranks fourth in the nation for the number of STEM graduates and is in the top 10 of states for STEM jobs, but there is more work to do. By giving students access to a quality computer science course we can make sure they have the skills needed for these good paying jobs.”
By 2018, there will be approximately 300,000 Pennsylvania jobs that require STEM skills or content knowledge, and over the next ten years, 71 percent of new jobs will require computer science skills.