By Sam Ancer
It’s believed that 77% of jobs will need some understanding of Computer Science (CS) in the near future.
In 2009 the Association for Machine Computing (AMC) decided to fund and start Computer Science Education Week (CSEdWeek). The initial goal of CSEdWeek was to familarise students with coding and programming ideas.
Origins of CSEdWeek
CSEdWeek was created in honour of Grace Hopper, and is held every year on the week of her birthday. Hopper was a rear-admiral in the United States Navy alongside being a computer scientist and programmer. Hopper worked on the Mark 1, one of the first electronic computers used in the latter part of World War Two. Hopper then went on to work on UNIVAC and helped devise COBOL. She was the person who coined the term “bug” after finding a moth in a computer in 1947. Hopper is considered one of the most influential pioneers of computer science in the early development of electronic computing.
The first CSEdWeek was planned around promoting policy that would ensure the education of computer science for children throughout their education. After the success of the 2009 CSEdWeek, AMC decided to switch tactics and focus on promoting CS education with teachers, and ensuring that disadvantaged groups and minorities were represented in CS.
With the first CSEdWeek focusing on promoting policy that would help foster computer science education in the future, the following CSEdWeeks targeted students, parents, and teachers within primary and high school.
In 2013 CSEdWeek promoted the Hour of Code which reached over 15 million students and was featured in over 35 000 events across 167 countries. In just over two years the Hour of Code had over a million hours served.
By 2022 they have now reached just over 1.5 Million hours served, making Hour of Code and CSEdWeek one of the most influential computer science education programmes in the world.
The Importance of Computer Science Education
Our world is becoming more digital, with the need for digital skills becoming increasingly important. Tech is one of the fastest growing industries in the world, expected to increase in demand by 13% within the next 7 years, meaning there will be about 600 thousand new jobs created within the space between now and then. Reports this year found around 70% of organisations are suffering from a skills shortage related to tech.
Tech is one of the most critical industries in the world however, computer science skills are needed beyond the tech space. In 2020 the US Bureau of Labour announced that over 70% of jobs would need some level of digital skills. This means that over two thirds of all jobs in the United States will need some level of digital skills.
What Can You do to Promote Computer Science
If you are a developer or someone skilled in Computer Science principles, you could potentially sign up to mentor aspiring developers. Organisations like GirlCode South Africa, Coding Coach, and Harambee’s DigiLink are constantly on the lookout for new mentors to help train and coach aspiring software developers.
If you are lacking in time or skills to help promote coding skills directly you can donate money to organisations helping to promote coding skills in communities.
You can also host your own computer science education events alongside CSEdWeek, if you’d like to partner with them, you can get ahold of their contact details here.
Computer Science Education Week: What You Need To Know
Computer Science Education Week has, in the past 13 years, become an important time within the tech space. The future of technology, and the development of our global society, is in the hands of our youth. This means that Computer Science education is now critical to not only the future of work, but the future of our society as a whole.
What do you think about CSEdWeek? Have you participated in an Hour of Code before? Would you like to if given the chance? Let us know on our social media. If you would like to learn more about CSEdWeek and other interesting stories in the tech space, follow us on our respective social medias here.