Computing permeates every aspect of our society, creating a high demand for technological innovations that change how we think, connect, conduct research, build products, and more. As the foundation for all computing, computer science is defined as “the study of computers and algorithmic processes, including their principles, their hardware and software designs, their applications and their impact on society” (Tucker et al., 2006, p. 2).
This demand drives the economy and creates a direct impact on the job market; the U.S. Department of Labor estimates 1.1 million computing-related job openings in the U.S. by 2024, but more than two-thirds of these jobs could go unfilled due to the insufficient pool of college graduates with computing related degrees. Computing underpins every other science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and non-STEM fields as a highly versatile and sought-after skillset that is essential in today’s information economy.
As computing has become an integral part of our world, public demand for computer science education is high. Nine in ten parents would like their child’s school to offer computer science (Gallup, 2015). In fact, most Americans believe computer science is as important to learn as reading, writing, and math (Horizon Media, 2015). Many of today’s students will be using computer science in their future careers across all fields (Change the Equation, 2015). Unfortunately, the opportunity to learn computer science does not match public demand.