The Next Generation

This is  going to be an anecdotal story but I don’t think it’s far off reality, and it really highlights the need for an overhaul of high school technology education in Nova Scotia.

Yesterday, everyone in my grade 12 calculus had an informal discussion what they were planning to do next year. Every student said they were planning to go to university.  They were planning on studying science, health, engineering, and education (to be a teacher).  Here’s the sad part, not even one student said they were thinking about going into computer science.

I find that very disappointing.  Do a quick scan of the job boards and  you will see a disproportionate amount of IT jobs compared to other fields (computer science naturally being a feeder for these jobs), and yet of my high schools 25 best and brightest in mathematics, not even one student is considering studying computer science.

There’s no computer science courses offered at the grade school level right now, either as modules in the mathematics curriculum or as a standalone subject. How can we motivate students to enter STEM programs if we’re not providing a taste of it in the students’ public school programming?

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About James C.

A pre-service teacher about to start his first teaching practicum.
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2 Responses to The Next Generation

  1. audedu says:

    Excellent observation! We do need to become stronger advocates of computer/IT based education and job prep. I think a lot of students mistakenly believe it is a saturated market or they believe that engineering will take them in a more profitable direction with the IT evolution of the 21st century. Keep blogging! You’re making a difference, one post at a time 🙂

  2. James C. says:

    Hi, thanks for the kind words!

    I agree that the perception that IT is a saturated market plays a part. Enrollment dropped at my university in the computer science program quite drastically since the tech boom 10 years ago.

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