Posted by Jeff MeisnerEditor, Microsoft on the Issues
Today, The Seattle Times featured an editorial supporting Microsoft’s National Talent Strategy proposal that outlines ideas for securing U.S. competitiveness and economic growth through high-skilled immigration reform and investments in STEM education.
The editorial suggests that the National Talent Strategy, announced by Microsoft’s Executive Vice President and General Counsel Brad Smith this fall at the Brookings Institution, should be part of the larger conversation happening in Congress next year around immigration reform.
Posted by Rane Johnson-StempsonEducation & Scholarly Communication Principal Research Director, Microsoft Research Connections
Here’s a sobering fact: the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that, by 2018, there will be 1.4 million open technology jobs in the United States and, at the current rate of students graduating with degrees in computer science, we will fill only 61 percent of those openings. These predictions are all the more dispiriting when you realize that the latest advances in improving healthcare, protecting the environment and upgrading manufacturing have come from technological innovations. I believe that no other field offers as much opportunity for students and society as computer science does.
This is why Computer Science Education Week (CSEdWeek)—the week of computer pioneer Grace Hopper’s birthday (Dec. 9)—is so important: it’s our chance to inspire as many students as possible to pursue this field. CSEdWeek recognizes the critical role of computing in today’s society and the imperative to bolster computer science education at all levels.
Editor’s Note: The following post from Microsoft Vice President of U.S. Government Affairs Fred Humphries was originally published on the Computer Science Education Week Blog on Dec. 11.
Posted by Fred HumphriesVice President, U.S. Government Affairs, Microsoft
The United States is facing a growing challenge that impacts American competitiveness and the opportunities available to the next generation. Put simply, our nation faces an increasing shortage of individuals with the skills necessary to create and deploy the next generation of information technology. At Microsoft, we have seen this challenge firsthand for our workforce and the workforce of our partners and customers, and we welcome opportunities, like Computer Science Education Week, where companies, government, schools, non-profits, students and parents can come together to tackle this challenge.
Despite the growing importance of computer science, it is only taught in a small percentage of U.S. schools. Out of 42,000 U.S. high schools, only 2,100 of them were certified to teach Advanced Placement Computer Science. As part of broader efforts to improve this situation, Microsoft’s Technology Education and Literacy [TEALS] program works to place high-tech professionals into high school classrooms as part-time instructors in a team teaching model in locations where school districts are unable to meet the computer science needs of their students on their own.
Today, the Reputation Institute, one of the world’s leading reputation management consultant firms, released its 2012 CSR RepTrak™ 100 report naming the companies with the best reputations for corporate social responsibility around the world.
The study surveyed people around the world to measure their perceptions of companies’ behavior in three key areas: Citizenship, Governance and Workplace. Microsoft was ranked first in the category of Governance and also received the top ranking overall. The report was compiled from a survey of consumers in 15 countries who evaluated 100 global brands in response to the following criteria:
As we approach Computer Science Education Week 2012 (CSEdWeek), Dec. 9 to Dec. 15, I have been taking stock of the things I have seen over the past several months. I believe that the state of K-12 computer science education is heading down a dangerous path.
A report released by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) finds that only one-third of states in the United States have rigorous computer science education standards for high school, and most treat computer science courses as an elective (often in vocational technology) and not part of a student’s core education. This not only fails to encourage students to seek out opportunities in this rapidly growing field, it actively discourages students from taking a computer science academic track, since it is not offered or does not satisfy a graduation requirement.