As a leader in the homeland security enterprise, I believe in investing in the leaders of tomorrow and preparing them to face evolving threats to our nation. Those future leaders fill classrooms today, learning foundational lessons they will build on in K-12 and beyond.
As we look to prepare these students, we must recognize the need to grow educational resources, specifically in computer science. As a technologist, I can tell you computer science touches almost every part of our world, and that trend is growing. It’s important for the security of the cyber world and critical infrastructure, essential for the global economy we will continue to live in, and the key to discovering innovative solutions in the digital age.
That’s why I will be at the White House tomorrow September 14, at the Computer Science for All Summit to talk about what we can do to change statistics for computer science—statistics that tell us that 600,000 high-paying tech jobs went unfilled last year, while computer science is only available in a quarter of K-12 classes across the country.
That’s simply not enough. It’s not enough to meet the high demand for computer science skills in the workforce. And it’s not enough for students either. They are interested and passionate about the topic, but there aren’t enough faculty to teach it.
We know that’s where the change will happen—with teachers. They are the backbone of K-12 education, and can change the trajectory from computer science for a few to computer science for all.
But they can’t do it alone. The president’s Computer Science for All initiative calls for CEO’s and philanthropists, mayors and governors to get involved to do what they can in their communities.
Our security leaders of tomorrow must be ready with the skills to combat threats in the 21st century, and computer science is an important building block. I hope you will tune in to the livestream from the White House between 1-3 p.m. on Wednesday, September 14 to hear more about this important topic. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter and share your thoughts on why computer science matters to you!