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YET ANOTHER SKILLS GAP IDENTIFIED – THIS TIME IT IS COMPUTER PROGRAMMERS

28 Feb 2013 9:37 AM | Dr. William Wurtz
Another day, another serious skills gap identified. This would be getting tedious if it weren’t so consequential for society. What is also getting tedious is the proposed, incomplete solution.

This time the serious skill gap identified is computer programmer. In recent years the number of college students declaring a major in computer science has declined by 30 percent where it has plateaued. This means that there will not be enough people with the requisite skills to fill the one million job openings that are forecast between now and 2020. And these are good paying jobs.

The solution identified in the audio report, attached here, is to change the image of the computer programmer from that of a nerd working long into the night, surrounded by empty pizza boxes and crushed soda cans into that of someone who works on rock music videos and other glamorous projects. OK, I’m being a bit flip here, but this is in fact mentioned in the report, along with other steps to boost enrollment in computer science programs.

It’s all well and good to boost college programs to fill the pipeline with trained young people, but I say such efforts are short of the mark. Does anyone besides me remember that this country still has a serious and persistent unemployment problem? This situation is ripe for some creative training solutions that train new entrants, in addition to college-age young people, in these high-demand, well-paying jobs. Anybody out there have any ideas of how to do this?
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