How High Schools are setting students up to fail in the tech…
I graduated earlier this year, and I just wanted to shed some light on what's going on in American High School’s. I’m sure this isn’t the case in all of the United States, but in my case, it was. Out of over 100 classes at my High School, only 3 were tech related. These 3, were Intro to Programming (Basic HTML/CSS), Advanced Programming (Basic C++),and Social Media Marketing (How to post on Blogspot and Twitter). With over 50% of new jobs requiring technical skills, it's obvious that there is a huge gap in what High Schools are teaching, and what students need to learn.
I was fortunate enough to have a father who was employed in tech, and got me a great start in early in life. From me starting my own website when I was 12, I was able to get a job at HQ (builtbyhq.com) a UX Design Firm, and that led to a job at a Cloud-based Business Management Software Company (Allmoxy.Com), all before I turned 18. My point in saying this is the next generation isn’t going to be prepared for jobs, unless High School’s are able to rethink their curriculum, and offer more beneficial classes.
Now, some of you must be thinking, but what about those 3 classes? Let me expand on these a little more.
Intro to Programming -Taught by a teacher who hardly knew programming himself, I went in for 1 day, and realized what we we’re learning throughout the year is something I learned in 3 days on my own…
Advanced Programming -Even worse than Intro to Programming, we stayed on “If” statements the entire year.
Social Media Marketing -This class was actually interesting, not because of the curriculum, but because the teacher understood that I already knew the curriculum, and allowed me to explore other areas during class time, and on several occasion he asked me to teach the class on certain subjects.
Where's my proof? I have 2 brothers and 1 sister in college, I had a better job than all of them when I was 16. The job that I had called for simple technical tasks and basic knowledge (Photoshop, Illustrator, Google Docs, HTML, CSS). Because my brothers and sisters had not learned these things in High School, they all have manual labor jobs, when they could have easily had skills for technical jobs from just a few classes in High School.
I think an easy fix for this is to have programming become a part of the core curriculum such as math or english. This doesn’t even have to be in-depth programming, just basic HTML and CSS so every student will have a good knowledge base of Front End programming at least. Some people might say this is too far, but let me ask you a question, what is more important, knowing who a 16th Century Duke is, or how to write a basic program. I would say the latter is much more important, the former is what Google is for.
If things stay the way they are, millions of jobs in the Tech industry are going to go unfilled. The only option is for students to learn these things in college. Even the small amount of students that major in CS, will not even begin to fill the massive amount of jobs there are. Whenever I get on LinkedIn, there are rows and rows of jobs for developers, yet there aren’t enough people to fill them. There are other alternatives also, like the awesome things that DevMounta.in is doing. They are a 3 month long coding boot camp that teaches you how to be a Full Stack Developer in very little time. Whether it be at High School, College or Coding boot camps, students are going to have to learn somewhere.