Monday, September 22, 2014

Going Where the Jobs Are: New Policy Brief Outlines Comprehensive Plan to Strengthen Pipeline of Future Computer Science Workforce



Going Where the Jobs Are: New Policy Brief Outlines Comprehensive Plan to Strengthen Pipeline of Future Computer Science Workforce 
California must do more to prepare its students for workforce trends that research shows will include a significant need for computer scientists - report released today at statewide STEM symposium in San Diego

(SAN FRANCISCO, CA) With California being home to some of the world's leading technology companies, one could easily assume that the state also leads the pack in producing the top talent needed to staff them. Unfortunately this is not the case, as outlined in "Computer Science Education in California: From Kindergarten to the Workforce", the new policy brief released today by the state's leading Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) organization, the California STEM Learning Network (CSLNet). In fact, according to the new policy brief, the state majorly lags behind in producing highly trained employees desperately needed within the industry despite a large outcry in the business community for these workers and new statistics recently reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics showing 1.4 million new computing jobs will be created in the next 10 years alone.

"At this important moment in California's economic recovery, we are troubled to discover that California is losing ground when it comes to producing the next generation of highly qualified computer scientists. In a state that is a global leader in technology and innovation and with employers facing well-documented shortages of qualified talent, we must do better when it comes to providing access to high quality computer science education, particularly for our girls and students from underrepresented groups, " said Christopher Roe, CSLNet President and Chief Executive Officer.

As outlined in this new policy brief, several major problem areas surrounding education and policy exist as limitations to California once again becoming a leader in producing more qualified STEM workers trained in computer science. But those issues can be corrected with a comprehensive plan that will effectively break down the barriers limiting degree production in this field. This plan, as outlined in the brief, will draw from the expertise of K-12 leaders, higher education, and business/community partners to help California overcome the present challenges and create a well-educated workforce for California's 21st century economy.

Key takeaways:
  • K-12 students have limited access to computer science courses with 9 out of 10 students leaving public school without having taken coursework in one of the fastest growing sectors of the economy 
  • California's production of degrees has been flat while its share of the nation's computer science degrees has shrunk. 
  • California's education system is not responding quickly enough to the rising challenge of providing the STEM workforce needed to fill computing jobs 
  • The principal courses that do exist in computer science do not have the gross enrollment or the diversity of enrollment they need to encourage students' interest in computer science and prepare them for college level work in the field. 
  • There is a clear lack of access to computer science courses, particularly for girls and other underrepresented groups. 
  • Policy, education, and business stakeholders must work together comprehensively to address this issue and strengthen the pipeline of computer science workers as a whole 
"I am confident that California can once again regain its footing and become a national leader in this important field, but it will take leadership from business and industry and our elected leaders in order to support the changes needed," Roe added.

For more information or to schedule an interview with CSLNet CEO Christopher Roe, please call Tihanna McCleese @ 510-377-5399 or send an email to

Who We Are: The California STEM Learning Network is a San Francisco-based non-profit founded in 2010 to create a statewide network of champions to promote STEM education throughout the state of California. (

About CSLNet:

The California STEM Learning Network is a San Francisco-based non-profit founded in 2010. We are creating a statewide network of champions across the public and private sectors to ensure all California students have access to high quality Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) learning opportunities that prepare them for success in college, career and their daily lives. Our growing network is working to shape and implement a common agenda to advance policies and programs that increase quality, access and innovation in STEM education across each region and throughout the state. To learn more about our work, visit our website at


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