Schools Aren't Teaching Kids To Code; Here's Who Is Filling The Gap

Selena Larson | Say Media Inc. | October 18, 2013

Learning how to program is an inevitable requirement for successful students of the future.

Learning to code is all the rage these days, but not in one place that matters a lot: U.S. schools.

U.S. students already significantly lag their global counterparts where math and science skills are concerned. But computer science is in even worse shape: Of 12 technical subjects examined in a recent study by the National Center for Education Statistics, computer science was the only one that declined in student popularity from 1990 to 2009 (p. 49).

Last year, just 1.4 percent of high school AP students took the computer science exam, compared to almost 40 percent that took exams in English. Far more students took AP exams in Spanish language, psychology, calculus, and history than in programming.

Insufficiencies in school can translate into a bigger problem on an economic level. Each year, U.S. companies need to fill almost 150,000 jobs related to computer science and mathematics, but colleges and universities only graduate about 100,000 students with degrees in those fields.