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Closing the Computer Science Gap

Science and technology are critical drivers of today’s global innovation economy. More and more companies–across all industry sectors–are seeking people with computer science (CS) engineering skills.

In the U.S. alone, there are projections of 1.5 million CS-related jobs by 2018. Unfortunately, U.S. college graduates are expected to fill less than a third of those jobs. With 16.5 percent of American youth unemployed—double the rate of national unemployment—the gap will only widen if we do not work to address it now.

We’re bringing computer science into US high schools through TEALS.

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Only 8% of US schools are certified to teach AP Computer Science.

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Only 14 states and the District of Columbia recognize computer science courses as fulfilling core math or science credit requirements for high school graduation.

There is a mismatch between education and opportunity—between supply and demand—that we must solve. By increasing student access to CS courses as early as possible, students can build their knowledge, skills, and aspirations and seize the opportunities of today’s innovation economy. Microsoft is taking a comprehensive approach to address the CS gap that includes our programs, people and public policy efforts.

Closing the CS learning gap is imperative for the success of today’s youth and one of the focal points of Microsoft YouthSpark, our commitment to empower 300 million young people globally to imagine and realize their full potential. YouthSpark programs are helping young people around the world to gain skills, tools and confidence in CS. For example, our DigiGirlz program is bringing technology and training to underrepresented young women, like Abril Vela. The Imagine Cup program is enabling future entrepreneurs to create technological ideas to solve world problems, like Team Quad Squad. And, DreamSpark and Kodu Game Lab are giving students access to programming and developer tools, like 14-year-old Felix Guttbier.

More recently, Microsoft became a founding partner of Code.org, a nonprofit built on the idea that every student in every school should have the opportunity to learn computer programming. We’re partnering with Code.org on its nationwide campaign to introduce 10 million students to computer programming by offering one hour introductory online tutorials.

Meet Computer Science YouthSpark Stars Jeremy Moore and Ifrah

Computer Science YouthSpark Star Jeremy Moore Video

“I want to be a software engineer. I’ve always liked to create stuff, that’s why I want to make games.”- Jeremy

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Microsoft TEALS
Ifrah Abshir YouthSpark Star

“I love computer science…The class helped me discover my passion. Maybe someone else has it too and they can learn from me.” – Ifrah

Read this story Microsoft TEALS

Our people play a critical role throughout all of our programs. For instance, through Microsoft TEALS (Technology Education and Literacy in Schools), CS engineers from Microsoft and other companies are serving as volunteer teachers in 70 U.S. high school classrooms in 12 states to bolster schools’ ability to provide students with the education they need for 21st century jobs and careers. In just two years, TEALS has proven to be a successful model for private and public partnerships, bringing CS education and industry leaders together to unlock new opportunities for current and future generations of American high school students.

Public policy is also key to solving for the CS gap, and to helping countries to be more competitive in today’s global economy. For example, in the U.S., Microsoft has advocated for a National Talent Strategy to create long-term improvements in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education with targeted, short-term, high-skilled immigration reforms.

Microsoft wants every student to have the opportunity to thrive. With our programs and partnerships, we will continue to help young people build their knowledge, skills, and aspirations so they can transition from school into the 21st century job market.

Computer Science

Learn how to code – it’s easy

Check out Microsoft’s free tools that help you learn how to code.

Microsoft TEALS

Microsoft TEALS

Learn how we’re putting computer scientists in high school classrooms across America.

National Talent Strategy

National Talent Strategy

Download our National Talent Strategy and read our long-term plan for STEM success.