Need Work? Learn To Code

coding programming computer science jobsBy Hank Stringer

According to the Computer Science Teachers Association, the number of U.S. high schools offering introductory computer science dropped to 69% in 2011 from 78% in 2005. While a manpower survey reports that 52 percent of U.S. companies had trouble filling essential positions; the study supports statistics from the U.S. Labor Department showing that more than three million tech jobs remain unfilled for months. These hard-to-fill positions tend to be in Internet technology, machine operation, and engineering fields, though nursing and accounting also top the list.

The Wall Street Journal recently reported Teaching Ventures Catch the Programming Wave, which describes real and affordable opportunities for people interested in learning how to code and program, a hiring need that exists today that is not being met because we don't have the trained talent available.

There was a time, 20 – 30 years ago when most of the technical companies in the market trained talent to fill needs. They had to as there were not enough available trained talent. Our technical growth in this country has continued while the costs associated with training have increased as well. Companies stopped training as the costs were high and competitors relied on recruiting trained talent from the companies making the investment. Companies relied on academic institutions to train, an expensive proposition and not a tract that all students were interested in pursuing. For these and other reasons we don't have enough technical talent available and need more.

Leave it up to entrepreneurs in the private sector to understand a problem of valuable size and develop a solution that makes sense. With our technology and productivity advances, why wouldn't we have the ability to train more people faster at affordable prices and solve the problem. It appears the answer is finally here and we are on our way!

So, if you are out of work, are interested in changing to a technical career or understand you need new skills as you want to work past traditional retirement age, check out these new online and physical technical training opportunities supported by interesting business models.

  • Treehouse Island Inc.: "The service, which starts at $25 a month, teaches online classes in subjects like Web development and building mobile apps. Users rack up virtual badges for completing quizzes and code challenges." WSJ

  • Competitor Codecademy: "The site's free online exercises have been accessed nearly 30 million times since its August launch." WSJ

  • General Assembly: "A campus for technology, design, and entrepreneurship. We provide educational programming, space, and support to facilitate collaborative practices and learning opportunities across a community inspired by the entrepreneurial experience." Home

These solutions are exciting and we will see more education solutions in the market in the future. Next up – we need plumbers...

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