Gov. Nathan Deal is recommending the inclusion of computer programming as part of the core requirements for high school graduation to meet the demands of the state
Georgia wants the State Board of Education to amend state policy to include this because businesses tell him that skilled computer programmers and software developers are in higher demand than ever before.
Deal disclosed his policy proposal on Monday which would place the programming classes in the same category as math, science or foreign language programs.
Deal said more than half of the state’s projected job growth in science, technology, engineering and math fields will be in computing jobs.
“Students need to acquire the 21st century skills necessary to thrive in the modern workforce,” Deal said. “Computing is currently one of the fastest growing occupations in the country with average salaries nearly twice the national rate. In fact, more than half of the projected job growth in the STEM fields will be in computing occupations. We must begin training our young people in these areas prior to their post-secondary education so they are prepared to fill these high-wage, in-demand positions.”
The governor is also urging the Board of Regents to follow suit and accept these courses for admission.
Deal has the support of education experts.
“This change will support our STEM efforts — science, technology, engineering and mathematics,” said University System of Georgia Chancellor Hank Huckaby. “It is a recognition of the evolving dynamics of our increasingly technologically dependent world.” “If Georgia is to maintain a world-class workforce, then we must ensure that our students can understand and apply sophisticated technology,” said Technical College System of Georgia Commissioner Ron Jackson. “I applaud Governor Deal for this change that will improve the education of students and build a better future for Georgia.”
The governor may be responding to Democratic challenger Jason Carter, who sharply criticizes Deal’s lack of focus on education.