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CTE Series Part 2: Computer Science
In March of 2022, the Texas Workforce Commission released a labor market report showing active job postings from January 1 to March 9, 2022 in the Rural Capital Area, which includes Williamson County and eight other surrounding counties.
Many of the high-need, unfilled jobs in the area require skills, knowledge, and/or certifications that students in Career and Technical Education (CTE) in Georgetown ISD (GISD) gain within their program of study. This series will take a deep dive into GISD CTE programs that are actively equipping students with the skills to fill these current job trends after high school.
With the ever-flowing technological advancements happening in the world today, it is no surprise that Computer Science came in at number one on a list of “Job Openings by Programs” in the Texas Workforce Commission's (TWC) labor market report, with 1,232 active job ads in the Rural Capital Area from January 1 to March 9, 2022.
“Finding a job in the computer science field without moving to Silicon Valley or another big city used to be nearly impossible,” Georgetown High School (GHS) Computer Science Instructor Kenny Perry said. “But now, computer science is everywhere. The field continues to grow, and computer science jobs remain in high demand.”
The Georgetown ISD (GISD) Computer Science program was created with the intention of being as expansive and open as possible, which is why the main focus of the program is teaching students Python code.
“Python code typically has the most universal connections,” Perry said. “Because this type of coding is such general knowledge, the hope is that students leave the program with the ability to apply to a variety of future jobs; data science, artificial intelligence, science application, and automation engineering are a few that come to mind.”
Coding refers to the process of writing computer programs. Every time you open your phone or computer, the applications on your device have been created using code. If you think about how heavily our society relies on technological devices to complete daily tasks, it is easy to imagine why computer science is projected to grow 22 percent from 2020 to 2030.
“Leaving high school with computer science knowledge makes me feel confident,” GHS senior and computer science student Emma Hoss said. “Any job in the technology industry wants applicants to come in with a basis or understanding of computer science, so it’s something that will help me stand out in the workforce.”
In the TWC labor market report, Problem Solving and Detail-orientation are among the top ten “Soft Skills” hiring companies look for, both of which are vital to the coursework in the computer science program.
“With coding, you have to be super detail-oriented, all the way down to a misplaced semicolon or parentheses,” Hoss said. “And once you point to the detail causing the error, you have to be able to work at solving the problem.”
“It is exciting to see students in the program build the ability to independently problem-solve and go from a project idea to total implementation,” Perry said. “It gives students the freedom to choose from a variety of fields; They can take that knowledge to a big technology company, a small mom-and-pop shop, or even cybersecurity.”
Cybersecurity is currently a huge field – and in high need – for python code and computer science. Outside of CTE computer science, there are extracurricular programs in GISD, such as CyberPatriot, that work towards preparing students to fill high-need careers such as cybersecurity.
CyberPatriot is a program created by the Air Force Association to inspire K-12 students toward careers in cybersecurity or other science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines critical to our nation's future. The program, led by GISD Senior Naval Science Instructor Major David Arjona and Georgetown community member Timothy Amerson, teaches students how to protect their laptops and devices from hackers, viruses, and other potential threats.
"Cybersecurity careers are at an all-time high and in demand,” Major Arjona said. “It is critical that students in middle and high school get the opportunity and exposure to programs such as CyberPatriot to develop an interest in STEM and hopefully to enter one of the many fields that pertain to cybersecurity and computer science."
We are living in the Digital Age, and careers in technology are continually and consistently thriving. Programs like CyberPatriot and CTE Computer Science maintain the goal of sending graduating students off with a basis of technological knowledge that can be applied to almost any field.
“I think the most important skill a student can learn is the ability to believe in themselves and run with their ideas,” Perry said. “This program aims to inspire students to develop that skill and carry it with them, whether they choose to enter the computer science industry or not.”
Want to find out more about technology in GISD? Check out our website.
You can view the full TWC report here.
Check out part one of the CTE series on our website.