Getting more students interested in computer science is the goal of a new campaign called Hour of Code which will be part of the annual Computer Science Education Week in the U.S. from December 9th-15th. Microsoft announced this week its own participation in the Hour of Code effort.
In a blog post, Microsoft's General Counsel Brad Smith said that there is a huge need for more computer science students, as there is a surplus of job openings compared to the number of people with the needed qualifications. Smith says:
The Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected approximately 122,000 new job openings each year in computing occupations requiring at least a bachelor’s degree through the end of this decade. Yet nationally, our universities are only producing approximately 51,000 bachelor’s degrees in computer science each year. Further compounding the problem, 9 out of 10 schools do not even offer computer programming classes.
The Hour of Code campaign is designed to offer quick one hour tutorials in computer science and programming for schools to show students that anyone can become a creator of computer applications. The campaign is promoted by a video, shown above, that has Microsoft chairman Bill Gates, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Valve Software founder Gabe Newell and even Chris Bosh of the Miami Heat taking about computer science and its effect on the world.
More information about the campaign can be found at the Computer Science Education Week website. Schools and educators who participate will be eligible to win prizes such as laptops and even a video chat for 50 winning classrooms with people like Gates, Newell and others.