Careers requiring knowledge of computer science are increasing at twice the national average rate of other jobs. If the current rate of computer science degree acquisition continues, about one million jobs will be left vacant due to the current amount of insufficient education and interest in the subject. The Campanile applauds Palo Alto High School for offering a range of courses in the topic and believes the country should follow in its steps. Nonetheless, given the ever-growing importance of technical computer science knowledge in careers and daily life, we believe that an introductory semester-long course focusing on intuitive languages like Python should be required for all Paly students.
Students who have not taken computer science in high school often feel intimidated to take it for the first time in college, due to the apparent difficulty or believing that other students enrolled will be more advanced. The Palo Alto Unified School District board should adapt to the trends surrounding us as it did in creating in Living Skills, which exceeds state and UC/CSU requirements.
Consider Economics, a semester-long class that seniors must take to graduate. Beyond exploring the basic principles of economics, students learn an alternative way of thinking that is applicable throughout later life and provides an understanding on a critical aspect of our society. Computer science is quite similar; The Campanile would argue that, in this day and age, it is of equal if not greater importance than Economics.
A lack of resources is not a justifiable excuse. With expanding facilities and eager donors, the cost of an additional teacher and classroom could easily be met. Moreover, The Campanile strongly believes that the benefits, skills and knowledge students would receive through a semester computer science course would meet, if not outweigh, the costs of administering the course.
On average, fewer than 10 percent of students at Paly take a computer science course per year. This is not at all proportionate to the number of jobs that require the related skills. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor, over 50 percent of jobs today require technology skills to some extent; experts expect that percentage to increase to 77 percent in the next 10 years.
To account for this disparity, The Campanile believes in introducing this requirement, which would equip every student with the education to succeed in the changing world.