The State of Computer Science Education in Tennessee
Despite intense challenges in 2020, Tennessee has made significant progress toward advancing computer science education. In April, the TDOE presented the Tennessee Computer Science State Education Plan to the legislature in April. The TDOE published a comprehensive set of K-12 computer science standards in July. Public Chapter 651 (FY 2021) includes $518,000 for computer science professional development within the Governor’s Future Workforce Initiative.
Why Computer Science is Important
Tennessee has over 7,500 open computing jobs.
Computing occupations, which include system administrators, network architects, data scientists, programmers, and many others, are the number one source of new wages in the U.S. and make up over half of all projected new jobs in STEM fields.
Nationally, computing jobs grew 22% in the six years following the 2008 recession, much faster than average. This job growth should remain robust post-pandemic.
Today, it is commonly known there are computing jobs in virtually every field.
Not surprisingly, computer science is among the most popular school subjects, one of the increasingly more popular STEM degrees, and over 90% of parents want their children to study it.
Despite these statistics, computer science courses are only available in 50% of public high schools in Tennessee. The COVID-19 pandemic underscores the importance of technology and the need for baseline computer science education.