Today our state faces a paradox: Too many Californians are having trouble finding employment, and at the same time, America's most innovative companies -- across industries and regions -- are unable to find the highly skilled workers they need to thrive.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that by 2020, there will be 1.4 million computing jobs, but only 50,000 students are graduating from our universities with bachelor's degrees in computer science annually. To sustain California's economy and encourage innovation, we need to strengthen access to computer science education throughout a student's academic career.
Currently, only 19 states and the District of Columbia allow computer science courses to count toward high school graduation requirements. California is not one of them. This is unacceptable when our state is home to Silicon Valley and countless other job producing industries that require a level of computer science aptitude. In fact, more than 67 percent of software jobs are outside of the tech industry -- in banking, agriculture, retail, health care, defense, entertainment and more.