Children learn computing skills to address the future need for high-skilled workers in Alabama, USA
An article recently published by the Birmingham Times covered the story of a group of students from Birmingham, Alabama, that gathers once every month to work together on learning computing skills. During the monthly meetings, students from Kids Code Club at the McWane Science Center complete various tasks including, for example, creating websites and developing mobile applications.
This story reflects a growing trend. Multiple coding groups for youth have flourished worldwide over the past few years as recognition of the great value of ICT skills in multiple disciplines continues to increase. According to Alice Tyler Milton, associate dean for the Lawson State Community College (LSCC) business and information technologies division (where Kids Code Club meetings are hosted), “You don’t have to be a computer science major to learn how to code. You can major in anything and still use coding.”
The coding meetings held at LSCC are part of a broader program called Birmingham Can Code, which was formed in 2018 with the support of Apple Inc. to share coding skills through the company’s Everyone Can Code curriculum. The program corroborates the broad range of opportunities raised for public-private collaboration between technology companies and cities where high-skilled labor force is required.
There are more computing jobs in Alabama than the number of qualified workers, prompting a range of stakeholders to take action. “We want to make sure our kids are surrounded by opportunities. If 20 of those kids decide to continue with coding then that is a major victory,” said Deon Gordon, president of TechBirmingham, which sponsors the Kids Code Club at McWane.
Source: Birmingham Times