December 13, 2019 Topcoder Rallies Support for STEM Education
Since 1990, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) occupations have grown by about 80% — much higher than the national job average. The outlook for STEM jobs is remarkably positive. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, STEM jobs are expected to grow at a rate of 13% until 2020. In fact, the future of STEM may be stronger than it appears on the surface. McKinsey suggests that 60% of occupations have at least 30% automation potential and will require STEM skills to support them.
Given that outlook, it should come as no surprise that over 90% of parents want their children to study computer science. Yet only 45% of schools teach computer science. The current state of STEM education in public schools leaves parents and educators wanting.
At Topcoder, we think that every student should have the opportunity to take STEM courses and have access to resources that help them advance tech skills. We see the power of STEM education every day. It has helped us build a community of over 1.5 million tech experts. Coders with early access to STEM education are among our best performers and they have given the Topcoder community the ability to create amazing things and solve seemingly impossible problems.
Topcoder’s Commitment to STEM
This week we’re proud to support Computer Science Education (CSEd) Week, a national effort focused on educating and involving K-12 students in coding challenges. As part of the promotion, we hosted easy 24-hour competitions for each of our core tracks. These challenges were a great way for students and Topcoder members to get hooked on computer science, amp up critical thinking and tackle problems in a supportive environment. Each challenge ran, had a significant amount of newbies from other disciplines at Topcoder to help round out their expertise.
We recognize that women, in particular, are underserved in STEM education, resulting in a huge gender gap in the market. Only 25% of all computer science jobs belong to women. To help address this issue, we recently hosted a #SheWillConnect event at the Topcoder Open in Houston. Over 45 girls from local schools joined us to watch some of the top women coders compete in various challenges, including design and QA. This type of program is something we’ve strived to do over the years at each Topcoder Open.
Join Us in the Movement for STEM Education
As the value of tech skills rises, students who receive STEM learning opportunities now have the very real potential to define the future of our society. The rise of machine learning, automation, IoT, and current tech boom underscore the importance of computer science, engineering, and mathematics skills that empower these new technologies.
Community Team Lead