Did you know, coding is the most important job skill of the future?
According to reports from Burning Glass and The White House,
- The top 5 major job categories that use coding are, Information Technology (IT) worker, Data Analysts, Artists and designers, Engineers and Scientists
- Programming jobs are growing at a rate 12% faster than the market average
- Last year, there were more than 600,000 high-paying tech jobs across the United States that were unfilled, and by 2018, 51 percent of all STEM jobs are projected to be in computer science-related fields
- Jobs that require coding skills pay up to $22,000 more per year, on average
- In 2015, only 22 percent of students taking the AP Computer Science exam were girls, and only 13 percent were African-American or Latino students.
Jobs that use coding are no longer the “nerdy” or unappealing careers they used to be. In fact, coding is actually becoming a big part of the careers our teens find interesting and even glamorous. For the past three years, during Computer Science Education week December 5-11, New Look has participated in Hour of Code, to show students exactly that: Coding and tech careers aren’t just for the kids who excel in math and science. They can connect back to the other things they are passionate about, such as arts, culture and entertainment.
Hour of Code is a global movement to expose tens of millions of students in 180+ countries to career possibilities in technology and code. Anyone, anywhere is encouraged to organize an Hour of Code event. Since 2013, New Look has hosted Hour of Code events for our high school Leadership Academy students in every city. These workshops provide students, who wouldn’t typically learn the skill of coding in their schools or who don’t think tech careers are “for them”, an opportunity to see it, touch it and become interested in the variety of careers they can pursue with it.
Like everything we do, we meet students where they are, making our Hour of Code extremely fun and unconventional. Gearing up for Hour of Code, we were invited by Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s MIT Scratch Lab to send two members of our peer training staff, Marvin Logan and Erica ‘Rica G.’ Richards, to Cleveland, OH to participate in the Scratch Hip Hop Coding Summit. At the Summit, they learned how to teach code using Scratch, MIT’s online community where youth can create their own interactive stories, games, and animations.
“The MIT Scratch Team did an excellent job in merging the history & culture of Hip-Hop with the innovative software of Scratch. I was surrounded in a room full of classroom educators, librarians, and other types of educational facilitators from pretty unrelated parts of the country. It was beautiful to find that we all shared a love for exploring interest-based pathways that could improve the way we teach and our students learn!” -Marvin Logan, UNL Alum & Trainer
In Atlanta, at the UNL Spark Center, students learned code in three breakout groups. Thanks to Wilston Lynch of Ole Mexican Foods, the Spark Center received a donation of five computers to use during the workshop! In the Spark Tank room, students learned from UNL peer trainer, Rica G., how to write code in order to produce music beats. In The Hangar, they learned from Pat Smith, Founder of Safe2Meet, how to code their own website. In the Game Loft, students learned code through interactive games on Code.org led by Kesha Williams of Comcast and Cheryl Allie, of an after-school program called the Village Tutorial. After the workshops, students convened for a panel and Q&A on careers with each of the instructors, as well as our friends Raymond and Thomas of Chimera Innovations, a company that builds apps and websites.
In Detroit, New Look high school students worked together at the Detroit Public Library to create their own version of Flappy Bird and other digital video games through the use of coding techniques.
In Milwaukee, New Look high school students gave presentations to each other on career pathways in tech and code.
Overall, it was a great third-annual Hour of Code for each of our cities. Each student received a certificate from Code.org for participating. Thank you to everyone who made it possible!