Microsoft proposes a Race to the Future to improve CS Education

October 22, 2012 at 7:54 am 3 comments

Sounds like a response to “Rising about the Gathering Storm” but with a particular focus on STEM education, and even CS education.

The United States faces a growing economic challenge – a substantial and increasing shortage of individuals with the skills needed to fill the new jobs the private sector is creating. Throughout the nation and in a wide range of industries, there is an urgent demand for workers trained in the STEM fields — science, technology, engineering and mathematics — yet there are not enough people with the necessary skills to meet that demand. Our nation faces the paradox of a crisis in unemployment at the same time that many companies cannot fill the jobs they have to offer. In addition to the short-term consequences for businesses and individuals, we risk these jobs migrating from the U.S., creating even bigger challenges for our long-term competitiveness and economic growth.

As an employer, we see these challenges first hand and are committed to doing what we can to help. One way we can help is to shine a light on these challenges and offer ideas and solutions. That’s why today we published a detailed whitepaper documenting ideas for a National Talent Strategy that would help secure U.S. competitiveness and economic growth. I also had the opportunity to discuss these ideas in a speech at the Brookings Institution today.

via Strengthening American Competitiveness and Creating Opportunity for the Next Generation – Microsoft on the Issues – Site Home – TechNet Blogs.

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Going Postal: The Crisis in Higher Education from Correspondence Schools to MOOCs 2.5% increase in software engineering salaries in one year: Seed corn looking more attractive

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Alfred Thompson  |  October 22, 2012 at 11:06 am

    Definitly a big interest in more CS education at Microsoft in many areas. H1B visa employees are more costly (not less as some would have you believe) as well as involving all sorts of additional issues. Few see them as more than a stop gap until more US employees can be found.

    Reply
    • 2. Mark Miller  |  October 25, 2012 at 7:23 pm

      Hearing what you said would be a relief to many budding engineers who have felt discouraged from entering this field due to fears that these jobs will not be waiting for them, because they’re being taken over by foreign nationals, either via. worker visas, or outsourcing. Some of that perception is validated by stories about how Silicon Valley start-ups hire engineers domestically to create their technology, lay them off once it’s matured, and maintain it with a foreign firm thereafter, as a typical business practice.

      I remember Bill Gates going around to universities about 7 years ago with the same message as in this post, saying the idea that outsourcing is replacing U.S. engineers is a myth, but I still occasionally hear the fear I described around the issue of “should I enter this field or not?” I think a big part of it is a contrast between the perception of the 90s dot-com boom, and what people see as a reality in the field now. The truth is a lot of the 90s boom was a mirage. Most of the enterprises that were tried then were misguided and didn’t work out, but nevertheless they created the perception that a lot of good stuff was going on. Now I suspect there’s more sobriety in what gets funded, so there’s less proliferation, and so the field appears to be less prosperous, less promising, when in fact there’s the same number of successful enterprises as there used to be.

      I don’t get a sense that people really understand the labor landscape with regard to science and engineering; understanding what capacities are in demand here, and which are not.

      Reply
      • 3. alfredtwo  |  October 25, 2012 at 7:56 pm

        Managing development overseas is difficult and really requires a big company. Smaller companies can’t do it without large sacrifices in quality. That makes it not worth it for most companies.

        Reply

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