Misunderstanding MOOCs and Computing Labor Shortage: Andy Kessler of WSJ.com
Andy Kessler of the Wall Street Journal (linked below) misunderstands why we have a computing labor shortage. MOOCs definitely make “computing education” (in general) accessible to more people. But that doesn’t mean that we’ll shrink the computing labor shortage, as described by Code.org. Undergraduate computing education is “accessible” to everyone on campus, but rarely draws more than 15% women. We have to go from “accessible” to “engaging.” Unless we draw in women and under-represented minorities, we can’t close the jobs-graduates gap. We have to change how we teach to draw more women and under-represented minorities, and MOOCs don’t teach that way.
Anyone who cares about Americas shortage of computer-science experts should cheer the recent news out of Georgia Tech. The Atlanta university is making major waves in business and higher education with its May 14 announcement that the college will offer the first online masters degree in computer science—and that the degree can be had for a quarter of the cost of a typical on-campus degree. Many other universities are experimenting with open online courses, or MOOCs, but Georgia Techs move raises the bar significantly by offering full credit in a graduate program.It comes just in time. A shortfall of computer-science graduates is a constant refrain in Silicon Valley, and by 2020 some one million high-tech job openings will remain unfilled, according to the Commerce Department.