More states requiring computer science for graduation

Recent reports reveal lack of female and minority students in AP computer science courses
By: | Issue: July, 2015
June 24, 2015

In seven years, computer systems design jobs will be huge in the United States.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 38 percent growth in the design industry between 2012 and 2022Ñfrom 1.62 million jobs in 2012 to an estimated 2.23 million jobs in 2022. But recent reports of the lack of required computer science courses in districts and the absence of female and minority students in AP computer science courses has led some to wonder whether or not the nation will have enough skilled workers to fill these positions.

An April report from the Education Commission of the States identifies states that are allowing or requiring districts to apply computer science coursework toward completion of high school graduation requirements in math, science or foreign language.

Fourteen states require a student be allowed to fulfill a math, science or foreign language credit for high school graduation by completing a computer science course. However, each state’s policy varies. For example, in South Carolina, one computer science course, if approved by the department of education, may be counted toward math requirements. In Georgia, a student’s fourth science unit may be completed by AP computer science.

Arizona and California do not require computer science to be recognized statewide as fulfilling graduation requirements.

However, districts may develop individual policies allowing computer science to count toward science and math requirements.