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Celebrating Computer Science Education Week 2016:Investing in Computer Science for All Will Be Key to College and Career Readiness

12/05/2016 11:37 am ET

The first week of December has been designated Computer Science Education Week. Created by the Computing in the Core coalition, the week is geared towards activities that encourage students to learn more about computer science. NAF is proud to join in the celebration and support this outstanding program that makes the benefits of computer science education accessible across the K-12 spectrum.

Investing in computer science, STEM education, and technology is essential to keep up with our nation's competitive economy. Today's students are the technology experts of tomorrow and by supplying the most relevant curriculum, applied-learning experiences, and networks, they will have everything they need to flex their innovative muscles and fuel the most in-demand, high-earning careers out there. According to Glassdoor , STEM majors top the list when it comes to the highest paying careers. One example is computer science, with a median base salary of $70,000 during the first five years after college graduation. Some of the most prevalent introductory positions include software engineer, systems engineer, and web developer.

Regardless of intended major or course plan, all students should have the opportunity to sharpen their skills and be well versed in the nuts and bolts of this discipline, as it relates to success in all of today's careers, ranging from engineering to hospitality. Getting involved in Computer Science Education Week is easier than ever and could range from planning a lesson or activity during class time to participating in the Hour of Code - a global movement that reaches over 100 million students in more than 180 countries and provides the opportunity for every student to learn about computer science. Code.org® is a non-profit dedicated to expanding access to computer science for all students.

NAF has made a serious investment in STEM education and has dedicated nearly 350 academies to STEM-related areas - with approximately 50,000 students enrolled in these STEM-based curriculum programs across America. By investing in STEM education, business partners are also able to use their abilities to shape America's future workforce at the local and national levels. They are given exclusive access to a diverse talent pool early on, and can begin to develop the pipeline that will determine their company and industry's futures. NAF's STEM advisory committee addresses the growing roles that STEM plays in the nation's economy. The committee is made up of top executives within STEM industries and offers opportunities for these leaders to exchange perspectives in order to better understand industry talent pipeline needs and attract a diverse population to their businesses.

NAF students across the country are applying what they've learned in the classroom to real-world situations every day. Some examples of tangible events include the upcoming hackathon at Pathways Academy of Technology & Design in East Hartford, CT, that will teach middle schools girls how to develop apps, while nurturing their interest and skills in computer science. This full-day program allows for mentorship and collaboration and the opportunity for young women to devise solutions to existing societal problems. Global tech company, Lenovo, will also be joining with NAF this December and sponsoring a Twitter Chat for academies within the Lenovo Scholar Network. This unique and interactive forum for communication will connect NAF students with top Lenovo executives in the field and allow them time to gain insight about topics related to college, career, and technology.

Programs like Computer Science Education Week upholds the principles of innovation, inclusion, and accessibility, which are key elements of our mission. By coming together, we can prepare the next generation of leaders to truly be college, career, and future ready. Our students are the drivers of success in our world and we look forward to all of the ground-breaking contributions to come.
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Glassdoor
Berry, Allison. "50 Highest Paying College Majors." Web blog post. Glassdoor. N.p., 17 Oct. 2016. Web. 04 Nov. 2016. /www.glassdoor.com/blog/50-highest-paying-college-majors/>.

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