Recruiters are well-aware that the demand for top technical talent currently outweighs supply: there are more open roles than there are people to fill them, and the trend is only going to persist in the coming years.
The challenge comes down to the talent pipeline. Very few grads are entering the workforce with the programming skills and technical creativity that the U.S. economy needs—not just among startups but for organizations of all types and sizes.
Why should companies sit back and wait for the talent shortage to get worse? There’s an entire school system full of kids out there who are eager to learn and prepare for adulthood. Companies should invest in them by empowering them to get a coding education. Here’s how:
Make guest appearances to host workshops at schools
Coding education is a challenge. Concepts in programming are difficult to teach, and the subject matter takes time to grasp. Not to mention, technology is new—teachers may not have enough personal experience with coding to make the topic relevant and interesting to students. NPR says that as a result, school districts have made coding education boring.
That’s where guest appearances from companies enter the picture.
Visit schools. Spark kids’ imaginations. Host guest lectures and career panels to show how versatile and creative programming can be. Illuminate the light at the end of the tunnel: a great job, interesting work, and an opportunity to make a difference.
Be a stakeholder in the U.S. education system, and offer resources to help kids learn the technical skills that the workforce needs.
Monitor governmental and policy initiatives
When it comes to improving the state of coding education, change needs to happen at all levels. That’s why local governments are getting involved—for instance, the Florida Senate recently recognized computer coding as a foreign language for high school credit. Additionally, in his final State of the Union Address, President Obama called for nationwide increases in computer science education in public schools.
It’s important for companies to pay attention to the politics of coding education, as these decisions will directly impact hiring down the road. Be aware of the biggest trends in coding education, know what skills are being taught, and be mindful of any gaps that may be arising.
This information will help companies anticipate and prepare for recruiting trends of the future.
Encourage employees to share curriculum advice
Does your company offer paid time off for community service? Why not encourage employees to provide advice on emerging teaching models and curriculum development?
Teaching models for coding are still being defined — there’s a strong opportunity for employees of companies to share their insight and expertise. This direct lens into the workforce will also ensure that students know what steps they should be taking and what skills they should be mastering along the way.
The best people to provide insight are hands-on practitioners themselves. Through community service, empower your employees to share their expertise. The next generation of coders needs it.
When it comes to coding education, schools are just scratching the surface. There’s a strong window of opportunity for companies to offer expertise and value. While there are many advances being made, there’s still room to grow. Hiring teams can play an important role in steering the ship forward.