Geeks With Blogs
Brian Scarbeau Insights from a seasoned Computer Science Trainer

According to the Washington Post, industry executives fear there won't be enough new defense sector workers to replace those employees as they retire. The problem is that almost 60 percent of U.S. aerospace workers in 2007 were 45 or older  could affect national security and even close the door on commercial products that start out as military technology, industry officials said.

Another part of the problem is the fierce competition for a limited pool of math and science experts from all corners of corporate America, contractors working on classified government programs are hamstrung by another factor: restrictions on hiring foreigners or off-shoring work to other countries.

In addition, these companies need to hire American citizens and they must have security clearance.

Defense contractors are competing with Microsoft, Google, EA and even Walmart for talent.

"The talent is going to have to be homegrown," said Marion Blakey of the aerospace association.

What's the solution? Computer Science Education in public and private schools. Middle school curriculum needs to get updated, teachers need to be trained, support needs to be given to teachers as well. This needs to be done in high schools as well. This is where the food chain starts before students make choices to go to college.

Is anyone listening? I asked Bill Gates last year if Computer Science Education was dead. I'll be going back to Redmond, WA next month asking for support from Microsoft to help us get students interested in Computer Science Education.  You can help by volunteering in your middle and high school locally and talk to students about what you do and how important it is for them to study computer science education.

This problem is not going to go away and will only get worse.


Posted on Wednesday, March 12, 2008 10:24 AM | Back to top

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