I had the pleasure of meeting the Tata Consultancy team at a computer science convening last month and they are moving fast into a total of 10 locations in the US. They know that there are far more jobs than people who are trained in computer science so they are working to ensure more students are computer science literate and proficient. They are not content to stand on the sidelines and hope schools start pushing CS (see Code.org for the stats).
They have created a program called goIT to help students understand the profession and gain the skills necessary to go into computer science.
From their website on the latest goIT expansion -
"The TCS goIT program is a STEM education initiative that is offered to students free of charge. The program delivers hands-on technology education to students and provides in-school IT career and awareness workshops. Led by TCS employees, the program offers students the opportunity to engage with advanced technology in an enjoyable, relaxed environment. The culmination of the program, held on August 9th, is a robotics competition in which student teams compete, under the guidance of TCS mentors, to overcome a series of challenges and obstacles using programming skills and technologies. This year, challenges included a robotic chariot race and castle storming.
“We are very excited to host our second goIT summer camp in the Midland, Michigan, area,” said Surya Kant, president, North America, UK and Europe, TCS. “As an IT services company, we understand the critical importance of inspiring students to pursue a career in STEM and we have invested in our mission to address the growing skills gap in technology fields by reaching out to the youth in our community. Through programs such as goIT, we have the potential to inspire students to pursue a career that they never thought possible.”
Research shows that STEM occupations are projected to grow by 17 percent by 2018, with 71 percent of STEM jobs focused on computing including cloud, data, app and security. This contrasts sharply with the mere 17 percent of high school graduates who are proficient and interested in pursuing STEM careers. The goIT program, which began in Cincinnati five years ago, is designed to address and correct this gap. In addition to the previous goIT camps in Cincinnati and Columbus, OH, and Midland, MI, this year, TCS is expanding the camp to reach students in Bentonville, AR; Edison, NJ; Minneapolis, MN; San Antonio, TX; Santa Clara, CA; Atlanta, GA; Chicago, IL; and Toronto, Canada. With these additions, goIT will be a nationwide program covering 10 US locations as well as the greater Toronto region in Canada."
It is that kind of corporate involvement that does make a difference for students!