This September, New York City will open a new public high school dedicated to training children in software development and engineering.
In a recent announcement, Mayor Michael Bloomberg outlined his plans for the educational facility, that is based upon the success of a previous IBM partnership school that graduates students with a Regents degree and an associate’s degree after six years' study. The students from this specialist school also receive a place in line for a job with IBM.
The establishment is the brainchild of a New York teacher -- Mike Zamansky from Stuyvesant High School. Bloomerberg has indicated that with the support of the the City University of New York, two more schools are planned after the opening of The Academy for Software Engineering.
The plans have also received the support of venture capitalist Fred Wilson from Union Square Ventures, who plans to financially back the school and attempt to entice other investors.
Boomberg views the project as "a new way of thinking about secondary school based on today's economic realities". For an economy that is becoming increasingly reliant on workers skilled in technology, and one that is already suffering a shortage of computer engineers across the board, allowing students the opportunity to gain these skills earlier may help ease the pressure in the future labor market.
The school's tailored academic program is designed in order to prepare children to enter college with a good level of knowledge and a specialization in computer science, which may help them achieve better results if they choose to go into higher education and pursue a technology-driven course.
The new school will be located in Union Square, conveniently close in proximity to companies like Yelp and General Assembly. This is likely to be useful in terms of either organizing student internships or securing employment after graduation.
Bloomberg also mentioned that these new developments will only be the start of offering more technology and business-based education schemes:
"Over the next two years, we'll open at least a dozen new Career and Technical Education schools and programs aligned with trends in the global economy. Students will get out-of-school internships tailored around their coursework and interests."
The mayor hopes that this program will benefit New York City's future economy and also encourage the next generation of entrepreneurs. To help promote start-ups and technology development, a pilot program for 2,200 students to communicate and develop business plans with others across the world.
Image credit: Micheal Surran/Flickr
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