Why Microsoft engineers are heading back to high school

In an attempt to get teenagers hooked on computer science, engineers at Microsoft will teach high school classes this fall.
Written by Sarah Korones, Contributor

Engineers at Microsoft will be leaving their trendy offices this fall and heading back to high school.

This time around, however, the tech wizards won’t be doing the learning in school. According to the New York Times, 110 engineers from high-tech companies will be teaching computer science courses as part of a program designed to get teenagers interested in the field.

The program, which is known as Technology Education And Literacy in Schools (TEALS), is aimed at getting high school students hooked on computer science, a field that has been facing serious shortages of college graduates in recent years.

The New York Times reports:

There are likely to be 150,000 computing jobs opening up each year through 2020, according to an analysis of federal forecasts by the Association for Computing Machinery, a professional society for computing researchers. But despite the hoopla around start-up celebrities like Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, fewer than 40,000 American students received undergraduate degrees in computer science last year, the Computing Research Association estimates. And the wider job market remains weak.

To bridge this gap, Microsoft is hoping to get teenagers excited about the field early on in their educations. In doing so, the tech giant has encouraged its employees to commit to teaching courses for a full year, receiving a stipend for their time in the classroom.

In addition to teaching students the principles of computer science, the Microsoft employees are required to teach the professional teachers as well, making sure that the instructors will one day be able to run a computer science course of their own.

Fostering Tech Talent in Schools [NYT]

Image: TEALS

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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