RPA Needs More Computer Science Classes

The AP computer science class coding a program to scan websites for the temperature. Photo by William Anderson

The AP computer science class coding a program to scan websites for the temperature. Photo by William Anderson

The Redmond Proficiency Academy has one of the strongest computer sciences programs in Central Oregon, but the school needs to seize the opportunity to expand its offerings and create a new class for the students.

At RPA, 24 students take computer science classes, yet no computer science classes are available in the middle school and only two computer science classes are offered in the high school. If a student wants to go onto a computer science career they would only have two classes to prepare themselves. These students need higher level computer science options so that they can be more prepared.

The United States needs people to go into computer science careers. According to a report by the App Association, more than 500,000 computer science jobs are currently unfilled and it is predicted that by 2024 the US will have 1 million open computer science jobs.

A benefit of a computer science career is the pay, according to the asvab career exploration program the median salary pay in Oregon for computer science careers is $77,240 per year.

Emi Hegarty and Ian Bremont collaborating to write code for the days assigment. Photo by William Anderson

Emi Hegarty and Ian Bremont collaborating to write code for the days assigment. Photo by William Anderson

RPA students need to push themselves to get better, one way they could do that would be trying to make helpful programs that would be used in the community. The class would be project oriented and students would create programs that could be implemented into the community to help people, doing this would give the students real world experience and would get RPA students known. For class projects the students could create new projects or improve old projects with their new knowledge and see how far they could take them.

Another benefit is the knowledge that the students would gain. If they have a problem that they need fixed they don't have to pay or wait for someone to fix it for them.

A drawback of new computer science classes is the fact that RPA would have to find a teacher and time for the class. This boils down to the choice of either hiring a new teacher or moving around other classes to make room in the master schedule.

Students that want to go into computer science careers need to get a head start while they can to improve their chances of getting a good job after they get out of school. If the students can get more real world experience before they start looking for a job they can solve problems more efficiently and will be better than the other students that did not get the chance to have real world experience.