In the next decade, computer-related jobs will dominate job growth in our area. Take biotechnology. It used to be that biotech jobs mainly required lab skills. But with the development of personalized medicine and stem-cell therapies, the industry needs scientists with computing expertise who can analyze large amounts of data to find the best therapies.
“What used to be sort of nice to have, is now essential,” said Eric Celidonio, founder of Sci.Bio, a biotech recruitment firm that focuses on companies around Boston. Biotech is just one industry where computational skills have become necessary. Finance, health care delivery and medicine are also increasingly computerized.
Massachusetts education officials recognized that students need a more sophisticated understanding of computer science than they’ve been getting. They changed the standards to emphasize teaching kids to create technology rather than just use it. But, according to our analysis, only about one percent of students in the state are taking a computer class that meets most of those recommendations.