Feature Story

Inspiring the next generation of IT professionals

by Kirsten Chiala

Computer science education week aims to give thousands a hands-on start in tech.

Computer science education week aims to give thousands a hands-on start in tech.

Try an hour of code. Anyone can learn. That's the call to action all over the internet, in celebration of Computer Science Education Week. It's an event dedicated to teaching and promoting computer science skills. This week, thousands of kids around the world will get hands-on experience during the Hour of Code, a global movement introducing people to a one-hour lesson in computer science and computer programming.

Recent Cisco research shows some astounding figures about internet connections and future trends. 

For example, by 2022 there will be a projected 28.5 billion global network connections. That's one reason forecasters say so many jobs will require computer science skills. Even now, IT jobs are increasing faster than the supply of skills graduates, according to a CompTIA IT skills gap study. 

Cisco's Networking Academy is one organization working to help close the gap, running thousands of academies in more than 180 countries. Net Acad serves 1.3 million students every year, training them in IoT, cybersecurity and programming. On top of that, some students had the opportunity to train on major sporting and entertainment events like the Global Citizen Festival in New York City in September.

Sergio Sales is one of those students who got the opportunity of a lifetime. He said he always doubted he could have a career in IT, but Networking Academy changed all that. With the skills he gained, he was able to help install a wireless network at the festival.

"Being able to bring people Wi-Fi and connect them was very rewarding," says Sergio. 

It's skills like these organizers of Computer Science Education Week hope will spread and inspire a new generation of IT professional. One hour is all it takes to get started.

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