Digital skills in the US are to receive a major boost after president Obama pledged $4bn to fund computer science education, to train teachers and buy better teaching materials.
The fund falls under the Computer Science For All initiative to equip all American students from kindergarten to high school with a foundation in computer science and related skills.
A hefty $4bn of funding for states and a further $100m direct funding for school districts will be used to train teachers in delivering computer science education, provide access to instructional materials and establish regional partnerships with other organisations involved in computer science.
It is hoped that the funding will help young US citizens to become contributors to the nation’s digital economy, rather than just consumers of digital technology and services.
The White House said that digital knowledge is a “new basic” skill for people looking for economic and social mobility opportunities.
“Tech careers are exciting, fun, high-impact and collaborative as well as being critical for our economy. We want all Americans to have the opportunity to be part of these teams. Computer Science For All will help make that a reality and ensure every student has access to computer science in their classrooms at all levels,” the White House said.
The push to provide more computer science education will involve state governors, mayors and leaders in education driving schemes to encourage the teaching of computer science and to follow leadership examples set by the likes of Hawaii, Washington and Arkansas.
Computer Science For All will also set up philanthropic industry partnerships with the likes of Microsoft, Apple, Salesforce, Qualcomm and Facebook.
The need for digital skills and and better computer science education is nothing new, given concerns that the digital skills gap is affecting productivity.
The situation is thought to be particularly acute in the UK, where over 12 million people and one million small businesses lack the basic digital skills to succeed in an era dominated by technology.
North Korean hackers reportedly step up their activity as tensions with the US increase
Ice Lake probably won't appear before 2019 at the earliest
Krzanich follows Kevin Plank of Under Armor and Kenneth Frazier of Merck
Release of latest version of Android imminent