Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), a major global IT services firm, today (25 June) announced the expansion of its goIT student technology awareness programme to 20 US states, reaching cities such as Phoenix, AZ; Ft. Lauderdale, FL; Newark, NJ; Bloomington, IL; San Antonio, TX; Denver, CO; Jacksonville, FL; Charlotte, NC and Edison, NJ.
Launched in Cincinnati, OH, in 2009, goIT is TCS' signature education programme in North America, through which employees teach design processes, computer programming and mentor youth to increase career awareness in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematic (STEM) fields.
This year, goIT will reach students, in 27 cities across the U.S. and Toronto, Canada; especially those from underrepresented groups, minorities and girls.
By 2018, there will be eight million STEM jobs in the US, with 80 percent of the fastest growing US occupations requiring STEM skills.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), between 2013 and 2023, there will be two jobs available for every graduate with a Computer Science (CS) degree, and more than 1.4 million jobs created by 2020 that require CS and programming skills.
However, there are only 400,000 expected college graduates with the needed CS skills to fill those jobs.
"Preparing our youth with 21st century skills is one of the most important investments we can make for our economy. Programs like this that inspire students to explore the fields of STEM and computer science give them a competitive edge on the pathway to college and career readiness, and are invaluable to America's future workforce," said Ohio Congressman Brad Wenstrup.
TCS offers goIT free of cost for middle and high school students — covering career awareness workshops, hands-on technology education, teacher training and parent orientation.
At goIT, students learn icon-based programming languages as they engage in a hands-on, project-based learning environment. Students engage critical thinking and problem-solving skills, while troubleshooting designs and collaborating in teams along with their peers.
"I believe a career in STEM represents the new American dream; providing wage, gender and social equity, along with an opportunity for upward mobility and economic prosperity. Therefore equipping our youth with technology skills and career readiness improves our competitiveness as a nation," said Surya Kant, President of North America, UK and Europe, Tata Consultancy Services.
Since its launch, the goIT programme has engaged more than 8,800 students across 12 cities and 93 schools.
In fact, 70 percent of participants reported an increase of interest in STEM careers, and goIT participating schools reported a 27 percent increase in high school students choosing STEM disciplines in college.
In 2014, goIT attracted more than 1,800 new students and engaged more than 350 employee volunteers, resulting in 20,000 hours of high-impact skill building and computer science programming for students.