Why Tim Cook Is Concerned About Coding Skills

Apple CEO Tim Cook has backed a major effort to persuade state governors, governments and educators to make computer science lessons available for every student in every school. But it’s not just philanthropy at play.

We just can’t get the staff

Supply and demand. In theory, when demand increases, supply arises to meet it. It just doesn’t always work that way and as the world becomes more digitized, the need for coders is growing faster than the world can keep up with.

The demand for coding skills is growing so rapidly that developers continue to explore ways to design configurable solutions that built without code (no code — essentially filling the gap that Apple’s Shortcuts are becoming).

They know they need to do this as the demand for coding talent continues to grow internationally. It’s a need that affects every market, from the US to Singapore and everywhere in between. By 2030, the world is expected to be short of about 82.5 million coders – already 87% of organizations struggle to find coding staff they require.

But some industries, especially those in the data analytics field, are managing to be both in high demand and on a rapid growth curve, while also desperately looking for enough staff. Given the growing importance of AI, the lack of data analytics skills is already great consequences for many companies. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that the shortage of engineers in the US will exceed 1.2 million by 2026.

All we say is give code a chance

That’s why more than 500 leaders from business, education and non-profit organizations have signed a call to “give every student in every school the opportunity to learn computer science.” signatories, including cook (and countless Apple allies and competitors) know we need to invest in the next generation of programmers.

They warn that because computer science education is not available everywhere, many students never get the chance to learn. That’s why only 5% of US high school students study computer science — and some communities, especially young women and students of color, have been left behind.

Of course the employees know that too. And while not everyone has the talent for it, a side effect of the Great Resignation is that more and more employees are participating in coding courses. They almost certainly hope to make more money and work more remotely in the future. Technical Education Platform for Employees pluralnotes that the four most popular courses it offers are related to coding. Courses on AI and cloud services are also popular. At the same time, the pandemic has led to major investments in digital technologies to support the emerging future of work, exacerbating the talent shortage.

Coding is one of the most valuable skills a person can learn. It can open new doors, jump-start careers and make big dreams seem like achievable goals. Everyone around the world should have the opportunity to learn to code. https://t.co/yWfNlmQwdz

— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) July 12, 2022

Apple can scale its encryption search, but not everyone can

Apple has made no secret of the fact that it thinks it is necessary nurturing more coding talent. It has built and remains build new development hubs around the world so it can find talent not available in the US.

It gives coding workshops in stores and has academic courses nurturing future talent. Fast Playgrounds isn’t just meant to be fun to use; it is also designed to teach the essence of coding to young people as the company works to foster future talents.

But Apple’s chance to participate in such programs is something only the biggest companies really have access to — and the coder Cupertino makes today won’t necessarily code for iPhones tomorrow, especially when their skills are in so much demand. . It is also true that the need, combined with the shortage, means that more than 50% of companies are hiring technical workers who do not have all the skills the job requires.

Challenging the economy

Yet the magnitude of the problem poses a major challenge to economic growth and productivity, sparking a transnational struggle to bring in talent.

In the US, almost two-thirds of highly skilled immigration is for computer scientists. Only the US has more than 700,000 open computer tasks, but trains only 80,000 computer science graduates each year – and the demand for those skills will increase as digitization continues to grow. Demand is also putting existing recruits under great pressure. That extra work means that some claim that about 70% are planning to change jobs the coming year. This in itself is a problem for employers — it costs up to $35,685 to identify and hire a full-time developer, according to Code Submit data.

Every churn in workforce means additional costs, as well as increased pressure on existing employees and extra damage until project planning and overall productivity.

With all this in mind, it’s no surprise that Cook and what appears to be a roll call from all of the biggest companies in the US are making this urgent call for code. Their eye-catching bonuses probably depends.

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Copyright © 2022 IDG Communications, Inc.

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