ACM Education Policy Committee and USACM Offer Support for COMPETES Reauthorization Bill

By David Bruggeman
May 12, 2010

The House Science and Technology Committee recently marked up a bill to reauthorize the America COMPETES Act. In recognition of this effort, the ACM Education Policy Committee and the U.S. Public Policy Council of ACM sent the Committee a letter expressing its support for the reauthorization.

The letter focused on the provisions of the bill that cover science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education. While very supportive of the bill, the letter expresses ACM’s concerns about making sure that computer science education is a part of STEM education and STEM programs. Unfortunately, it is often assumed that computer science is part of STEM at the K-12 level, but the work of the Education Policy Committee has indicated this is not the case, and that computer science is often squeezed out in favor of other disciplines. As described in the letter, the need for computer science educated employees is expected to stay strong for years.

Despite the extraordinary economic challenges facing the country, the outlook for computer science jobs remains strong. By 2018, more than 1.5 million high-end computing jobs will be created in the economy, making it one of the fastest growing occupational fields, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In addition, the innovations fueled by computing produce many more indirect jobs.