Originally Posted On: aitp.org

As the lead for information security at Chicago Public Schools in 2013, Edward Marchewka wanted a way to measure how well the nation’s third largest public school district was doing at protecting its sensitive data.

Marchewka couldn’t find a model he liked, so he built one. It didn’t take long for him to see that there was a market gap for aggregating IT and information security metrics – one that he was well-positioned to fill. In 2015, he formed CHICAGO Metrics™, a platform that helps companies tell a better story by managing their key IT and information security risks.

Starting your own IT consulting business can be both enticing and intimidating. You exchange a corporate safety net for flexibility and autonomy. See below for tips on how to make that transition a success.

BE PREPARED TO BE A JACK-OF-ALL-TRADES.

When you start an IT consulting business, you’re no longer solely focused on your area of IT expertise. You’re also in charge of project management, bookkeeping, contracts, legal matters related to starting a business, and potentially, employees.

“There’s a lot of behind-the-scenes activities with running and growing a business that most people don’t see and know unless they’re doing it,” says John Sterrett, founder of Austin, Texas-based Procure SQL, which specializes in SQL Server solutions.

He adds that as a consultant, employability skills – such as an ability to communicate with clients – can be just as, if not more, important than technical skills.

“If you’re going to be a consultant, at the end of the day, you’re selling hours,” he says. “You’re trying to help people. That’s how you’re staying in business. Being able to be quiet and listen can be very, very critical. I think even more so than the tech skills.”

BUILD IN TIME FOR GROWING PAINS.

Sterrett recommends having a business plan. It doesn’t need to be a lengthy, formal document, but writing down goals – and the milestones you need to hit to meet those goals – can go a long way.

That plan should include a period of months where you may not be able to pay yourself a salary, thanks to early startup costs and other growing pains, such as building a customer base. Make sure you’ve got at least three to six months of living costs saved before embarking on a consulting business, recommends Sterrett.

Be prepared to face some failure. Some early hiccups can be a good opportunity to refine your IT consulting business.

“A lot of people are afraid of failure,” Sterrett says. “When running a business, it’s probably good to fail as fast as you can, so you can figure out what works and what doesn’t, and keep moving in the direction of your goals.”

KNOW YOUR COMPETITORS AND FIND YOUR NICHE.

You need to be able to differentiate yourself: whether it’s through your pricing, your bundle of services, your expertise, or the types of clients you serve.

“Knowing where you fit in and who your competitors are is really important in this space,” Marchewka says.

Finding the right price point for your services can be tricky. Do your homework on what competitors are charging, but it may take some trial and error to find your sweet spot.

Marchewka says he discovered he was turning off bigger clients who assumed his bargain basement prices meant the quality must be low.

“Don’t undervalue yourself,” he says, adding that he’s been able to take on nonprofits and governmental clients by offering discounts to applicants who show need.

NETWORK TO GENERATE BUSINESS.

Marchewka started his business with two clients in hand, but he says generating new business is one of the hardest parts of going-it-alone.

“I like having the solutions, but generating the business is hard,” he says. “It requires work.”

Rather than hiring an expensive sales force, Marchewka says he partners with other vendors who have complementary products, building clients through a word-of-mouth network. Sterrett recommends making sure you’re not relying on just one big client. Hedge your bets by diversifying your roster of clients.

Build your network at events and conferences. Sterrett says he meets people by speaking at SQL Server conferences. Marchewka says he nabbed a major client after someone from the organization saw him speak at an event.

“Don’t be afraid to get on a stage and present yourself as that expert in your space,” Marchewka says. “People will recognize that and follow up with you.”

Originally Posted On: techrepublic.com

Three jobs completely new to the IT industry will be data trash engineer, virtual identity defender, and voice UX designer, according to Cognizant.

With technology flooding the enterprise, many people fear the emergence of tech will  take over their jobs. However, tech like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning will actually create more jobs for humans, according to a recent Cognizant report. The report outlines 21 “plausible and futuristic” jobs that will surface in the next decade.

The 21 jobs follow three major underlying themes: Ethical behaviors, security and safety, and dreams, said the report. These themes come from humans’ deeper aspirations for the future of the enterprise and daily life. Humans want machines to be ethical; humans want to feel safe in a technologically-fueled future; and humans always dreamt of a futuristic world, which is coming to fruition, according to the report.

SEE: Artificial intelligence: Trends, obstacles, and potential wins (Tech Pro Research)

Some of the jobs on Cognizant’s list could spark life-long careers, and some positions might be more fleeting, said the report.

HERE ARE THE 21 JOBS OF THE FUTURE:

  1. Cyber attack agent
  2. Voice UX designer
  3. Smart home design manager
  4. Algorithm bias auditor
  5. Virtual identity defender
  6. Cyber calamity forecaster
  7. Head of machine personality design
  8. Data trash engineer
  9. Uni4Life coordinator
  10. Head of business behavior
  11. Joy adjutant
  12. Juvenile cybercrime rehabilitation counselor
  13. Tidewater architect
  14. Esports arena builder
  15. VR arcade manager
  16. Vertical farm consultant
  17. Machine risk officer
  18. Flying car developer
  19. Haptic interface programmer
  20. Subscription management specialist
  21. Chief purpose planner

Click  here for descriptions of all 21 positions.

The big takeaways for tech leaders: 

  • Emerging tech will actually create a whole new set of jobs for humans in the next 10 years, with some having more staying power than others. — Cognizant, 2018
  • The tech jobs of the future all follow three underlying themes that humans share: Ethical behaviors, security and safety, and dreams. — Cognizant, 2018

Originally Posted On: informationweek.com

When hiring gets tough, IT leaders get strategic. Here’s how successful organizations seize the experts their competitors’ only wish they could land.

The technology industry’s unemployment rate is well below the national average, forcing companies to compete aggressively for top talent. When presented with a range of recruitment strategies by a recent Robert Half Technology questionnaire — including using recruiters, providing job flexibility and offering more pay — most IT decision makers said they are likely to try all approaches in order to land the best job candidates for their teams.

“We’re currently in a very competitive hiring market,” noted Ryan Sutton, district president for Robert Half Technology. “Employers want to hire the best talent to help keep their organization’s information safe, but so do a lot of other companies.”

Robert Half’s research finds that software development and data analytics experts are the most challenging to hire. Many other talents are scarce, too. “Some of the most in-demand skills right now include cloud security, security engineering, software engineering, DevOps, business intelligence and big data, as well as expertise in Java full-stack, ReactJS and AngularJS,” Sutton said.

What works

Finding qualified job candidates typically requires using a combination of strategies. But it’s also important to be able to move quickly. “At the core of the labor market now is a demand for speed and efficiency in the hiring process, but don’t confuse an expeditious process with a hastily made decision,” Sutton warned. “Some smart options would be to work with a specialized recruiter who knows your local market well; increasing the pay and benefits package to better attract a top candidate; and losing some of the skills requirements on your job description that aren’t must-haves to widen your talent pool.” He also reminded hiring managers to not underestimate the power of networking. “Let your contacts know you’re looking to hire for a certain position.”

Look beyond the typical sources, suggested Art Langer, a professor and director of the Center for Technology Management at Columbia University and founder and chairman of Workforce Opportunity Services (WOS), a nonprofit organization that connects underserved and veteran populations with IT jobs. “There is a large pool of untapped talent from underserved communities that companies overlook,” he explained. Businesses are now competing in a global market. “New technology allows us to connect with colleagues and potential partners around the world as easily as with our neighbors,” Langer said. “Companies hoping to expand overseas can benefit from employees who speak multiple languages.”

Companies need to explore different models of employment if they want access to the best and the brightest job candidates, observed Nick Hamm, CEO of 10K Advisors, a Salesforce consulting firm. “Some of the most talented professionals are choosing to leave full-time employment to pursue freelancing careers or start their own small consulting companies as a way to gain more balance or reduce commute times,” he advised. “If companies want access to these individuals, they’ll need the right processes and mindset in place to incorporate contract employees into core teams.” Using a talent broker to find the right experts, vet them and apply them inside an organization to solve business problems can alleviate many of the challenges people may now have tapping into the gig economy, Hamm added.

John Samuel, CIO, of Computer Generated Solutions, a business applications, enterprise learning and outsourcing services company, advised building some flexibility into job descriptions and requirements. “In this tight job market, a good way is to find candidates with the right attitude and a solid foundation and then train them in areas where they lack experience,” he said. Like Sutton, Samuel believes that many job descriptions are unrealistic, listing many requirements that aren’t core to the job’s role. “Rather than limiting your potential pool of candidates, simplify the job description to include your core requirements to entice applicants to fill open roles,” Samuel recommended.

Mike Weast, regional IT vice president at staffing firm Addison Group, urged hiring managers not to rely on software searches, no matter how intuitive they may claim to be, to uncover qualified job candidates. “There’s a lot of talk about using AI to find qualified candidates, but recruiters are needed to bridge the AI gap,” he claimed. “AI doesn’t qualify a candidate for showing up on time, having a strong handshake or making eye contact when communicating.”

Training current employees to meet the requirements of a vacant position is an often-overlooked method of acquiring experts. “It always makes sense to give existing employees the opportunity to expand their knowledge base and transition into vacant positions,” explained Lori Brock, head of innovation, Americas, for OSRAM, a multinational lighting manufacturer headquartered in Munich. “The roles within IT are merging with the traditional R&D functions as well as with roles in manufacturing, procurement, sales, marketing and more,” she added. “We can no longer consider jobs in IT fields as belonging to an IT silo within any organization.”

Last thought

It’s important to pounce quickly when finding a skilled, qualified job candidate. “Now is certainly not the time to be slow to hire,” Sutton said. “It’s a candidate’s market and they are well aware of the opportunities available to them.”

For more on IT hiring and management check out these recent articles.

John Edwards is a veteran business technology journalist. His work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and numerous business and technology publications, including Computerworld, CFO Magazine, IBM Data Management Magazine, RFID Journal, and Electronic … View Full Bio


About the exam

The new CompTIA IT Fundamentals+ (FC0-U61) exam ​is now live!

The beta exam has ended.
For those who took the CompTIA ITF+ beta exam (FC1-U61), your exam results will be emailed to you after September ​11. Thank you for supporting the IT industry by taking the beta exam. 

The CompTIA IT Fundamentals+ exam focuses on the essential IT skills and knowledge needed to perform tasks commonly performed by advanced end-users and entry-level IT professionals alike, including:

  • Using features and functions of common operating systems and establishing network connectivity
  • Identifying common software applications and their purpose
  • Using security and web browsing best practices

This exam is intended for candidates who are advanced end users and/or are considering a career in IT. The exam is also a good fit for individuals interested in pursuing professional-level certifications, such as A+.

More information on both versions of the exam is available at this link.

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cybersecurity excuses blog entryWhen you run into excuses like “There’s no HIPPA police,” or “I have cybersecurity insurance,” here are some measured ways you can respond.

‘Cybersecurity’s not in the budget.’ 

The CompTIA cybersecurity search report says nearly 60 percent of companies don’t have top notch IT security because it costs too much. When you hear “It’s not in our budget,” help them develop a better budget, said Neal Bradbury, vice president of channel development for Barracuda MSP and vice chair of CompTIA’s IT Security Community.

Bradbury advises asking clients: “Is downtime or data loss in the budget? What about the cost of a break in?” For clients that deal with patients, like hospitals, a data breach can cost $400 per head. Clients who bill by the hour will lose money every minute the system is down. Get your client to quantify their risk, he recommended, and then offer to do a free data assessment. Show clients the real cost of a security breach and make your price tag look like a bargain.

‘We’re just a small business.’ 

People think their data isn’t valuable to hackers because they have small client lists and data that doesn’t appear valuable from the outside. Convince your clients that all data is valuable — even data from small businesses — and point out that small businesses can be an easier target for hackers. As more and more companies get hacked, you’re going to be challenged by your customers to see that you’re complying, Bradbury said. 

‘We just did a cybersecurity assessment. Why do we need another?’ 

Information and networks change daily, and a security assessment is a snapshot in time. Because security changes frequently, assessments truly should be a lifecycle done periodically, said Andrew Bagrin, CEO of OmniNet Inc., also a member of CompTIA’s IT Security Community.

“By the time you present a pen-test to a customer, things have already changed,” Bagrin said. “You can say, ‘Here’s your risk today, that changes tomorrow.’ And the longer you wait to do an assessment, the more risk and change there is.” 

Every time you do a risk assessment it’s a snapshot in time that helps IT security experts remain proactive, which is why Bagrin sells clients on security assessments as a lifecycle. 

“They need to be done periodically,” he said. “It’s not a one-and-done activity.” 

‘My people know cybersecurity. We don’t need outside help.’ 

CompTIA’s new cybersecurity research reports 43 percent of companies use third-party firms for security projects. From the half that tries to make do with security in-house, you’ll hear a lot of “My IT guy already does our security” or “Security is everyone’s responsibility.” 

“Ask yourself: If your people found a problem that would get them fired, would they tell you?” Bradbury said. Specialized security teams have a responsibility to mitigate risk and their own reputation to uphold. It’s their job to protect your employees.

‘I have cybersecurity insurance.’

Some companies think they can insure themselves against hackers, but buying a policy isn’t enough, Bradbury said. “The chances are it doesn’t really cover everything you’re looking to prevent from happening,” he said. 

When clients bring up cyber-insurance over IT security, ask if they know what the policy covers and if they had a security assessment prior to purchasing the policy. As a third-party security team, you can work with insurance providers to help clients understand and implement a cybersecurity plan that complies with the coverage. 

For more on how companies are building third-party IT security teams and how you can offer services companies want to hire, click here to download 2018 Trends in Cybersecurity: Building Effective Cybersecurity Teams and here to get involved with CompTIA’s IT Security Community.

Michelle Lange is a writer and designer living in Chicago.

Those who identified themselves as managers experienced a median pay increase from $120,000 to $125,000. That’s the highest mark ever in this survey; the previous record was $121,000 set in 2016.

For women working in IT, the news wasn’t quite as good. They averaged about $10,000 less per year than their male counterparts. Female staff made $80,000, compared to $90,000 for male staff. Female managers earned a median salary of $115,000 compared to $125,000 for male managers. However, women did see sharper increases between 2017 and 2018 than the men did, so the gender gap appears to be narrowing.

Overall, IT professionals are happy with their pay. Fifty-seven percent said they were satisfied or very satisfied with their pay, and only 3% were very dissatisfied. That seems to translate well into job satisfaction because 59% said they were satisfied or very satisfied with all aspects of their jobs.

And, when asked what matters to them most about their jobs, respondents said it really is the money. Among participants, 54% selected base pay and 47% said benefits were among the most important aspects of their jobs (up to seven responses were allowed).

The following slides dive into the salary data in more detail and include median total compensation for 12 of the most popular job titles in IT, from the CIO all the way down to the help desk. You can download the full report here.

Cynthia Harvey is a freelance writer and editor based in the Detroit area. She has been covering the technology industry for more than fifteen years. View Full Bio

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Here’s Gartner’s list of Top Strategic Predictions for 2019

1. Through 2020, 80% of AI products will remain alchemy, run by wizards whose talents won’t scale widely in the organization.

Skills will continue to be a major concern as organizations look to bring their artificial intelligence products up to speed and scale. Plummer said that organizations need to rally the skills that they have in data science, computer engineers, application engineers and DevOps specialists first.

“Those are the people you need to be tapping on the shoulder and saying ‘AI, AI, how do we get there?'” Plummer said.

What to watch for in the near term: By the end of 2019, research in data science automation will increase faster than AI data complexity, allowing skills to begin to catch up.

2. By 2023 there will be an 80% reduction in missing people in mature markets compared to 2018 due to AI face recognition.

That means we are going to find people faster, Plummer said. AI recognition can be scaled by taking pictures of all of us all the time. 

“When you are walking along the street in a major city you pass on average 15 cameras for every city block,” he said. “What happens when mobile phone devices are also used to capture people in the background and facial recognition is used to identify people?”

What to watch for in the near term: Through 2019, fears of public shootings will reduce outrage about public surveillance.

3. By 2023 emergency department visits will be reduced by 20 million due to enrollment of chronically ill patients in AI-enhanced virtual care. 

Only 30% of visits to the emergency room are for accidents, Plummer said. The rest are patients with chronic conditions, and the ER departments can’t handle the load.

But AI and monitoring devices deployed with patients who have these chronic conditions can instantly detect when something is going wrong and can help with preventative and reactive care. These patients can be cared for without their going to the ER.

“AI allows wellness and preventative care to scale,” Plummer said.

What to watch for in the near term: By year-end 2019 an affordable care organization will have acquired an AI-based mobile trainer/coach company.

4. By 2023 25% of organizations will require employees to sign an affidavit to avoid cyberbullying, but 70% of these initiatives will fail. 

Cyberbullying is much more common than you think, Plummer said. Anytime someone uses any kind of electronic media to talk about you in a false and negative way, whether you realize they are doing it or not, that’s cyberbullying. And 52% of cyberbullying comes from managers, Plummer said.

One of the tasks will be to teach people to recognize cyberbullying. Organizations must also make sure that leaders model respectful behavior.

What to watch for in the near term: By 2019 there will be 44% more federal lawsuits related to workplace harassment than in 2017.

5.Through 2022, 75% of organizations with frontline decision-making teams reflecting diversity and inclusive culture will exceed their financial targets. 

“That’s because of productivity. That’s because of ideas. That’s because of better delivery,” Plummer said.  “Teams perform better when they are diverse and inclusive.”

Yet only 40% of employees agree managers foster an inclusive environment. What can you do? Create a diversity and inclusion impact scorecard. You can also build scale and engagement of this with technologies.

What to watch for in the near term: By 2020, 15% of large enterprises will be recognized as inclusive workplaces through consistent identification of related behaviors.

6. By 2021 75% of public blockchains will suffer “privacy poisoning” — inserted personal data that renders the blockchain non-compliant with privacy laws.  

Blockchain has a lot of open text fields.

“If you use an open text field to put in personal information, either maliciously or carelessly without encrypting it, that information goes into the blockchain, and the blockchain is immutable, through the evolution of its life it can’t be deleted,” Plummer said. You can’t delete it, and it’s not compliant with privacy laws.

“Privacy may be the Achilles heel of blockchain if we don’t address it quickly,” he said.

To do that organizations should embrace privacy by design principals.

What to watch for in the near term: Active enforcement of ePrivacy regulation will become reality before Q1 of 2020.

7. By 2023 ePrivacy legislation will increase online costs by minimizing the use of “cookies” thus crippling the current internet ad revenue machine.

That means at some point consumers may no longer offer their personal information for free. 

Ad-based revenue will decline, and direct pay models for premium content and features will increase.

What to watch for in the near term: By year end 2019, advertising revenue for five major commerce marketing technology companies will decline by 10%.

8. Through 2022, a fast path to digital will be converting internal capabilities to external revenue-generating products.

Many internal IT organizations have developed unique capabilities that may be viable to sell on the commercial market. You should identify external prospects who might benefit from your data and algorithms

“Start looking at the internal things you do and consider, ‘can we sell it?'” Plummer said. You may fail in some of these efforts, but when you fail, you learn.

Need help to get from here to there? Consider acquiring an analytics technology company to fill in any holes you have in capabilities.

What to watch for in the near term: In 2019, top performers will shift from cost cutting to revenue building.

9. By 2022, companies leveraging the “gatekeeper” position of the digital giants will capture 40% of global market share on average in their industry.

“The top 4 companies in any industry are going to have 40% or more of the total market share,” Plummer said. “All the rest will have to divvy up the remaining 60%. We are saying market concentration is going to happen. Top players will have more and more of your money.”

In that kind of an environment that is dominated by digital giants such as Google, Amazon, and Facebook, organizations should balance interoperability efficiencies against single ecosystem risks. Plummer said you will need to deal with multiple partners rather than finding a single long-term partner.

What to watch for in the near term: By the end of 2019, market concentration will spread from a national to a global trend.

10. Through 2021, social media scandals and security breaches will have effectively zero lasting consumer impact.

Plummer admits that this conflicts with what another analyst said during Gartner’s opening keynote this week about how people are deleting their social media accounts. Plummer asked the audience how many of them had deleted their Facebook accounts and counted about five people who raised their hands. 
“You guys keep using this stuff, so stop complaining,” he said. “You got no privacy! Give it up!”

What to watch for in the near term: The number of people using social media every day will increase steadily through 2019.

Jessica Davis has spent a career covering the intersection of business and technology at titles including IDG’s Infoworld, Ziff Davis Enterprise’s eWeek and Channel Insider, and Penton Technology’s MSPmentor. She’s passionate about the practical use of business intelligence, … View Full Bio

 

Predictions Gartner2018

Cyber Hero Kenneth SlaghtSlaght is a firm believer that internships and apprenticeships are the way to meet this demand by providing a clear pathway from high schools and community colleges to cybersecurity jobs. The CCOE’s Internship and Apprenticeship Pipeline and Link2Cyber programs connect students and recent graduates with career opportunities in the region.

The CCOE is working to create what Slaght calls cyber’s “blue collar workforce,” or a new class of employees who are working secure, high-paying jobs that do not require college degrees. Read more


The pathway is divided into the following segments:

  • Phase one: Computer retail sales
  • Phase two: Help desk/user support
  • Phase three: IT technician
  • Phase four: Cybersecurity or networking specialization

The pathway is offered as part of the Information Communication Technologies and Digital Media (ICT-DM) sector in the Doing What Matters for Jobs and the Economy — Strong Workforce Program.

Shawn Monsen, a faculty member at Sierra College and ICT-DM product development lead, is working to align the pathway’s recommended courses with four-year colleges so that students can earn a good job right away and create the foundation to earn a bachelor’s degree and increase their earning potential even more.

“This program provides students with a path to gain industry certifications to get better paying skilled jobs,” Monsen said.

Articulation pathways have been established between California Community Colleges and National University which allows courses taken in the pathway to be used toward NUs Cybersecurity and IT Management bachelor’s degrees. In the end, the more universities that

offer these degrees and provide articulation pathways that lead to those degrees, the better positioned California will be to meet its current and future IT needs.

“The industry has a desperate need for these skilled workers,” Monsen said. “The pathway provides a means for students to get those skills, earn those industry certifications and move into those jobs.”

The IT technician Pathway also aligns with efforts to increase cybersecurity education at the K-12 level through CyberPatriot and other cyber competitions. These events bring students from all walks of life together to learn how to keep networks safe against cyber threats.

Middle and high school students participating in cyber competitions already have many of the foundational skills needed for the IT technician and can advance through it to a high-paying job even faster.

The California Cyberhub coordinates cybersecurity education efforts across the state and is a key partner in the IT Technician Pathway, particularly the cybersecurity specialization.

While the impact on students is immense, it’s not the only benefit to utilizing the pathway model for IT education. By forging partnerships between community colleges and four-year universities, California is positioning itself as a leader in technology education and creating a model that can be implemented nationwide.

“Over 27,000 students take one or more IT courses at the California Community Colleges per year. With 64 Cisco Academies, 24/7 online computer labs, and over 330 IT Faculty — 70 percent with master’s degrees — they are the best kept secret in the cybersecurity solution, said Information Communication Technologies-Digital Media Sector Navigator Steve Wright. “The IT Technician Pathway is a uniform statewide guided pathway for entry level and advanced upskilling workers. Articulation to a four year degree completes the journey to a professional education and better wages.”

For more information on the IT Technician Pathway, visit ict-dm.net.

About Doing What Matters for Jobs and the Economy – Strong Workforce Program

Doing What MATTERS for jobs and the economy is a four-pronged framework to respond to the call of our nation, state, and regions to close the skills gap. The four prongs are: Give Priority for Jobs and the Economy » Make Room for Jobs and the Economy » Promote Student Success » Innovate for Jobs and the Economy.

The goals of Doing What Matters for Jobs and the Economy are to supply in-demand skills for employers, create relevant career pathways and stackable credentials, promote student success, and get Californians into open jobs.

ai codes coding 247791

The standards were developed by educators who served on an advisory committee, using work already done by the Computer Science Teachers Association. They’re designed to increase access to CS instruction for all students as a core subject. As the latest draft published to the Commission’s web page explained, “Computer science instruction empowers students, giving them confidence to use computers and computing tools to solve problems. As students learn computer science, they build an understanding of the importance of computing and computing tools. The standards prepare all students to enter college and career as both critical consumers, and also thoughtful creators and innovators of computing technology.”

The standards also provide guidance to teachers, including sample lessons, for broadening participation of CS to include students otherwise under-represented. That’s an important consideration, officials noted, in a state where 60 percent of the student population is Latinx or African American, but only a quarter of the students who take high school CS courses and 15 percent of tech employees are from those demographic groups.

The standards cover a handful of core computer science concepts:

  • Computing systems;
  • Networks and the internet;
  • Data and analysis;
  • Algorithms and programming; and
  • Impacts of computing.

They also include seven “core” practices:

  • Fostering an inclusive computing culture;
  • Collaborating around computing;
  • Recognizing and defining computational problems;
  • Developing and using abstractions;
  • Creating computational artifacts;
  • Testing and refining computational artifacts; and
  • Communicating about computing.

It makes sense to address CS as an academic requirement in a “forward-leaning state [that’s] home to Silicon Valley,” noted State Board Member Trish Williams, in a statement. “California’s new standards will not only enable students to understand how their digital world works but will encourage critical thinking and discussion about the broader ethical and social implications and questions related to the growing capabilities of technology.”

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson added that he expected the new standards to help improve CS education in California and support students as future employees. 

“California’s economy, including a high-tech industry that leads the world, will also benefit because employers will be able to hire workers with a better understanding of computer science and technology, and the skills to use technology to solve problems.”

Next, the state agency will finalize a plan for scaling up CS education, including how to support teachers. That’s expected to be approved by March 2019.

Draft versions of the standards are available on the state’s “Computer Science Education” website.

About the Author: Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media’s education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @schaffhauser