Committee Approves Graves Language to Support Coding in Schools
Today the full U.S. House Committee on Appropriations approved language authored by Rep. Tom Graves (R-GA-14) to help address the growing cybersecurity workforce shortage in the United States. As mentioned in his opening remarks, unless action is taken to address the gap in cyber training, our cyber security workforce is projected to reach 1.8 million unfilled positions globally by 2022. According to a 2019 Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) report on the cybersecurity workforce gap, "a CSIS survey of IT employers found that only 23 percent thought education programs were fully preparing students to enter the cybersecurity industry."
In his remarks, Rep. Graves recommended that students learn computer coding as a second language, just as French and Spanish, among other foreign languages, are offered in schools nationwide. "Learning a traditional foreign language in school is a great skill. But for those students who are attracted to the digital fields, computer coding should also be an option. It's a skill that's so deeply needed for so many reasons," Rep. Graves said.
The language approved by the committee today supports U.S. Department of Education to encourage learning institutions, from K-12 to higher education and career and technical schools, to invest in computer science education and coding instruction. By encouraging students at a young age to learn how to code, the next generation of cybersecurity professionals could already have the foundation and technical expertise needed to effectively enter the cyber workforce. Today's effort was part of Rep. Graves' strategy this appropriations cycle to include bipartisan cybersecurity-related provisions and priorities in must-pass funding bills.
An excerpt of Rep. Graves' remarks can be seen below:
I believe the solution starts in our schools, and the epicenter of change could be this committee.
We should be encouraging students to learn computer coding, which in my opinion should be offered, considered and recognized as a second or universal language. Just like Spanish, French, German and so on.
While it may not be a spoken language by us, it is nonetheless a universally understood, world language that may be spoken between machines, and it has to be fluently understood and inputted by us, a person.
Learning a traditional foreign language in school is a great skill. But for those students who are attracted to the digital fields, computer coding should also be an option. It's a skill that's so deeply needed for so many reasons.
The Committee recognizes that, as the American cybersecurity workforce shortage continues to grow, our nation becomes increasingly vulnerable to cyber attacks. The Committee believes it is critical to invest in cyber training for America's youth across a broad field of computer science curricula, including computer coding. Because computer coding plays an essential role in every industry, the Committee supports efforts by the Department of Education to encourage learning institutions from K-12, to higher education and career and technical schools to invest in computer science education, including computer coding instruction.