Giving Compass' Take:

• The author lists three ways that the U.S. can advance education and expand opportunities for young people by investing in technology and training. 

• Where are the gaps in the education system for students who want to pursue STEM careers? 

• Read more about the role of technology in education. 

The newest craze in tech is 5G wireless speeds. All the major carriers are racing to be the first to upgrade their coverage speed, investing up to $1 trillion to develop infrastructure for nationwide 5G by 2020. But while our nation focuses on developing cutting-edge cell speed, we’re leaving behind a far more important need: preparing our students for the new economy.

While many schools struggle with the cost of teaching their students basic computer science skills, more than 500,000 programming and computer science jobs are sitting unfilled for lack of qualified applicants, with that number projected to reach the millions by 2024. These are desirable jobs — according to a Payscale report, the average software developer earns about $90,000 by midcareer. Students who study computer science, coding, robotics and similar fields will reap the benefits of an upgraded cell grid and create the digital economy.

The United States still leads the world in digital competitiveness and has abundant tech resources. If we’re capable of reaching the fastest wireless speeds in the world, we’re more than able to create the best technology education in the world. We can do that in a few ways.

  • First, the government can invest in our schools, funding computer science classes, robotics labs and new classroom technology nationwide.
  • Second, more states should require at least a basic level of computer science knowledge in public education.
  • Finally, corporations seeking skilled technology workers should partner with schools to help educate, train and apprentice students in vital digital skills.

Read the full article about how we can advance education by Mashea Ashton at The 74.