Teaching Java Prepares Students for Next Generation Workforce
If you are responsible for setting or influencing the strategy for STEM, Computer Science (CS), or Career and Technical Education (CTE) curriculum, you might struggle to understand what industry needs and exactly how to prepare your students for the workforce. And as coding becomes increasingly more critical as a foundational skill, how do you decide which programming languages will provide the most employment opportunities for your students, especially when there are so many opinions out there about the most popular technologies? When we shared this Couragion Java Infographic (pictured also above) with our partner schools one of our amazing CTE champions responded, “This reinforces our strategies.” I hope it helps you as well!
While there are several studies regarding which programming language skills hiring entities want, we like the 2016 study conducted by New Relic and Indeed due to its huge sample size. In this study, Indeed reviewed 16 million job openings to determine which programming languages were mentioned most frequently as job requirements. Java was the clear winner - with 2,992 mentions per million listings - and this is more than the next 9 mentioned programming languages combined. According to Terence Chiu, vice president at Indeed, “It is not surprising that Java is such a popular programming language. It’s been around for a long time, runs in many computing environments, and has advantages of readability, scalability, and robustness.” I can attest to Java being around a long time as I have a Java t-shirt from the late ‘90s still in my drawer from my time distributing Sun (now Oracle) products when I worked at GE.
- 57% of private schools and 52% of public schools offer Java
- Regions with higher populations of students of color offered Java 6% less
- Regions with higher populations of students in poverty offered Java 17% less
What Should You Be Teaching?
- Oracle has a great website with several resources and recommendations for younger learners.
- Greenfoot offers free software, a book, and an instructor community, all focused on teaching and learning Java.
- BlueJ is a free Java Development Environment designed for beginners.
- Keep abreast of reports that give insight into what hiring entities are looking for and what developers are using in their day-to-day jobs. Look not only for the most frequently mentioned languages, but also consider the year-over-year growth rates. A programming language with a large growth rate may indicate an up and coming language that will be very important in the future. In recent reports, PHP appears to be falling out of favor (especially in the enterprise) as programming languages like Node and Angular emerge.
We’ll continue to keep an eye on things – check back for more infographics and insights in this series!