Founders of Facebook, Google, Amazon, Twitter… they all got something in common

Mark Zuckerberg: Co-Founder & CEO of Facebook

The US Department of Labor predicted there will be 1.4 million computer science jobs by 2020—but only enough people to fill 30% of these jobs. These startling numbers are even being picked up by the mainstream media:

“Tech Companies Work to Combat Computer Science Education Gap”

“Silicon Valley could hire every American with high-tech skills and it would still have hundreds of thousands of unfilled jobs.”

Faced with such alarming news, many are pushing computer science education into elementary school. In his final State of the Union Address, President Obama set a bold goal—that every American student should learn computer science:

“In the new economy, computer science isn’t an optional skill–it’s a basic skill, right along with the three Rs.” – Barack Obama

Mr. Obama was right on. And the lack of people with computer science skills isn’t felt only in the United States.

It’s no coincidence many tech founders (like Mark Zuckerberg) were computer science students. Once you master computer science, you’ll have the computational mind that powers rockstar tech entrepreneurs—and you’ll also become a much more interesting hire for elite companies.

Apple, IBM, Twitter and other giants are pouring big bucks to help people learn computer science. In 2016 alone, 100 leading tech companies pledged to invest over 100 million dollars in computer science education. These companies really need more people with computer science skills… and it’s only getting harder to find them.

If computer science is really all that great, why don’t more people study it? Well, they try… computer science is within the top 10 most popular degrees. But there’s a catch: it’s really hard to learn computer science in universities. They teach it in a very complicated and rigorous way. It’s good for people who want to become academic researchers—not commercial software developers. That’s why computer science students are some of the most likely to drop out of college. According to The Telegraph, computer science has the highest dropout rate: 11% give up.