$20,000 scholarship fund will be distributed to 100 Colorado students to jumpstart their future in tech
Nov. 15, 2017 Denver, Colorado – As the technology sector continues to evolve, many companies are having difficulty finding qualified workers to fill in-demand, high-tech jobs. Expanding immediate access to computer science training is a statewide imperative to help continue to build our tech talent pool and fill critical job openings. Colorado Technology Association (CTA), Colorado Succeeds and Silicon STEM Academy have partnered on a $20,000 scholarship fund for 100 Colorado students statewide to jumpstart their future in tech through online coding classes.
“We know that students who learn computer science in high school are six times more likely to major in it, yet most Colorado schools do not offer computer science courses,” said Colorado Technology Foundation Executive Director Kelly Underell. “Colorado Technology Association and the Foundation are dedicated to elevating our state’s tech talent pipeline. This scholarship program is just one solution of a multi-pronged approach to increase computer science education in our state.”
The program is funded by Silicon STEM Academy, a Denver-based STEM enrichment organization that teaches Colorado students coding, engineering and digital media skills to prepare them for advanced education and/or careers in technology. Applications are open through Dec. 20, with an emphasis on female students, and since the classes will be held online, they are available to students who live outside the Denver-Boulder corridor. The scholarship opportunity coincides with National Computer Science Education Week and global Hour of Code events taking place Dec. 4-10. This scholarship program provides the opportunity for Colorado high school students to participate in Silicon STEM Academy’s “Coding 101 Crash Course,” which meets twice a week for four weeks with live instruction and virtual classroom-style participation. Classes launch in January 2018.
“Our goal is to offer 50 percent of the scholarships to females and have 50 percent be outside the Denver-Boulder corridor,” said Silicon STEM Academy Founder John Scarborough. “While a lack of STEM training opportunities is a reality for many Colorado students, it is especially prevalent for those outside the Denver Metro area. This scholarship opportunity aims to improve the STEM education gap for our underserved and minority populations.”
Computing occupations are the number one source of all new wages in the U.S. and make up two thirds of all projected new jobs in STEM fields. Specific to Colorado, the state currently has 13,500+ open computing jobs with an average salary of $98,597. Yet Colorado had only 785 computer science grads in 2015. These Colorado graduation rates and technology training opportunities impact the students and their families, businesses, community and the state economy.
“This is an issue that is becoming increasingly more important as we prepare for the workforce of the future, which is grounded in technology,” said Colorado Succeeds President Scott Laband. “Colorado is committed to providing more STEM training opportunities for all Colorado students through initiatives like this and the Colorado STEM initiative.”
About Colorado Technology Association
We work to focus the incredible efforts of Colorado’s tech community, accelerate collaboration and tell its story of innovation. Founded in 1994, we advance the tech ecosystem across the state and solidify Colorado’s place as the definitive tech hub between the coasts. Learn more: coloradotechnology.org.
About Silicon STEM Academy
Silicon STEM Academy is a technology training program geared toward students of all ages interested in learning technology. Its tech programs and STEM courses include computer programming, robotics, electronics & circuitry, game design and digital media. Silicon STEM Academy provides real-world technology skills in a hands-on, collaborative workspace. Headquartered in Denver, CO., Silicon STEM was co-founded by successful technology executives and educators who saw the need of a technology-skilled workforce.
About Colorado Succeeds
Colorado Succeeds is a 501(c)3 nonprofit, nonpartisan coalition of Colorado’s business leaders who join forces to ensure our education system works better and smarter for all people of Colorado. We believe Colorado is the best place to live and work, and we want it to stay that way. This great state can only continue its tradition of excellence when all of our children are educated to their greatest potential and all of our businesses have the talented and innovative workforce they need to thrive. We believe great schools are good business. We know when Colorado schools improve, everybody wins.