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Computer science develops students’ computational and critical thinking skills and teaches them how to create—not just use—new technologies. This fundamental knowledge is needed to prepare students for the 21st century, regardless of their ultimate field of study or occupation. Computer science courses should count toward math or science entrance requirements for higher education.

Computer science is driving job growth and innovation throughout our economy and society. More than half of projected jobs in STEM fields are in computing occupations; these occupations dominate “help wanted” ads; and computer science is one of the hottest degrees for new college graduates. In fact, by 2018, Utah will need to fill 94,990 STEM-related jobs, and 49% of these jobs will be in computing.

Current computer science courses often do not count towards a student’s core math or science requirements from high school – they are treated as electives. Given the academic demands, college-bound students cannot afford to take computer science as an elective. Further, the Regents Scholarship, which influences which classes are taken by college-bound students, does not include computer science courses in its list of required courses, the Utah Scholars Curriculum. Counting computer science as a science credit would not require schools to offer computer science or students to study it; it simply allows existing computer science courses to satisfy a core requirement that already exists.

To learn more about making computer science count, visit http://code.org.