Unlike previous generations, today there are many different paths to get to a career and not all include the typical four-year degree. Last month, a presidential memorandum was signed to emphasize this notion and create new paths for people to find careers after completing their education.
Similar to previous administrations, the current President and administration supports the STEM program – emphasizing Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.
An official memorandum recently granted $200 million each year to support education grants centered around these subjects to benefit women and minorities. The goal is to encourage these demographics to enter computer and technology based careers.
The funds allow schools to expand their computer programming education, which gives them a chance to start teaching skills, such as coding, at a younger age. Such classes can offer training for technology-based jobs in the future.
This expands the opportunities for students to start their careers straight out of high school rather than obtain a four-year degree.
The funding for STEM programs is meant to encourage women and minorities to enter the tech sector. Recent evaluations of companies in Silicon Valley, ranging from Google to smaller start-ups, has shined a light on the imbalance of diversity in the workplace.
Offering training and opening up classes to various groups of people at a younger age could encourage them to go for these jobs in the future, and hopefully make the technology industry more diverse.
The $200 million investment in STEM will use existing funds from the Education Department, so no Congressional approval is required as plans move forward.
In addition to this grant, other companies like General Motors have pledged their support for the same goal. They believe earlier exposure to coding and computer science will benefit children in the future, and offer them different outlets for their career paths.
The support from larger companies will also draw more funds allocated towards this specific goal.
At this time, there are no official plans for how government plans to achieve their goals. The Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, has control over where and how to distribute these funds in the future.