California remains one of the top states in the nation that puts to work the largest number of computer science teachers, reports the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In greater Los Angeles, post-secondary educators earn an average annual salary of more than $90,000. As enrollment levels at colleges, universities and business schools continue to rise, forecasters predict the number of vocational positions to spike by as much as 19 percent in coming years.
“Each passing year sees intensification in the importance of software, thereby making computer science educators increasingly vital,” said Dr. Russ Abbott, a professor of computer science at California State University, Los Angeles (CSULA). “Computer scientists and computer science educators are well positioned to participate in that growth.”
Abbott said there is no glitch in his school’s objective to ready its students for profitable careers.
“Our mission is to graduate well-educated computer scientists who are prepared to meet the challenges of a rapidly changing, increasingly complex world,” said Abbott, a Harvard University alumnus, who earned his Ph.D. in computer science at the University of Southern California.
How is CSULA helping students achieve their goals?
“Our department offers well-rounded education in computer science. We are working especially hard to encourage more women to enter the field. Graduates of our program are qualified to take teaching jobs.”
What qualities should an educator hold?
“A computer science instructor must understand what it means to think like a computer scientist and be able to explain what that means in terms that non-computer scientists can understand.”
In what way will a teacher’s role change in coming years?
“By 2024, I expect that high school computer science educators will be teaching material we now offer in college.”
What is the best way to prepare for a sustainable teaching career?
“To thrive as a computer science instructor, one must have strong fundamental knowledge and a desire to learn new material as the field evolves.”
What is your advice to aspiring instructors?
“I urge prospective computer science teachers to learn as much as they can while in school and to read widely and study diligently after they graduate.”
Sharon Raiford Bush is an award-winning journalist who covers topics of social interest in greater Los Angeles. Some news articles she has authored have been archived by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. Sharon also contributes to Examiner.com.