Students could code their way to better jobs

Posted at 10:04 AM, Dec 08, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-08 13:04:20-05

SAN DIEGO -- Some San Diego County schools are taking steps to inspire students to pursue careers in computer science.


Hoover High School sophomore Kimberly Rodriguez said coding a website is a little like magic. "It amazes me because you see how you went from words to something even more than that, that people can visit," she said.


Rodriguez said someday she'd like to be a computer programmer. "Not that many people can do that and can say they created their own website and make money off it," she said.


If Rodriguez stays on that path, she'll have a skill in demand, and that could mean college scholarships that can turn into a degree, which can then turn into a job.


Students who want to stay in San Diego and pursue computer science can also take advantage of one of the best programs in the country. U.S. News and World Report ranks UC San Diego's computer science program as the nation's 15th best.


On Monday, Rodriguez and other Hoover High students participated in the Hour of Code, organized locally by Junior Achievement San Diego. Schools are doing across the nation this week to promote computer science. One big twist -- actual programmers stepped in to give the lesson.


"There's going to come a time when it's only their generation that is building software today," said Benj Arriola, who taught for the hour and is also an employee for The Control Group.


They also can make the big bucks of tomorrow. The state projects that jobs in computers and math will grow 30 percent through 2022 in San Diego County. The average salary is $93,000 a year.


Rodriguez said she's not motivated by money, adding, "It's like you're achieving more than your parents did and you get your parents to be more proud of you."

That's a payoff no amount of money can buy.