James Rhyu is the Chief Executive Officer of Stride, Inc.
Record-breaking heat. Historic floods. Serious forest fires. These are just a few of the many weather-related headlines that have flooded our news feeds in recent weeks.
In fact, this summer serves as an urgent reminder that climate change is a phenomenon that affects many of us. More than 40% of Americans live in a province that was hit by climate-induced extreme weather last year. And according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, global warming will continue to have serious consequences “unless emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are drastically reduced in the coming decades.”
Despite what you may have heard and read, this is not a Democratic issue. It’s not a Republican issue. It’s a human issue. We all want the best for our children, their children and their children. So I know one question that keeps many of us up at night is: are we doing enough to make our communities safer, more sustainable and better equipped to fight climate change? I think the answer is no. Rather than allow our divisions around this issue to cloud our judgment, I believe that we should let partnerships – between academic institutions, companies and workforce development programs – guide us in developing more forward-thinking solutions for today and tomorrow.
As someone who has held various roles in education technology, I know that this type of investment can be a win-win solution for everyone. However, the first part of building better partnerships is to give students and adult learners a better understanding of the jobs that exist in our ecosystem, including those of software developers, data scientists and other IT professionals, who can play a critical role in the fight against climate change. Modify.
Across the country, software developers and engineers are: helps us ensure data centers are more energy efficient and reducing their environmental footprint. Software developers are finding new ways to help less pollution from cars and factories. And they are even taking steps to make software development more energy efficient.
Data scientists are another vital resource in our collective fight against climate change. By analyzing data that helps us tackle the climate crisis, data scientists are critical to helping us discover, create and implement solutions. as the Columbia University Data Science Institute further explains, “data science is a powerful tool to help researchers understand the uncertainties and ambiguities inherent in data, to identify interventions, strategies and solutions that deliver additional benefits to humanity and the environment.”
With only 18% of adults who believed they were very career-ready when they finished high school, we need to do more to help students and adult students understand the scope and depth of these types of IT functions that can play a key role in climate change .
To help bridge the knowledge gap, academic institutions and companies must work together to connect more middle and high school students with practical IT opportunities early in their academic journey. By offering more courses in environmental, climate and sustainability studies and exposing students to engineering career opportunities through internships or other workplace learning programs, we can ensure that our future leaders have the tools they need have to promote sustainable development, regardless of their career. ultimately pursue.
In addition, we need to work together to provide technology-focused retraining programs to help adult learners – particularly those seeking a career transition – by introducing them to industries, experts and experiences that can point them to a fulfilling career in IT -areas.
Make no mistake, the knowledge gap in our country when it comes to tech careers points to a bigger problem facing the tech field: talent shortage. IT professions are expected to grow by 13% from 2020 to 2030, yet 76% of IT decision makers say they are “confronted with a talent shortage”.
If we want to have a better chance of bridging these gaps and protecting our communities from the threat of climate change in the process, we must first make sure that students as young as high school students know what IT jobs are in the first place. to be. Place. Next, we must provide students and adult learners with the resources they need to train and earn the certifications necessary to perform in these roles. And finally, companies need to be more purposeful in creating internships, apprenticeships and other work-based learning opportunities for students and young adults.
Climate change is not only an environmental issue, it is also an economic one. Extreme weather has cost our country $145 billion last year. The decision is clear: we need to do more to save our planet while building a stronger economy. I think investing more in our students and employees is the best way to get there.