The e-Skills Manifesto 2015: Digital Skills in the United States

December 22, 2015

ITIF summarized the state of U.S. digital education as part of the European Commission’s eSkills for Jobs 2015 campaign. A leader in many technology fields, the United States’ future hinges on a workforce with broad overall digital competencies and science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) skills, as well as highly trained individuals with advanced degrees in fields such as computer science (CS) and engineering. As jobs in the U.S. economy increasingly demand workers with digital skills and as wages continue to grow for individuals with these skills, U.S. primary and secondary schools have for the most part failed to adapt and teach in-demand computer concepts. States have confused or non-existent standards for CS, schools fail to offer CS, and when they do, high school curricula still emphasizes biology, chemistry, and physics above CS. Primary and secondary digital education is improving, thanks largely to nonprofits fueled by corporate philanthropy which attempt to improve standards, bring CS to the forefront of science education, and involve girls and minorities in CS at an early age. These efforts, along with increased high-skill immigration, can ensure that the U.S. workforce has sufficient workers with adequate digital skills.