Last week, Governor Larry Hogan announced a new plan called the ACCESS Initiative – or Achieving Computer Science Collaborations for Employing Students Statewide – to boost education and workforce development in the field throughout Maryland.
The ACCESS Initiative fulfills the governor's commitment to strengthening computer science education throughout Maryland, which will help meet workforce demands of the 21st century. According to the recent announcement, there is an estimated 500,000 open computing jobs in the country, and more than 115,000 open computer-science related jobs in Maryland.
"For nearly three years, our administration has worked tirelessly to build an unrivaled ecosystem of innovation and economic growth in Maryland," said Governor Hogan. "We want to make sure that Marylanders have the tools and the skills they need to compete for 21st century jobs."
"In this rapidly-evolving job landscape, states that have access to a highly trained workforce will have a major advantage. Maryland simply must continue to lead the way, and closing this skills gap begins with a focus on education. We must spark the interest of students – particularly girls – beginning at an even younger age, and we must inspire high school and college students to pursue careers in computer science," the governor continued.
The governor also signed an Executive Order that will direct the Task Force on Cybersecurity and Information Technology to study opportunities on how to grow the number of computer science graduates from local universities, as well as growing diversity within the sector. Read more about the announcement here.
The governor's announcement arrives as the third annual Maryland STEM Festival takes place throughout the state. The festival encourages students to take an interest in STEM and learn about future job opportunities in the field. From the mountains of Garrett County to the Eastern Shore's "friendliest town" of Pocomoke, there is an event happening for every type of student. Learn more about the festival on marylandstemfestival.org.