Tata Consultancy Services and STEMconnector® Host Executive Round Table on Computer Science Education & Careers in U.S. Discussion hits on the convergence of policy, advocacy and business collaboration to assess and present solutions for STEM workforce gap issues

WASHINGTON, Sept. 16, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Tata Consultancy Services (BSE: 532540, NSE: TCS), a leading IT services, consulting and business solutions organization, today announced the key issues and potential solutions to address STEM workforce issues, following the  'Computer Science Executive Round Table on Education & Careers in the US', that it hosted in partnership with STEMconnector®. On September 6th, this dynamic event held at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. brought together executives, government officials and thought leaders sharing a common cause: increasing students' interest and participation in computer science (CS), advocating for stronger educational policy, and implementing programs that will effectively excite and prepare students for computer science careers. 

The event was designed to assess the current status of computer science education and careers at a national and state level, and then create a blueprint for addressing the key issues through cross-sector collaboration. Dr. Rob Atkinson, President of the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation, cited the importance of CS education tied to future workforce needs – as IT related jobs grew 92 percent faster than any other sector from 2001 – 2011. Dr. Nicole Smith of Georgetown University highlighted the overall workforce gender gap, where females earn 77 cents for every dollar male counterparts earn. However, women earn 92 cents on the dollar in STEM fields, a sector projected to grow by 17 percent by 2018 (with 71 percent of those new jobs in computing).

Participants at the day-long round table hit upon a variety of other CS gap issues, including:

  • Public policy landscape and advocacy strategies for CS education, at a federal and state level.
  • Initiatives of the Obama Administration, US Chamber of Commerce, and formal education institutions to influence public policy and education reform.
  • Nationwide data presentations on student interest in CS education and current and future trends in CS jobs.
  • Implementation strategies, successful national programs (in-school and out of school) and CS mentoring.
  • Corporate engagement, including funding strategies, advocacy and employee volunteerism, as tools to address the CS education issue.

Key resolutions from the day's dialogue included:

  • Leaders across sectors—government officials, corporate executives, educators, policy makers and nonprofit leaders — must join forces and align their efforts in supporting successful initiatives to advance CS education at a national and regional level.
  • CS must be counted towards high school graduation requirements at the state level.
  • Big and small businesses can, and should, join together to influence public policy and education reform.
  • Non-for-profit initiatives, which provide education, coaching and mentoring pathways to millions of students and youth – many of whom are minorities, girls, underrepresented groups and at-risk youth – are critical to addressing the need for skilled programmers.
  • Corporate America must ignite students' interest in CS by collaboratively spreading the word about the opportunities available through volunteer programs.

Surya Kant, President, North America, UK & Europe, TCS, leads the company's STEM initiatives and gave a Fireside Chat at the event on Workforce Needs & Action for the Future. "The need for skilled programmers is a national problem, with local solutions. At TCS, we believe we are a part of the community in receiving and conducting business, so we must repay that favor over and over. By reaching out to local students across the country, we take responsibility for igniting a tiny spark to get kids interested and involved in computer science and STEM" said Kant.

"Computer science is a key growth area in the U.S. job market," said Edie Fraser, CEO, STEMconnector®. "If the entire career pathway support system does not address the STEM gap issue, we lose out as a competitive nation. Teachers must have the skill sets to teach and encourage the next generation. Businesses, organizations and the educational system must embrace computer science education as a top priority."

"We believe computer science has the power to transform businesses and unlock amazing career and earning opportunities for our country's youth," said Balaji Ganapathy, Head of Workforce Effectiveness, TCS. "Through cross-sector collaboration, we can pool our e­fforts, sharpen our focus, maximize our results, and build fulfilling and rewarding STEM pathways for local students, from education to careers."

Several highly respected executives, government officials and thought leaders participated in the Computer Science Executive Round Table: Information Technology & Innovation Foundation; Dassault Systemes Americas; Code.org; White House OSTP; U.S. News & World Report; U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, Education and Workforce; Smithsonian Science Education Center; Georgetown University; My College Options; Million Women Mentors; NCWIT; NSF; Teach for America; National Math & Science Initiative; National Girls Collaborative Project; National 4-H Council; Digital Harbor Foundation; Project Lead the Way; KPMG; and Cisco. For a full summary of event participants and the agenda, please view the event overview here.

The Computer Science Executive Round Table was one of TCS' many programs in the U.S. designed to cultivate the talent that will make up the future technology workforce. In June, TCS became a Founding Leadership Partner of US2020, a national STEM Education initiative that aims to engage one million science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) professionals in mentorship opportunities by 2020, and is developing US2020's web-based matching technology to spearhead placements into top non-profits.  TCS also sponsored STEMConnector®'s 100 CEO Leaders in STEM, an unprecedented publication that presents 100 corporate CEO profiles including their thought provoking views on the future of our national competitiveness and need for a STEM workforce. TCS was also the Presenting Sponsor of the US News STEM Solutions Conference, a national gathering of over 2,000 leaders and visionaries in business, education, and government from around the United States.

TCS recently completed the latest session of its own STEM education initiative – the TCS goIT Student Technology Program – a multi-tiered outreach program engaging students, parents, universities, and local government with the goal of increasing student excitement and participation in technology related careers. Since goIT's launch in 2009, the program has evolved from a two-school camp to a national, year-long program that has influenced over 7,000 students across 35 school districts, and this year it will reach schools and students across 10 cities in the United States and Toronto, Canada.

About Tata Consultancy Services Ltd (TCS)
Tata Consultancy Services is an IT servicesconsulting and business solutions organization that delivers real results to global business, ensuring a level of certainty no other firm can match. TCS offers a consulting-led, integrated portfolio of ITBPS,infrastructureengineering and assurance services. This is delivered through its unique Global Network Delivery Model™, recognized as the benchmark of excellence in software development. A part of the Tata group, India's largest industrial conglomerate, TCS has over 277,000 of the world's best-trained consultants in 44 countries. The company generated consolidated revenues of US $11.6 billion for year ended March 31, 2013 and is listed on the National Stock Exchange and Bombay Stock Exchange in India. For more information, visit us at www.tcs.com.

About STEMconnector®
STEMconnector® is "the one-stop-shop" for STEM information. With several products and services, STEMconnector® supports its members design, implement and measure their STEM strategies. Since its launch in 2011, STEMconnector® has been the leader in leveraging a network of STEM stakeholders and "making things happen." STEMconnector®'s charge is to identify, inform and connect entities working in STEM Education/Careers to assess smart STEM investments and results. For information on how to become a sponsor, contact: ted.wells@stemconnector.org

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SOURCE Tata Consultancy Services



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