Monday, 3/14 (yes, Pi Day), MWB partners Randy Lynn and myself hosted a session to brief lawmakers and leaders on the future of computer science education and related workforce opportunities in Mississippi. The event was held in partnership with the Fast Forward Mississippi and Kids Code Mississippi initiatives and co-sponsor, C Spire.
Speakers included Governor Phil Bryant, Deuce McAllister, Senator Brice Wiggins and representatives from Code.org, C Spire, the Mississippi Department of Education, and the Mississippi Children’s Museum.
You may be wondering why an ad agency is working pro bono to promote computer science education. There are three reasons:
First, we love Mississippi and want to see our state succeed in every way possible. Workforce development and, in particular, strong education outcomes are critical to a brighter future for our state and its residents.
Second, we believe that technology will only become more important to our state’s economy in the future. At a time when other states and many foreign countries are increasingly requiring that students learn coding, the language of technology, we can’t afford to look the other way. We can, however, take steps to jump ahead of the curve.
Finally, we recognize that children are, very literally, our state’s future. It is well documented that students who are never exposed to computer-science concepts are less likely to pursue and succeed in technology-based career paths. They’re less likely to qualify for higher-wage jobs in the future. They’re less likely to start up innovation-based companies. They’re less likely to become technology makers, not just technology users.
We don’t expect our support of computer science education to have an immediate payoff for our agency ‚Äì we’re taking the long view here. MWB has been in business in Mississippi for more than 45 years. We want to help make sure the next 45 years are even better for all Mississippians.