Sam Jentsch, a senior student graduating from our local university in May of 2017, visited with my students in (Half) Hour of Code Club during lunch.
Jentsch told my students about different companies that hire people with degrees in computer sciences. These companies include NASA, Google, Liberty Mutual, car companies, airplane companies, the CIA, the FBI, security and many more. Students were most interested in Google and car companies. I think Google won out when he shared with them that there was free candy that anyone working there could have. They didn't seem to care much about the free food, sleep pods, bowling alley or laundry service... which was what I was most interested it!
He created a website that he shared with students. He demonstrated how to change wording and colors on the website and showed students how to view the code for the website he created. Included in the website are links to games that will develop coding skills, links that teach how to make games, and more gaming resources. Multiple students turned around and asked me if they could play on the website before they left. They are super excited about it. I'm hoping I can get them access to it in time for next week's meeting.
Jentsch explained that you have to like puzzles and math (there's a lot of math in creating games, one student was disappointed to learn there was division involved Ha!), must graduate from high school and go to college to have a career in coding. He listed some colleges in Texas that have degrees in computer science such as University of Texas, A&M, Sam Houston State University and Stephen F. Austin State University. Jentsch emphasized that degrees give knowledge, internships do the training. Companies are looking for people who are life-long learners (I had him emphasize the life-long learner part. Our students must know that learning never stops.)
Computer Science careers are projected to be the fastest growing industry because computers are not going away. Starting salaries range from $70,000-$120,000 depending on what company you start with. That made me reconsider my job! Just kidding... kind of!