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Local nonprofit explains why it's important for Hawaii kids to focus more on computer science in school

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Hawaii Kids Can, a local non-profit, says Hawaii students should focus more on computer science courses in school to keep up with the changing economy.

A recent McKinsey case study found that by 2030, a third of all jobs will be automated.

800 million current jobs could be threatened.  A report by Hawaii Kids Can says the biggest areas of job growth will be in computer science and technology.

"That's just the nature of technology and the nature of computing, it's going to be in every aspect of our life so for kids who have the experience, really from kindergarten through senior year with programming and coding and computer science, those kids are going to have such an advantage in our local economy and be the leaders of our state," David Miyashiro, founder of Hawaii Kids Can said.  

Hawaii high school students may only enroll in computer science courses for elective credits or to pursue a STEM honors or academic honors designation on their high school diploma.

"If you incentivise kids to be able to take computer science as a part of their critical academic background, you're setting them up for success. So kids who might not want to take calculus but they want to design an app, why not let them take computer science and count it towards their credits?" Miyashiro said. 

Miyashiro says of the 111,000 students in the nation that took the advanced placement computer science test last year, only 200 were in Hawaii. Of that 200, less than 30 percent were female and only 4 percent were Native Hawaiian. 

"As the private sector and as innovation is changing at this incredibly rapid rate, our schools have to try to keep up with that change," Miyashiro said.

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