Virtual On line
June 22, 2020
June 22, 2020
June 26, 2021
Pre-College Engineering Education
According to Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, “Digital skills, like coding and understanding how to use new technologies to solve real world problems have become increasingly vital across all sectors of the global economy.” Sources like the United States Department of Labour’s Bureau of Labour Statistics and the Government of Canada’s Job Bank rate the job outlooks for software engineers as rising much faster than average and generally good in the two countries for the next 3-10 years.
Given these job outlooks, programs to teach digital skills (like computer coding) to pre-university and pre-college students have been developed to prepare the emerging labour force. Many of the programs aim to increase skills and prepare students for a variety of different career paths. This paper takes particular interest in how such programs prepare future engineers—with a specific look into software engineers—for their future career.
The IEEE Glossary of Software Engineering Terminology defines software engineering as "The application of a systematic, disciplined, quantifiable approach to the development, operation, and maintenance of software.” We use this definition and other key articles to guide our assessment criteria.
In this review, we compare, categorize and assess the existing published research on digital skills (i.e. coding) programs in Canada and United States. We start by categorizing the programs presented in published research into three main genres: (1) outreach and university recruitment tools, (2) engineering skill building and/or (3) technology skills training. We then compare various setups and outcomes of programs in these genres with the criteria set out by the needs and definition of software engineering in literature. We go on to find best practices for engineering outcomes in digital skill programs. And finally, we identify gaps and discrepancies to suggest key areas for further research.
Dornian, K., & Moshirpour, M., & Behjat, L. (2020, June), K-12 Digital Skills Programs as Preparation for Engineering Study: A Systematic Literature Review Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34889
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