Topic Title: Google calls for education reforms
Topic Summary:
Created On: 03/20/2013 06:34 AM
Status: Post and Reply
Linear : Threading : Single : Branch
Search Topic Search Topic
Topic Tools Topic Tools
View similar topics View similar topics
View topic in raw text format. Print this topic.
 03/20/2013 06:34 AM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message

Author Icon
Olive8224
Peon

Posts: 4
Joined: 03/20/2013

Google is calling for major Australian educational reforms, warning that the economy will suffer unless more computer science graduates and digital entrepreneurs are produced.

The US-based tech giant wants far greater emphasis on computing and engineering subjects in order to grow the local digital sector, which it believes will be crucial to the nation's fortunes once the mining boom ends.

"This is an opportunity for the country, this is an opportunity for our kids, this is an opportunity for our economy," Google Australia engineering director Alan Noble said on Wednesday.

"If we don't do it, yes, we're going to be hosed because we can't continue to rely on the same old industries."

The call comes a fortnight after Microsoft chairman Bill Gates, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter creator Jack Dorsey appeared in a video promoting the learning of computer coding in US schools.

Mr Noble said Australia must foster a similar awareness about the importance of tech subjects.

He also called for better investor and financial support for tech start-ups and wider awareness of the possibilities within the sector.

The former Silicon Valley entrepreneur was speaking on the sidelines of a two-day summit, convened by Google in Sydney, with 50 industry identities invited to discuss ways of making digital start-ups a national priority.

Matt Barrie, CEO of Sydney-based outsourcing firm freelancer, accused Australians of being complacent about the technology industry and agreed education reform was needed.

"We are just so complacent about building up these industries - one hundred per cent asleep at the wheel," Mr Barrie said.

"We don't do anything about our school curriculum, while countries like the UK and Estonia are teaching their kids from primary school computer science, we are stuck with a backwards, antiquated system of education."

Mr Barrie pointed to the rapid growth of Facebook and said Australians have the potential to develop similarly successful tech businesses, boosting both personal and national wealth.

Michael Fox, co-CEO and co-founder of internet retail firm Shoes of Prey, agreed that there is a shortage of tech skills in Australia.

"The traditional thought (of parents) is 'I want my son or my daughter to be a doctor or lawyer because there's going to be lots of jobs in those industries'," he said.

"But if you come out as a really good graduate in computer science, we'll hunt you down to give you a job Wondershare Coupon Code, pay you a small fortune and we'll provide you with an office environment that's way better than working as a doctor or lawyer."