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"Our goal is to expose high school students to computer programming in the hopes they will be interested in pursuing computer science in college," said
The program, CodeMontana, is a privately funded online curriculum that will teach high school students the basics of computer programming.
Gianforte announced the launch of CodeMontana at the Montana Economic Development Summit in
He said CodeMontana won't teach kids how to be programmers, but will offer
"That is a good
He said he has spoken with executives at several
While the demand for computer-programming jobs may be there, the state's University System can't immediately ramp up to crank out scores of additional graduates, a
However, if the demand is out there and many more students express interest in computer science, the programs can be expanded over time, Brown said.
Brown also said that UM graduates students in other disciplines, such as geology, forestry and business, who have computer modeling and programming skills specific to their field.
Gianforte said creating more computer-science graduates in
Still, computer-science graduates form the basis of the company, he said.
"Most of the jobs are non-technical, but without computer science people, we don't have a company," he said. "The computer-science majors are really like the seed corn that allow us to hire everyone else."
Gianforte and his wife, Susan, founded
Gianforte said he and
Prizes will be awarded monthly based on students' progress in the curriculum. Gianforte said the program is funded to handle 1,000 students, but is hoping to raise enough money to continue beyond that point.
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