Reading, writing and computer coding — the basics of the future says that by 2020 there will be more than 1 million computer jobs than computer science students in the United States. Experts fear that U.S. society will be dominated by users of computers and programs that they don’t understand and haven’t created.

“We are going to fall behind and that is not a position any of us wants to be in,” said Barrett Bryant, chairman of the University of North Texas computer science and engineering department.

To get more students in the coding game, advocates want to dispel the notion that computer science is too hard or math-intensive or a subject for straight-A students.

“Not everybody is meant to be a programmer, but more people can do it,” said G. Lynne Ryan, computer science teacher at North Crowley High School.

Many students end up taking computer science as an elective in high school, but some advocates say it’s time to weave it in more heavily into curriculums and perhaps start teaching it at in earlier grades. Beginning next fall in New York City, a pilot program will teach 1,000 middle and high school students how to code.

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