Murphy offers $2 million in grants to improve N.J. computer science education

In this March 13, 2019, photo, a student re-images a laptop in a school computer lab (Carolyn Thompson/AP Photo)

In this March 13, 2019, photo, a student re-images a laptop in a school computer lab (Carolyn Thompson/AP Photo)

Citing thousands of computer science jobs going unfilled, the administration of Gov. Phil Murphy is offering $2 million in state grants for New Jersey schools to establish or strengthen their computer science programs.

At a Monday afternoon press conference announcing a new computer science state plan, Murphy said that increasing access to this kind of education is critical to training students for careers in high-tech.

“I want to make sure that our students — the next generation of our workforce — are getting the training that they need to fill those jobs and succeed,” he said.

There are more than 15,000 unfilled computer science jobs in New Jersey, according to the state. But officials said that computer science education currently falls short and fails to reach enough female students and students of color.

Murphy said graduating more computer science students would also make the state more attractive to industry.

“When I talk to corporate leaders interested in coming to or expanding in New Jersey, I hear more about one word than any other, and that is: talent,” Murphy added.

According to the state plan, the typical salary for a computer science job in New Jersey is $107,260, nearly double the average salary of $56,970.

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