New York City is taking another step toward becoming Silicon Alley — the East Coast’s own tech hub — with the grand opening of the city’s first software engineering-specialized high school.
Class at Software Engineering Academy will be in session for 400 to 500 ninth graders this September.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced the new school in his 2012 State of the City Address. It will open in the heart of Union Square, within a growing tech community that includes companies such as Yelp and General Assembly.
“Those are the kinds of companies we want our students to work for or to start,” Bloomberg said.
A computer science teacher named Mike Zamansky, who taught computer coding at Stuyvesant High School when other schools hadn’t considered teaching the skill, dreamt up the concept.
The school aims to fill a void for computer software engineers in the United States’ workforce. Computer science is one of the fastest growing industries in the country and will add more jobs than any other between 2008 to 2018, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s about 295,000 jobs.
The public school will, in hope, churn out a new crop of computer engineers that will eventually go to work for NYC’s technology companies, joining an industry where the middle 50% of workers make between $67,790 and $104,870. The top 10% earn more than $128,870.
Software Engineering will be sponsored by Fred Wilson, principal at Union Square Ventures, and Bloomberg L.P.