Amazon Future Engineer program inspires students to explore STEM

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that by 2020 there will be 1.4 million computer-science-related jobs available and only 400,000 computer science graduates with the skills to apply for those jobs. Computer science is the fastest growing profession within the Science, Technology, Engineering or Math (STEM) field, but only 8% of STEM graduates earn a computer science degree, with a tiny minority from underprivileged backgrounds. Also according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average computer science major makes 40% more in lifetime earnings than the average college graduate and nearly three times more than the average high school alumna. Despite the opportunity, the vast majority of public elementary and high schools, particularly those in less advantaged communities, do not offer computer science classes.

Today, Amazon is launching Amazon Future Engineer (AFE), a comprehensive childhood-to-career program to inspire, educate, and train children and young adults from underserved and low-income communities to pursue careers in computer science. Amazon aims to inspire more than 10 million kids each year to explore computer science through coding camps and online lessons, fund introductory and Advanced Placement (AP) courses in computer science for over 100,000 underprivileged young people in 2,000 low-income high schools across the U.S., award 100 students from underserved communities pursuing degrees in computer science with four-year $10,000 annual scholarships, as well as internships at Amazon to gain work experience.

“Among Black and Hispanic students, those who take AP computer science in high school are up to 8 times more likely to take computer science in college, and among women, they are 10 times more likely to do so—yet most high schools don’t offer these courses,” said Jeff Wilke, CEO Worldwide Consumer, Amazon. “Computer science skills are some of the most in-demand in the modern economy, and we have created Amazon Future Engineer because we believe young people from all backgrounds should have help from childhood to career so they can have a future in this highly paid, rapidly-growing field.”

The Amazon Future Engineer program consists of inspiring activities, comprehensive education, and hands-on work experience that supports children and young people at every stage from childhood to career. Amazon ran a beta of Amazon Future Engineer in 2017 and 2018, and saw a tremendous response from students, schools, and communities across the U.S. The new four-phased program is designed to allow students with interest in computer science to keep developing their skills throughout their educational journey.

To learn more, read "Amazon Launches Childhood-to-Career Program “Amazon Future Engineer” to Inspire and Empower Underprivileged Youth to Build Careers in Computer Science" from Business Wire.