Columbus State

Columbus State Community College Rolling Out Apple Swift Course

Columbus State You've heard the phrase - "there's an app for that."  You may have even wondered how you to get into developing "an app for that" yourself, but didn't have a clue on how to get started.  If you live in the Columbus, OH area, you may have a chance to get to do that soon.  Read on for more...

Students at Columbus State Community College will get the chance to be among the first in the nation to use a new curriculum that was released by Apple on Wednesday for teaching budding developers how to develop both phone and tablet apps in the company's Swift programming language.

“We are thrilled,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a Tuesday interview with The Columbus Dispatch.  “We feel that coding should be a required course in our public and private schools around the country.”  While the course is under development, Apple is already aiming to teach Swift-based coding concepts to kindergartners through college students, with curriculum products created by its education experts.  Cook expanded further saying that by making it easier to teach and learn coding, "This is a way to expand that even further. People can literally stay where they want to stay. You can literally write an app from anywhere."

With the power and reach of the App Store, it has really opened up doors for software developers to market their product in all areas of the globe.  “In the old world, if you were a software developer, you would have to go to every retailer and get them to sell your software — it’s just impossible to do that,” Cook said.

Columbus State Preparing Students for In Demand Jobs

Columbus State will aim to use the new materials for creating a non-credit course for software professionals looking to build their skill sets.  “We constantly hear (software) developers say that they want to add this skill to their skill set,” mentioned Gary Clark, an assistant professor of computer science at Columbus State. “Everybody’s now looking to have this,” he continued. “It’s not just, ‘There’s one guy over there and he does all our mobile work.’ ”

Cook reiterated on the importance of having app developers in today's business world.  “It would be tough to think about running a business today without a mobile app, whether it’s customer-facing or something that your employees use to help you run the business. It’s at the heart of, not just the tech industry, but all kinds of businesses.”

In total, Apple chose six community colleges for bringing the new curriculum to life.  Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president for environment, policy and social initiatives mentioned that “Community colleges are on the front lines of that,” in regard to the important role community colleges play preparing students for jobs that are in demand.

 A Changing Job Environment

Apple announced earlier this month that it would be investing $1 billion in an Advanced Manufacturing Fund, focusing on creating U.S. jobs at the companies within its supply chain.  Jackson mentioned, "Jackson said, “It is fair to say that the economy is transitioning, and has been transitioning for some time, to jobs that require coding. The tools that we make at Apple enable a whole new world of possibilities but also require different kinds of education," in response to whether or not this was the company's response to traditional jobs lost to digitization.

However, the company also views this as a win-win for them, because not only is it creating more jobs, but it further expands Apple's app ecosystem with new apps every day.

If you are interested in learning more about Swift and programming, and don't live in Columbus to be able to take advantage of the courses available (or maybe just want to get a head start), check out some of the reading material already available at Amazon.  Happy Coding!