Montana Tech was the site of the 2013 Montana Economic Development Summit. Senator Baucus made sure the computing industry was well represented, bringing corporate executives Eric Schmidt (Google Executive Chairman), Sheryl Sandberg (Facebook COO), Safra Catz (Oracle President and CFO - pictured on the left), Meg Whitman (HP President and CEO, former eBay President and CEO), and Elon Musk (PayPal founder, SpaceX and Tesla Motors founder and CEO) to the Montana Tech campus for the 6th Jobs Summit. One of the underlying themes was the strong future for technology and demand for software developers that will exceed the supply of computer science graduates from U.S. universities over the next decade.
Greg Gianforte (founder of RightNow Technology in Bozeman) announced the newly established CodeMontana program at the Summit. This new program teaches Montana high school students computer programming through an online software development curriculum. The goal of the program is to prepare Montana students for technology careers here in Montana. Mr. Gianforte pointed out there will be 400 computer science job openings this year, but only 40 computer science graduates from Montana universities (see graphic below). There is no fee to join the program, the first 1000 students receive a tee shirt, and there is opportunity to win cool prizes by participating. We encourage all Montana students considering a computer science or software engineering career to join the CodeMontana program. The Montana Tech Computer Science department also offers additional opportunities to learn programming through a free online college level computer science course for high school students. Students who successfully complete this course and enroll at Montana Tech will earn three computer science credits.