MNPS Program Could Earn Students Thousands Upon Graduation - | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

MNPS Program Could Earn Students Thousands Upon Graduation

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by Aundrea Cline-Thomas

NASHVILLE, Tenn.- One of Stratford High School's Academies is preparing students for careers in the gaming and computer simulation industries. Students are learning how create everything from video games to Android apps.

With a graduation rate just shy of 65 percent these opportunities can attract students early and keep them engaged.

If you're clueless about how to use the latest technology, just ask a teenager.

"I know more about apps now because I've been in this class," Sophomore Justin Perry said while playing with an app on his cell phone. "I feel smarter when I'm working with them."

Stratford High School is taking what comes naturally to so many students and incorporating it into the curriculum as part of the Academy of National Safety and Security Technologies.

"This is a cool class," Perry said about his computer programming class. "We're learning how to design our own games. We're learning how to design apps for Android. We're learning how to work computers, typing, a little bit of everything."

A computer programming class is part of the growing computer simulation and game programming pathway.

"Our goal is to be able to partner with our partners to get them the hours they need to get certified on the day they graduate," Executive Principal Michael Steele explained.

The future pay-off is helping engage students early.

"[On the] very basic level the salary information we see is anywhere from the $30,000 to $50,000 to $70,000," Liza Massey, President and CEO of the Nashville Technology Council said.

That's just with a high school diploma and a certificate.

"We do a quarterly report and the last report showed there were over 820 jobs being advertised for tech people," Massey said of the jobs that range from entry level to executive positions.

"I'm hoping to be an engineer," Perry said. "Work on computers for music engineering."

The future may seem like a lifetime away for the 15 year old.

"I just want to make a change," he said. "I want to make an app that everybody will want to download."

Now the future is in his hands.



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