May 24, 2017 - Technology

Apple wants to turn community college students into app developers


Paul Sakuma / AP

Apple already offers a variety of tools to help school kids learn the basics of coding. Now, it aims to give older students what they need to become full-fledged app developers. On Wednesday the company is releasing, for free, the curriculum for a year-long course on how to write apps for the iPhone.

The effort, though available to all, is aimed at community college students and Apple is working with six districts around the country, with the first classes to start this summer and fall. The courseware teaches students how to create apps using Apple's Swift programming language.

Why it matters: Of the two million jobs Apple takes credit for creating, the vast majority, 1.5 million, are from the "app economy."

"We believe apps are going to be incredibly important in the future," Apple VP (and former EPA administrator) Lisa Jackson told Axios. "We want people to be a part of that."

"Granted that's something we want from the perspective of the App Store," Jackson said, but it's also part of a broader effort to ensure more Americans have high-paying jobs. "This is also about equal access. This is about women. This is about black students. This is about Latinx students and this is about rural students."

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