There are many online computer science programs which are geared towards high school students. These classes exist so that they can start building the foundation for their higher education as soon as possible. Reputable companies such as Google, and even colleges like MIT host summer programs for high school students. Within the high school, there are programs like STEM classes, and in the 2016-2017 academic year College Board rolled out a new AP Computer Science. Advanced Placement courses can be taken at any high school level, and if the student passes their exam, they will receive college credit for the course.

There are many online computer science programs that are out there for high school students. They allow students to get ahead of the curve, and get a jump start on their educational and professional goals.

The easiest way for students to have access to these programs is to go to a high school that participates in the STEM Curriculum. Introduced widely around 2010, STEM curriculum is a variety of courses and programs that are available during the school year in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. These classes can even carry advanced credit at institutions like the Rochester Institute of Technology. The thing that makes this program the most accessible is because is has no cost to parents, and takes place at school as a normal class, not as an extracurricular activity.

While these classes are great, a lot of students have the desire to take the initiative and get started with an online program that will better prepare them for their future college and career. The significant cause for students seeking online programs is that only 5% of high schools offer programs in their desired field of study.

SummerQamp.org offers a program that focuses on honing real tech skills in students before they are exposed to it in the real world, it was started as part of the White House Summer Jobs Initiative and provides different types of internships to students. Codenow.org and ScriptEd.org both strive to provide opportunities for teenagers in low-economic areas to understand how to program through project-based learning, and upon completion of these programs, there are scholarships available.

There are also some more expensive programs that are 12 weeks long, lasting an entire summer, offered by Metis and Hack Reactor. Hack Reactor prefers its students to have at least some previous experience and focuses on software development. Metis will focus on HTML and CSS, two very popular coding languages for those who are just starting out. Metis also teaches students Ruby on Rails, or simply Rails; it is a server-side web application framework written in Ruby. Students would be able to build web pages, or even entire websites and web services after completing the program.

The majority of these programs also assist with finding scholarships, or at the very least, internship opportunities for high school students, and there are a broad range of free and paid courses out there, so you never have to stop learning, even if you’re not yet in a college computer science program.