By Nathan Van Ness, Xerox Corp.

A recent Seattle Times story discusses the current lack of computer science course offerings in our public school system’s STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) curricula. More importantly, the story also profiles an ex-Microsoft manager and current venture capitalist who, with his deep pockets and help from his brother, is trying to do something about it.

Why is this important to small businesses? Because even companies that aren’t high-tech in nature rely on technology to help them gain efficiencies, promote their products or services, store and analyze data, collaborate with business associates, etc. Without a large enough pool of local computer-science talent, many small businesses are forced to outsource their IT needs. And outsourcing, as discussed in a Houston Chronicle story, often has its own unique set of challenges that can negatively affect your small business.

I’d love to receive feedback about the sorts of issues you’ve encountered with regard to America’s lack of early-education offerings in computer-science disciplines. Have you had trouble finding qualified applicants for IT-related positions? If so, how has that impacted your business?