Schools and educational programs may have many goals for their students, ranging from helping them be responsible members of society, to developing foundational skills needed in life, to preparing them for higher education.
These foundational principles of education begin in pre-school and extend throughout students' entire educational careers. However, today's world is changing quickly. It has become increasingly difficult for students to transition from being learners to becoming successful contributors in the workforce and providers for their families.
The change in society means that the primary objective of every school and educational program must shift as well, and place more emphasis on preparing students for future careers - and now, because we are living in the digital age, the future is technology.
Below is our list of 5 reasons why schools should teach coding to all of their students.
1. Coding leads to more high paying career opportunities
Technology is everywhere -- entwined in almost every fabric of society today. It directly impacts how we live, work, communicate, commute, and most importantly, how we learn. Without an understanding of how technology works, how it is developed, and how to implement it into our daily lives, students will inevitably struggle to keep up in what we call the "real world."
Teaching students computer programming will inevitably lead them toward a more lucrative and empowering career. Simply put - coders make a lot of money and they are in very high demand.
According to Indeed.com, the average software programmer makes over $110,00 per year and that does not include stock compensation, which is very common in tech companies.
LinkedIn analyzed job postings across their platform and found that technical skills, such as computer programming and general IT, topped the list. In fact, more than 700,000 IT jobs went unfilled in 2019 alone.
If you know how to code, it is unlikely that you will struggle to find work anytime soon - in fact the demand for computer programming jobs is expected to grow by 21% by 2028.
2. Coding enhances problem solving skills
Studies have shown that by learning how to code, you can actually improve in other subjects you’re studying.
A big reason why is that, in order to code, you need to be able to break down problems into individual parts, analyze them, and then put the solutions together into a cohesive whole using a computer language.
You have to outline your problem, research potential solutions, hypothesize the best approach, build the code, then test and iterate your program to meet the needs of the end user.
Sound familiar? It should, because just like biology and chemistry, coding uses the scientific method. Computer science is another type of science, but in today's world it's much more practical and arguably, more fun.
3. Coding allows you to work from anywhere, anytime
Many jobs require you to live within driving distance of the office, which severely confines where you can live and potentially even raises your cost of living because you will often have to live within a few miles of an expensive urban area.
In addition to a healthy salary, coding careers also offer the ability to work effectively from anywhere in the world, creating a flexible job opportunity that can meet anyone's desired lifestyle.
In addition to losing the physical confines of a normal career, being a coder means you are less tied to the hours of a normal workday. Much like a freelance writer, if you are most efficient at night, coding in off-hours is typically a doable feat (depending on your employer of course).
Studies have shown that remote work has increased by 91% over the last decade, making it one of the leading trends that will reshaping our world in the years to come. Computer programming fits the bill because it can be done from anywhere without any significant loss of productivity.
4. Coding improves communication and forces students to work together
A common argument some people use to reject learning how to code is “I am a people person, and I don’t want to sit by myself at a computer all day.”
But this widely held stereotype of the nerdy, introverted coder is actually a misconception. It is critical, when working on a coding project, to have excellent communication with your team to ensure the product that is built is exactly what was planned.
While there are definitely some coding projects where people may work solo, a significant amount of coding is done in pairs, or what is called pair programming.
The saying “two heads are better than one” applies to coding and many employers prefer that method because it delivers a better end result.
In reality, communication and collaboration skills are just as important for coders as anybody else, and computer programmers can find enjoyment in their career regardless of their personality type.
5. Coding spurs creativity
Although coding is mostly categorized as a science, there is undoubtedly an element of the arts in it. Effective coding necessitates a certain amount of ingenuity to solve challenges in creative ways.
It makes sense why they say software developers make the best entrepreneurs. Using the scientific method discussed earlier, coders are able to bring their ideas to life, solve big hairy problems, and make the world a better place for everyone.
Think about some of the most famous entrepreneurs in the world today. Who are the first ones that come to mind? Mark Zuckerberg? Elon Musk? Bill Gates?
All of them were software developers first. They all learned important problem solving skills from their backgrounds in coding, saw opportunities to solve problems in the world, and became incredibly successful doing it.
Long story short, in today's technology driven world and workplace, every student should be learning how to code regardless of what career path they are interested in or what their personality type is.
Just like math, science, reading, and writing coding has become a critical, foundational skill that will help prepare today's students for tomorrow's world.