One of the best things you can do for your child is to teach them how to code. Coding builds both job skills and life skills that can shape your child’s future success, whether they enter the tech field or an entirely different industry. The world is changing rapidly, but a foundation in coding can prepare your child to adapt to whatever changes may come.
So why is coding education so important?
Opens the Door to a World of Opportunities
Parents want to prepare their children for the future and help them achieve their full potential. Learning to code provides a host of benefits that can give your child a leg up.
First, coding can help kids to see the world in a different way. Today, beyond our smartphones and tablets, computers drive many elements of our lives: our cars, air conditioning, thermostats, smart-home devices. In learning how to code, children move from just being a user of these technologies to understanding and appreciating the technology around them. It helps them further understand how their world works.
Coding also helps kids think more effectively and problem solve. In coding, they see a problem, brainstorm ideas, and work to come up with a solution. They create the program and then have to debug if anything goes wrong. They learn the art of problem-solving, which they can then adapt to other areas of their lives.
Coding is a valuable skill that stretches across most industries. The technology industry is expanding at a much faster pace than traditional industries, and when you analyze the public stock markets, the largest market capitalization stocks are those in technology. Seven out of the ten largest science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) occupations in the US are computer-related.
Applications software developers lead at 750,000 jobs, followed by computer user support specialists and computer systems analysts at 500,000+ jobs each, respectively. Between 2009 and 2015, STEM occupations had above-average employment growth at 10.5 percent, or 817,260 jobs, compared to 5.2 percent net growth in non-STEM occupations.
Even beyond the technology industry, there are a variety of coding employment opportunities in businesses. Programmers can solve many problems and challenges in traditional industries through technology. A company with logistic operations may need technology to automate their processes. They can implement robots to take inventory of the warehouse, which cuts down costs inherent on the logistical side of business. Programming robots requires coding skills, and companies need to hire or outsource coders.
To prepare for the opportunities in the digital future, it is imperative that children learn to code.
Shaping Future Creators
Robots will displace 75 million jobs globally by 2022, according to the World Economic Forum (WEF) The Future of Jobs report. Another report by OECD states that 14 percent of jobs across thirty-two countries are “highly vulnerable” to automation.
The same WEF report noted that 133 million new jobs will also emerge thanks to increasing automation. In other words, machines are freeing us up to explore, experiment, and find interesting solutions to complex problems.
With these fundamental changes, the most in-demand job skills are shifting. Per that WEF report, in 2015, the top three job skills were complex problem solving, coordinating with others, and people management. In 2020, the top three skills will be complex problem solving, critical thinking, and creativity—all skills coding helps to build.
Coding is a skill with a wide variety of applications, in many industries. At First Code Academy, we have found that it is fundamentally more important to foster a child’s creativity via coding than to directly encourage a career in coding, as the applications of coding continue to shift with technological changes.
Coding is a skill that benefits all children, not just future software developers. It’s also a fun and rewarding activity that can begin as early as preschool.
For more advice on the benefits of coding and how to teach coding to kids, you can find First Time Coders on Amazon.