Computer programming is quickly shifting from a specialized skill only a few people in the workforce need into essential knowledge. Just as the workforce today requires language competency, computer skills, and basic math, some predict that more and more jobs in the future will demand coding.
No longer is coding a skill you’ll only find in the software industry. Data administrators, engineers, financial professionals, medical researchers, and many more professions now incorporate some elements of programming in their work. It’s a skill that can go a long way in a wide range of industries.
Start With What They Already Love
If you’ve got a gamer in the household, you’ve already got a head start. Kids respond positively to learning about things they already have an interest in. Older children and teens can be pretty set in their ways. They’re already developing ideas about what they know they want to do – though on the plus side, that also means they might come to you with ideas for activities or courses they want to sign up for.
One of the reasons online programming for kids is becoming so popular is that they teach kids how to code through video game design. Many of the most successful courses have kids actually build (or rebuild) games applying the coding languages and concepts they learn, even making customizations on the way.
It’s the kind of project that students can really sink their teeth into. Along the way, they’re learning not just coding but also math concepts and how they apply (such as calculating movement in a way that replicates the real world), problem-solving, and persistence.
As many programmers can tell you, one of the most important lessons you learn along the way is how to keep at a problem until you crack it.
Why Today’s Kids Should Learn Programming
Adults who are retraining by learning how to code face an uphill battle, with many signing up for coding boot camps in order to quickly upgrade their skillsets. In some places, programming is now being introduced to school curricula so that kids graduate with a basic understanding and won’t have to go through such a demanding retraining process.
How effective schools will be at teaching tech skills remains a question. An enhanced education with coding classes online for kids will definitely give them an edge.
It’s not just future employability that should encourage you to get your kids into technology. There are plenty of other benefits to kids learning how to code, such as:
- Improved academic performance, as kids can learn certain concepts before their peers and improve their confidence at school;
- Better writing skills, as coding teaches that there are multiple ways to solve a problem, communicate, and structure;
- Better soft skills such as collaborating and cooperating with peers because they work together to solve problems in their coding;
- More opportunities to be creative, especially in an environment not often associated with the imagination or creativity.
Technology skills are increasingly important in the wider world, and not just the workforce. So much of life involves interacting with computers that when kids learn how to program, in many ways, they’re learning how so many of the things around them work. Get them into programming today.