Whether the students in your life are in elementary school or working through their university years, coding is becoming an essential skill.
By Katherine Lutz
Technology has become integral to pretty much every industry at this point, whether it be technology, medicine, law, farming, education or anything in between. This means that computer science and other tech skills are more vital to possess than ever before.
Even if a student has no interest in going into computer science as a career field, coding can be immensely beneficial in their development. Here are three reasons why:
1 — Promoting Useful Skills
One of the best and most useful things about coding is that it comes with a number of other useful skills as well.
The nature of coding project requires a great deal of creativity and problem-solving. Creating code for things like games or web pages is a lot like putting together a puzzle or structuring sentences in a language, so it stretches the creativity muscles quite a bit.
Additionally, the project-based nature of coding promotes a great deal of discipline and dedication. Finishing a coding project is a lot like mastering a song on the piano or successfully completing an essay in a foreign language: a lot of patience and determination is needed, but it feels incredibly rewarding.
For projects that may require more than one individual to complete efficiently, teamwork and communication can also be built up.
Lastly, coding really helps students learn how to think critically and more outside of the box. Just like how coding develops creativity and problem-solving, it pushes students to explore dynamic solutions to the things they come across. While this skill will obviously help them develop higher level coding skills as they go along, the ability to think critically will absolutely spread to other areas of their life and help them in pretty much any subject they encounter in the future.
2 — Aiding Motivation
It can be hard to find motivation at any age, but students often have particular difficulty since they are still developing good habits and figuring out how to productively harness their energy. For instance, if a student feels that their surroundings (teachers, the school system, negative home life, etc.) are responsible for the outcomes of their efforts, it is much more likely for them to struggle to maintain motivation.
Alternatively, if they feel more in control of the way things turn out (practice leading to more successful soccer games, studying resulting in better test grades, etc.), they will feel more motivated to bring about those positive results.
One of the ways to bring about motivation after knowing this is to give them more access to project-based activities instead of tedious, smaller assignments and responsibilities. If a student is tackling a project, they are pushed to be more organized and in charge of the way the project and goals are broken up. If students are exposed to these long-term assignments that require more dedication and investment earlier on, they are more likely to secure solid and regular motivational skills that can help them later in life in just about any area.
2 — Helping Build a Successful Career
For students who are interested in computer science (or those who are still searching for a career path), it’s great to realize just how secure jobs in that field can be. By 2020, there will be an anticipated one million positions open in the U.S. tech industry. Even outside of the tech industry, computer science and coding skills are needed across the board in every industry from medicine, education, farming, law, business and everything in between.
As of 2017, the median annual salary of software developers was around $103,000. In terms of hourly pay, the median rested around $50/hr.
“The upcoming generations are some of the most competitive that we have ever seen. Luckily, it’s no longer a secret that technology and the skills that come along with it are more needed than ever, giving an easy way to give students an edge when entering the job market. Solid computer science skills make for the easiest path to a middle or upper-class lifestyle, and starting students as soon as possible is critical,” says David Dodge, CEO of Codakid,
It’s easy for any parent, teacher or even students themselves to feel anxiety about the approaching job hunt. Whether that search is years away or just on the horizon, it’s best to make sure they are as prepared as they can be to chase and develop a fulfilling and fruitful career when the time comes. Though coding may not even be on the list of skills you want to develop in your students, it’s absolutely something to look into. While it seems like a niche skill that only older students might even find interest in, it is excellent for the promotion of basic useful skills, motivation and the foundation of a successful career for all age groups.