If you have been looking for a good coding program for your child, you might be wondering what to look for.
Here are the most important things to look for if your child is to learn meaningful coding skills over time, while enjoying the whole process.
Coding is a hard subject to learn by themselves, unless your child is exceptionally motivated and disciplined. All the self-paced video courses help with the initial few steps, but as soon as your child gets stuck, there is no one to help. And that is when most students get frustrated and give up. If the classes are taught by an experience instructor, they can help answer your child’s question, get them unstuck and keep them moving forward.
Backed by data from reputed sources, these charts provide a great insight into where opportunities lie for our children. Learning to code provides your children with the skills needed to capitalize on these opportunities.
1. Computing jobs are the #1 source of new wages in the US
There are an estimated 500,000 current job openings in the computing field today. These jobs are in every industry and in every state. It they are projected to grow at twice the rate of all other jobs.
2. The STEM Opportunity is in computer science
Despite the significant focus on STEM, what is missed out is that 71% of all new STEM jobs are in computing. However, only 8% of STEM graduates are in computing. This mismatch create significant opportunities for children with computing background.
3. Computer science graduates earn 40% more than other college graduates
It is a lucrative field to be working in. The average lifetime earnings of a computer science graduate is 40% more than other college graduates. The gap between demand and supply continues to increase resulting in increases in wages for people with computing skill.
4. Learning to code appeal peaks in middle school
This is important particularly for girls. During middle school, children are more open to learning new skills, tend to believe computing as cool and the gender stereotypes haven’t set in that hard. 79% of working professionals got their first serious exposure to coding in middle school.
5. Most parents want their child to learn computer science
More and more parents are seeing the broader trend and want their child to learn computer science. Since most schools don’t offer it, parents are enrolling their children in supplemental coding programs for their children to acquire these skills.
6. 204% increase in students taking high-school computer science courses
There was a 204% increase in the # of students taking AP computer science in high-school. Students are starting to recognize the value of a high-school computer science courses. It leads to a future in 130 career areas and 48 college majors.
7. Computer Science is integrating in every college major
Some of the big companies that we know today are being founded by individuals who knew how to code. When they know how to code, an idea doesn’t die after a conversation. They build a basic version and see how people react to it. When there is a positive response, they build on it. Airbnb, Instacart, Dropbox was all build that way. By giving them the skill of coding, you can give wings to your child’s ideas.
9. Many emerging fields are driven by software
The exciting fields over the next 10-20 year that our children will make their careers in are all driven by software. Knowing how to code gives them an edge to thrive in these jobs of the future.
A little while ago, I spent 2 full-days at the Ann Richards school for young women leaders introducing real coding to 7th grade students. What an amazing opportunity to contribute back to the community.
Ann Richards School (ARS) is a one-of-a-kind school. It’s a public all-girls school of choice that serves grades 6 – 12 for the Austin Independent School District. 100% of the students are accepted to college. More than 60% of the students are the first generation college bound. Students wouldn’t have these opportunities available to them, if not for ARS.
Below are some pictures from the workshop.
A couple of weeks after the event, I got these plethora of hand-written thank you notes. I was speechless that those kids took the time to make this and mail it to me.
Preparing our children for future is to prepare them for jobs that don’t exist yet.
One area that will open up some very interesting jobs and careers over the next 10-15 years is driverless cars.
And, driverless cars is mostly software.
Last week, I met this interesting team that demonstrated the core construct of driverless cars. Even though they are doing it for educational purposes, it explained the core idea pretty well.
The car is basically taking pictures and sending sensory information to a computer. After computation, the computer sends information back to the car on how it should move.
It is a Python program that does all the computations on the information received and converts it back to usable commands to be sent back to the car.
If you think about it, bulk of the challenges on making this reliably work is all in the software.
If your son or daughter would like to work on driverless cars, it is more likely they would be working on software. Even if they work on hardware parts of the project, it is impossible to be effective without understanding software.
There in lies the need and the promise of getting our children to learn to code.
In the swirling world of technology, most parents know and they want coding classes for kids.
But some parents still construe learning to code as becoming a programmer. While it may be true for a few kids, attending programming classes early in life develops many skills that don’t necessarily develop through the traditional education system.