With unpredictability fast becoming our daily bread, what can be more important than preparing the next generations for future challenges? Every parent wants to secure the best foundation for their children, be it for primary school education, academia, work, or life in general.
In this sense, research has shown us how coding can be relevant across school subjects and academic disciplines. Now it’s time to talk about the other advantages it brings, including the cognitive effects of coding on children’s brains.
This is how coding shapes the future prospects of children.
Coding gives a head start for professional life
Learning to code can be a game-changer for students, regardless of country. With the hopes of better integrating into the local emerging tech community, Chinese parents prepare their children for code learning before pre-school. And Singapore launched a tailored coding class for primary and secondary school students as early as 2014. India has even introduced coding from class six, based on the country’s new education policy.
As coding requires working with different frameworks and programs, mastering it advances experimentation and creativity. It helps with math, arts, writing, and even overall communication, advancing critical thinking and problem-solving. Everyday school tasks can then be handled more seamlessly. And on top of that, coding can be a significant confidence boost for a child, something that is essential at a young age.
The diverse nature of coding further drives a child’s ability to orient themselves in today’s digital economy, IT, technology, and science. And with tech pervading even the most traditional sectors, coding can help secure career opportunities even in finance, retail, healthcare, and more. This is good news as half of all new jobs will require some coding knowledge in the future, together with the fact that 14 to 80 million US jobs are now at risk of being automated. Coding is a vital ingredient to strengthen the new generation of today’s workforce.
Coding literacy: The new language of our world
Coding has the potential to become the language of daily life as any other language. And the data points in this direction, too: The number of data scientists has grown by 650 percent, and the demand for coding is said to grow by 37 percent year-on-year. Learning to code is the skill that will dominate the 21st century, and it’s what we should prepare the younger generation for.
As technology continues to transform the way we live, coders seem to be the best population group equipped to handle the dynamic changes in their private and professional lives. And the sooner the child starts learning, the more they will benefit from the benefits coding brings.
Being able to solve problems by coming up with many solutions to one issue is a typical example of how coding impacts the mind–this is called composition. And as programming involves a lot of repetitive tasks and failures waiting behind every corner, a child can soon learn that there are no shortcuts to getting anything done. Patience and problem solving learned from coding will then certainly serve in real-life situations too.
The effect beyond computer proficiency
The benefits of coding don’t end with getting a high-level tech job. Once a child has reached their goal, that’s when the impacts of learning to code really start to manifest. Coding can serve as an important equalizer, bringing diversity into learning institutions, computing, and computer science. Traditionally plagued by the underrepresentation of certain groups, with factors like gender, race, and income playing an essential part, this can all change now. Even Dan Costolo, the CEO of Twitter, has expressed the need: “A computer doesn’t care about your family background, your gender, just that you know how to code. But we’re only teaching it in a small handful of schools; why?”
Encouraging children, and young girls specifically, to start early and by making coding classes easily accessible, we can achieve many positive long-term effects in our societies, something we are beginning to see already. Coding has become an incredibly valuable asset, presenting an investment parents should make in their children as early as possible. As the language of the digital age, coding is the tool for the future and future generations.