26 Min Read

THE HOUR OF CODE CAN CHANGE THE FUTURE FOR STUDENT'S

By Ernie Delgado
December 12, 2019

THIS QUICK READ WILL PROVIDE SOME CONTEXT FOR CODING AND OFFER UP SOME ENTICING RESOURCES

 

WHY IS CODING SO IMPORTANT?

The education world is crazy for coding!  Why is that?  Basically coding has become a basic literacy skill in our quickly evolving digital age.  If our students want to be prepared for a "very different future", it will be important for them to understand the technology they use and that surrounds them every day.

There are several critical areas that coding will impact such as communication, collaboration, creativity, and even mathematics, writing and all areas of learning.  This will also lead to confidence and leadership.

Let's dig a little deeper into this topic.

Answer by Travis Addair, Software Engineer, on Quora:

Without coding, computers would literally do nothing. They would be completely useless.

That’s because source code is the set of instructions that tells the computer what to do. Computers have no free will, after all, so without explicit instruction, they’re just sophisticated hunks of metal.

Think of anything you’ve ever done with a computer:

  • Play a video game.
  • Send an email.
  • Search for something on Google.
  • Write a word document.
  • Take a selfie on your smartphone (also a computer).
  • Request an Uber.
  • Pay your friend with Venmo.
  • Buy something on Amazon.
  • Watch a movie on Netflix.

All of those applications are software written in code.

Now think of all the services you use that don’t require interfacing with a computer. Well, chances are they’re still powered by software in one way or another.

  • Businesses keep their financial and accounting records in databases.
  • Planes and cars use software to monitor and control subsystems.
  • Transportation companies use software to manage their distribution.
  • Scientists use software to conduct their research.
  • Medical professionals use software to help in diagnosis and treatment.

Honestly, it would be harder to think of things we use today that don’t rely on software in one form or another.

So, assuming you value any of those things, their very existence is the reason that coding is important.

 

 HOW CAN CODING IMPROVE A STUDENTS CHANCES FOR A BETTER FUTURE?

According to Lydia Dishman at FastCompany.com

Apart from companies in the technology sector, there are an increasing number of businesses relying on computer code. No wonder that eight of the top 25 jobs this year are tech positions, according to Glassdoor.

A software engineer could just as easily find themselves working at Apple, as they could in a hospital, or at an automotive manufacturer.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that employment specifically for computer programmers will decline 8% to 302,200 positions over the next decade as businesses outsource projects to less expensive contract workers overseas.

Seven million job openings in 2015 were in occupations that required coding skills, and programming jobs overall are growing 12% faster than the market average.

However, a new report from Burning Glass, a job market analytics firm, found that there were as many as 7 million job openings in 2015 in occupations that required coding skills. They also found that programming jobs overall are growing 12% faster than the market average.

This last finding is the result of researchers broadening the scope of their analysis to include coding skills across five major job categories:

  • Information Technology (IT) worker
  • Data Analysts
  • Artists and Designers
  • Engineers
  • Scientists

The skills were defined as using a computer program to write instructions to a computer as opposed to using established applications. The researchers looked at programming languages including JavaScript and HTML for building websites, statistical programs R and SAS, AutoCAD programs for engineers, and other all-purpose programming languages such as Java, Python, and C++.

The report used data drawn from 26 million U.S. online job postings collected in 2015 and other data from the BLS. It looks at the job market demand for coding skills in order to reveal the specific jobs and skills that employers are seeking.

One major revelation: Half of all programming openings are in industries outside of technology. Among them:

  • Finance
  • Manufacturing
  • Healthcare

As a result, coding has become a core skill that bolsters a candidate’s chances of commanding a high salary. Burning Glass researchers found that jobs that require coding skills pay up to $22,000 per year more, on average. “For students looking to increase their potential income, few other skills open the door to as many well-paying careers,” they write in the report.

Nearly half (49%) of all jobs that pay more than $58,000 require some coding skills, according to their analysis.

What’s most in demand? The report found that the highest demand was for programming languages with broad applicability. Other skills in demand include:

  • SQL – Databases
  • Java -General purpose programming
  • Javascript -Web development
  • Linux – Computer system operations
  • XML – General purpose programming
  • C++ -General purpose programming, especially in engineering
  • C# -General purpose programming
  • Python -General purpose programming
  • .NET -General purpose programming

Obviously, positions in IT require more specialization, yet positions in science that use mathematical computing programs such as Python, don’t need them on a daily basis.

Acquiring such knowledge used to land squarely in the environs of higher education. Now we know that while tech’s current most in demand job of data scientist usually requires an advanced degree in math and physics, programmers don’t need a computer science degree to succeed.

MIT just launched a pilot program in New Hampshire called Coding Across the Curriculum “TeachCode Academy” aimed at local NH teachers to learn how to teach code in effort to implement computer science into the curriculum. And the proliferation of coding bootcamps is making coding skills more attainable for enterprising job seekers.

Burning Glass researchers found that most (89%) of coding jobs require a bachelor’s degree, as compared to 44% of all career-track jobs. For those with neither a bachelor’s or a coding school certification, short-term credentials can be parlayed into roles such as computer user support (ie: help desk), engineering technicians, and drafters. All of these are options with considerable demand, the researchers say.

 

 IS CODING DIFFICULT?

https://careerkarma.com › blog › is-coding-hard-to-learn

The simple answer is: no, coding is not hard to learn. Why? Because if you take the time and have a little patience, you can really learn just about anything–coding is no exception. Indeed, learning to code takes time and persistence, but if you have that, then no, coding is not hard to learn.Jul 1, 2019

 

WHERE CAN I FIND CODING RESOURCES?

This week begins the Hour Code movement for 2019! Hour of Code is a global movement brought to you Computer Science Education Week to introduce students everywhere to computer science and coding. Watch a fun video about it here: https://youtu.be/KsOIlDT145A

Code.org provides many one hour tutorials for students of all levels and ages. Please consider adjusting your curriculum calendar and participating in the Hour of Code movement next week. Your students will love participating and being exposed to coding. Also, consider be a leader for your school campus and encourage your teachers to also participate.

Some helpful links to get you started:

What is Hour of Code?

https://hourofcode.com/ie

Hour of Code activities: 

https://hourofcode.com/us/learn

https://www.khanacademy.org/computing/hour-of-code/hour-of-drawing-code/v/welcome-hour-of-code

https://www.tynker.com/hour-of-code/

Beyond the Hour of Code: 

https://hourofcode.com/us/beyond 

 

CONCLUSION

It is always important to ask the question, "am I preparing students for my past or their future?"

Their future will be a more technical and complex world.  Coding is no longer an option but a basic requirement.

Share with us what you are planning to do for Hour of Code. Let's get this conversation started! 

 


 

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