As technology becomes an increasingly important part of our everyday lives, what’s certain is the need for skilled techs to keep things moving forward.
Whether we like it or not, jobs are migrating further away from manufacturing and more toward service and skill-based positions.
Knowing how to code can be an excellent early window of opportunity for our kids to achieve success with a position in the burgeoning tech giants or even as entrepreneurs that creatively design their own innovations.
It can also be a great way for them to express creativity. Children that learn coding early will be able to:
- See their work come to life
- Practice an art that relates to things they already love
- Engage with technology more deeply
To understand the importance of helping our kids modernize, we need to look first at where things are going.
Businesses Are Decentralizing
With the internet at its back, industry is moving away from massive corporate towers and diversifying its portfolio with access to talent everywhere across the globe. So much work (particularly in coding) can be done remotely that it hardly makes sense to invest in monoliths that ultimately are perceived negatively by workers who would much rather be at home.
That also means major opportunities for talented coders that started early. Instead of being forced to move to a faraway city, our children are in the unique position of working a high paying job from just about anywhere on the globe.
Of course, this also means that education will need to change.
Adapting the Classroom
The international demand for coders means training should start early—as early as elementary school, in fact. In the same way children have traditionally been taught musical instruments or sports, we now have the chance to teach coding.
And what better way to involve students in the learning process than integrating technology? Rather than fight against computers and other devices in the classroom, these tools can become beloved instruments of expressing creativity and learning new skills.
Embracing these changes will help our teachers connect with the youth and propel the next generation forward to the success they so desperately need.
Education Requirements Are On the Rise
Across the board, companies are seeking to higher more educated and more experienced workers. Learning to code early on will provide our children with involved portfolios where they can demonstrate instances of their work. And while job growth may be normal in the tech sector, that doesn’t mean access to the best jobs are just given out haphazardly.
The same is doubly true when it comes to entering higher educational facilities. Competition is very real in the collegiate world, with those who have prior exposure to material carrying a clear advantage as they make their way into upper-level classes.
Helping to Understand the World
With so much technological integration into everything from our beds to our cars, not understanding the basic underlying language (i.e. coding or programming) leaves our children in the same disadvantageous position as a person that wasn’t taught basic mathematics.
That doesn’t necessitate that every child going through school become an expert programmer; just learning the basics of code and how it works can and will help our kids understand what’s making the world around them tick.
When something breaks or is otherwise malfunctioning, their knowledge will be what separates them from those that weren’t brought up with coding education. Instead of reacting with confusion or annoyance, they’ll be able to diagnose the problem or at least know where to turn for help.
To illustrate our point, consider just how many everyday things involve programming:
- Websites and apps
- Thermostats, TVs, and even some lights
- Databases such as in the healthcare industry
In fact, just about anything digital involves some sort of programming. Very few devices are analog, so a simple physical understanding is not enough to grasp the basics of how our tools function.
Where Should We Start?
As important as coding can be, we still need to decide where to begin our kids’ exposure. No doubt most children have already experienced technology within the first two years of their life, be it an interactive toy or playing with their parents’ devices.
Rather than waiting for school to take over, it’s best to introduce children to extraordinarily basic programming apps before they even enter school. Before they even learn to spell, they can be expressing their creativity in games and learning apps that promote new skills and provide entertainment.
From as young as four, kids can start learning with apps such as Robot Turtles or Daisy the Dinosaur for slightly older children (six to ten). Plus, it’s an awesome opportunity for parents to get involved with their kids and, in some cases, learn some coding themselves!
Preparing for Tomorrow Today
If you’re wondering when we should start, the answer is right now. Before we know it, the next wave of technology will be sweeping us along and if our kids aren’t prepared, they’ll be stuck with low paying, low skill jobs.
If you’re hoping for your kids to succeed, start early. Get them ready for the technological world by teaching them the basics of coding and give them the chance they need to succeed. They may not ultimately pursue a career in programming, but at least they’ll have the opportunity.
What are you doing to prepare kids for tomorrow? Tell us how your thoughts in the comments.