Grades, university degrees, interview skills, CV strength and personality will all help in your children’s future job hunt. But if they learn coding, you can stop worrying about everything else.
It is hard to overstate quite how important coding is becoming these days. In past blogs, we have already interviewed our expert coding tutor, Thomas Magnitis, discussed some of the best programmes with which kids can learn to code, and talked about why now is the best time to learn coding.
Beyond the growing and lucrative technology sector, coding is important in a vast array of other areas. In fact, half of all coding jobs are in industries outside technology, including healthcare, finance and manufacturing, among many others.
What does this mean? Being able to code means you can almost certainly command a higher salary, as the skills are so in demand. It means having your options entirely open, as there are so many industries that need programmers. It means being immediately desirable to employers. It means having the tools to start your own business, build your own website, or become a career coder.
Being unable to code means you will be facing more competition for jobs that haven’t yet become mechanised, or that require digital skills such as coding. An Australian report from 2015 estimates that up to 60% of Australian students are chasing or training for careers that could be rendered obsolete by automation in the next 10-15 years. The report specifically recommends developing digital skills and entrepreneurship in young people, to avoid a situation where technological changes lead to a rise in unemployment, inequality and job insecurity.
It makes you employable
A similar report from 2014 in the UK, by Oxford professors Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael Osborne, found that 10 million UK jobs could be rendered obsolete by technology and automation in the next 20 years. Lower-paid jobs (those earning less than £30,000 a year) are five times more likely to be made obsolete than higher-paid jobs. Indeed, the same professors have even set up the ‘Will a Robot take your job?’ calculator, which you can find on the BBC, here. As Artificial Intelligence (AI) becomes more important and sophisticated, steadily reshaping our world, the need for people who understand and can program these machines will grow exponentially.
And it’s not just about writing programmes – coding also gives you a great breadth of other skills:
It’s the future
Coding has already been gradually introduced on the national curriculum, as a way to ‘futureproof’ education and tackle the UK skills gap, which is ever more important as Brexit looms. It’s taught at some of the most ambitious schools in the country, and will only become more widespread in the near future.
This video, highlighting the importance of coding way back in 2013, and including the likes of minor coders such as Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, puts the argument quite effectively:
As Vanessa Hurst, Co-founder of Girl Develop It, a nonprofit organisation empowering women interested in technology and software development, put it: “You don’t have to be a genius to code. Do you have to be a genius to read?” While Drew Houston, founder and chief executive officer of Dropbox, says, coding is “the closest thing we have to super-powers.”
And as Facebook founder Zuckerberg described his company’s hiring policy: “Our policy is literally to hire as many talented [software] engineers as we can find. The whole limit in the system is that there just aren’t enough people who are trained and have these skills today.”
But what does he know about coding, eh? Maybe the whole thing’s a waste of time. Maybe there’ll be a massive solar flare or nuclear apocalypse, and a few years down the line no one will ever need a coder ever again.
By all means, take your chances on that.
We’ll just be over here, making sure someone else’s child is ready for whatever future they want
If you are looking for a coding tutor, get in touch with the Temple of Minerva on 0208 819 3276, or send us an email on email@example.com, and we can put you in touch with one of our coding experts.
By David Bard
David is a Minerva Pro Tutor who specialises in humanities subjects at A Level and is a trained expert in the 7 + and 11 + exams. Outside of tutoring, David writes blogs about everything that’s trending in education.