Technology has completely changed the way the world works, and understanding how it works is important as our dependence on it grows. For those past school-going age who didn’t specialise in computer science it might be a bit too late to catch up on the fundamentals of coding but for those who will grow up in a future where the technology we are just developing will be common place, learning to code will be a valuable skill.
Coding is the most basic way we communicate with computers and build programmes that run off them, including websites and apps. It operates much like a language, working with particular rules. It teaches problem-solving skills, creativity and logic all in one go.
In addition to helping them understand the tools they work with every day including smartphones and computers, it is also a job sector that is growing, hiring and pays well.
According to STEM education stats, 71% of all new jobs in STEM are in computing, but only 8% of STEM graduates are in computer science. Even if your child does not plan to go into a standard developer position, being able to code is highly regarded on a CV.
Governments are recognising that the need to promote programming in schools is key to the development of their future workforce. In South Africa, the government have already committed to adding Coding and Robotics to the curricula for Grade R-3 and Grade 4-9.
Parents can also encourage their kids by introducing them to apps and games that will make their screen time more educational and entertaining.