According to Glassdoor, technology positions are the hottest jobs at the moment. A recent report by the company showed that eight of the top 25 jobs in 2016 were technology oriented, which is further proof that everyone from software engineers to developers and programmers will not be hard pressed to find satisfying, well-paying jobs in today’s job market.
Glassdoor researched three different factors when determining the hottest jobs of 2016 namely career opportunity ratings, the number of job openings and earning potential based on median annual salaries. Some of the jobs that ranked the highest included data scientists, analytics managers, UX/UI designers and software development managers.
Job markets analytics firm, Burning Glass, also recently released a report that showed that 7 million job openings last year required coding skills. This leaves us with a huge opportunity for our middle and high school students. And yes, you heard it right, 7 million job openings!
“We live in a digital world. Our phones, our cars, our banks, and our hospitals – nearly every aspect of our lives – depend on computer code. As a result, coding, or computer programming, is becoming a core skill requirement for many well-paying jobs (…)” –Burning Glass.
Burning Glass also showed that coding skills are valuable across a variety of job categories such as engineering, science, data analytics, artists, designers as well as IT workers. Not only do coding jobs pay more, but it provides an avenue to even higher paying positions and, especially, to a way of thinking and processing information.
While many students pursue degrees in the aforementioned job categories, not all of them gain the experience that they need during their tertiary education. To ensure that candidates have a solid understanding of programming, it has become vital that schools start teaching programming and coding skills.
Programming skills need to be develop at a young age
It’s important for graduates to be able to use, create and express themselves with new technology, but this isn’t necessarily a skill that should be left to when they finally get to university.
Many tech giants are focusing on developing tools and online resources that encourage children to become interested in programming and shows how to keep students engaged. CoderZ, for example, offers an online learning platform that helps teach kids to code and program virtual and real robots within the STEM pathways, while they are still in middle school and high school.
Coding classes & STEM activities for middle school
Increasingly, school principals, teachers and parents are recognising the importance of teaching kids to code. In recent years, there have been hundreds of new organizations and coding websites for kids encouraging children and teens to code.
If you do a bit of online research then you will see there are websites like Codecademy and events like CoderDojo, as well as Girls Who Code – it’s almost as if everybody is joining the movement, cool! Isn’t?.
At the beginning of the year, the former New York City Major, Michael Bloomberg, made a New Year’s resolution to learn to code. A few months later, Estonia decided that all of its first graders were going to learn to code. Estonia’s decision of teaching kids to code triggered a debate in the United Kingdom about whether all children should be taught to code in school.
Many times, people think of computer coding as something that only a very narrow sub-community of people are going to be doing. Coding is sometimes still perceived as a skill for those who are good at mathematics and analytics. Coding, however, doesn’t have to be like this thanks to websites and apps that teach computer science to kids. Kids should learn how to code as a second language.
(If you want to check some cool STEM activities for your classroom, you should join this STEM and RoboticsFacebook group, where STEM pros are constantly sharing knowledge and content)
Simple computer coding for kids
Some kids programming software packages makes coding as simple as dropping and dragging different blocks. When these blocks are stacked up, the coder is able to trigger an animation on their screen. You can also share your project with others, which encourages further engagement and interaction.
CoderZ is an online learning environment rich in academic resources that are used to teach coding for kids. See how we make learning to code robots fun and then take your STEM programs for high school students to a whole new level.