Why should every student take a coding class before graduating?

Computer coding is, arguably, the most ubiquitous language of the world we live in. It’s odd, then, that computer science in general, and coding in particular, continue to either be absent from school and college curriculums, or included as optional or one-off courses that barely scratch the surface. Add to it the fact that technology is where most jobs are, and that coding teaches problem solving as well as traditional must-know subjects such as mathematics, and we’ve got a bit of a puzzle to piece together. Unless students take up specific technology courses for their college education, coding is not really something they deep dive into. Even engineering students could graduate without more than a dozen short classes on computer coding without practical application.

What’s The Point?

Well, the institution of education has stood the test of times because it paves the way to a prosperous future for students, firstly by making them employable gainfully, and secondly by endowing them with problem solving skills that help them throughout their lives. On both these fronts, and on many others, computer programming is as good and as necessary as any other subject. In this guide, we will explore the several reasons why students must take coding education before graduating.

Tremendous Opportunities of New Business

The number of young entrepreneurs who’ve made it big purely because of their skill of coding is huge. The biggest businesses of today were nothing more than coding adventures in their infancy (Facebook, for instance). Just do a quick Google search on the number and names of mobile apps that have been sold to major players for millions of dollars. Then, there are mobile apps with tens of thousands of downloads, each at an attractive price point. For students interested in entrepreneurial adventures post their college education, whether in their native country or a foreign country, would benefit a lot from coding education. It’s literally as important as a language qualification such as TOEFL or IELTS. What’s more, students get access to literally hundreds of freelancing opportunities in mobile app creation, website coding, web development, and what not. Plus, there are great opportunities in the field of work from home online tutoring for other students.

Basic Understanding Of Computers, Mobiles, and Software

Irrespective of which industry you work in, your will use computers, smartphones, and lots of applications, both in your professional and personal work. Given this irrefutable reality, it’s a no-brainer that students have a lot to gain by getting educated in computer programming and coding before their higher education (post graduation) and careers begin. This helps students take care of basic troubleshooting and workarounds to make sure that minor glitches in computer systems don’t become a roadblock in their work. This ultimately also helps students search for and use smart software to solve problems. Basic coding has tremendous applications for students in their higher education, especially for research-oriented subjects, as they can create macros, run scripts, and run complex calculations on large data using basic coding.

Creating a website

The World Wide Web emerged as a transformative force in 1991 and changed the world forever. Today, having a website is a must for professional and businesses. In the times to come, websites will become the equivalents of business cards, personal applications, and resumes.  With basic knowledge of coding, not only can students demystify the art of website creation, but can also create one for themselves easily. Though there are free WYIWYG (what you see is what you get) styled website builders on offer, having basic HTML and CSS understanding helps students massively in setting a unique website up. And, website development is a very useful skill to have, which can enable students to offer freelance services to earn some additional and part time incomes.

Exposure to The World of Programming before the Deep Dive

Most students understand how a higher education degree in computer science makes them relevant for employment in dozens of industries and markets. This makes computer science a pretty special higher education choice for students across the globe. However, it can often be tough for them to quickly learn the basics and get on with the intense demands of post graduation courses, where they have to learn several technologies at once. On the other hand, with prior exposure to computer coding, they can easily appreciate the differences between different approaches of coding, different coding languages, and adapt to new methodologies. Pre-graduation exposure to computer coding also helps students score well in qualifying examinations for prestigious foreign universities offering coveted courses in advanced computer science, apart from scoring better than others in interviews for advanced courses. Also, students who can do basic coding can easily get opportunities of teaching assistance, library admin, and IT support in universities, which is a massive help in managing the financial demands of the post graduation course.

Problem Solving Skills

Why do subjects like mathematics, physics, and chemistry continue to be mandatory courses in colleges? The reason is – at their very core, these subjects’ help students not only understand important concepts of numbers, nature, and materials, but also help them develop a logical and rational thinking process. On the same lines, computer coding, at its core, is about breaking down complex procedures, processes, and tasks into smaller steps, and then performing each step in a highly optimized manner. Then, there is the concept of abstraction in coding, which is all about identifying underlying variables and generalizing them for easy, efficient, and quick re-use. This rational and logical thinking matures into several problem solving skills that help students throughout their personal and professional lives.

Final Thoughts

In the past ten years, several schools and universities in developed countries like Canada and USA have increased the inclusion of computer science subjects in general, and coding in particular, in school and college curriculums. It’s time that other countries take a cue, and take their steps towards helping students prepare for bright futures courtesy basic coding education at an early age.

by Danielle Ward

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