Updated: Jul 7
Children are capable of learning the basics of coding as early as age four and certainly under the age of ten. Doing so provides almost countless benefits immediately and for the rest of their lives. Learning to code boosts kids’ problem-solving capabilities, confidence, creativity, and communication skills—and, as Minecraft players will tell you, it’s fun. As adults, individuals with coding abilities will have an easier time getting hired for lucrative, rewarding, and ever-changing professional roles. Here are a few reasons why kids who can code are on the path to success.
Why Should Young People Learn to Code?
The world is becoming increasingly more computerized. As more and more products go digital—from doorbells to delivery services—web programming abilities are increasingly in high demand. In addition, technology is evolving at such a rapid pace that no matter what coding skills adults begin with, they will always be learning and adapting. In order to keep up, it’s best for kids to begin learning about coding from an early age.
Coding is essential for jobs related to IT and cybersecurity. As technology interacts with and becomes more dependent on the internet, it also becomes more vulnerable to glitches, malfunctions, and hackers. Keeping up with troubleshooting, software updates, and security upgrades is an indispensable skill.
Coding jobs offer significant earning potential and are in high demand. As of 2020, the median annual wage for all occupations was $41,950. For IT and web design jobs, however, median annual salaries ranged from $77,200 (for a web developer) to $126,830 (for a computer and information research scientist). In addition to being lucrative, coding jobs are in high demand: compared to about 5% growth for other occupations, these were growing by up to 21%.
Coding opens doors to a variety of career options. Because coding is a core skill for such a wide range of occupations, kids who learn to do it now will never find themselves stuck in a boring job as adults. Those who can code can become everything from data scientists to video game developers.
Coding work can be done from home if desired. A career in coding offers the ability to work from anywhere with a high-speed internet connection. Having the option to work from home can help workers reduce their exposure to viruses, eliminate commutes, increase productivity, and improve work/life balance.
How to Get Started with Coding
Learn Python, HTML, and CSS. Python is becoming increasingly popular not only because it’s one of the easiest coding languages to learn, but because it’s used in a wide variety of applications. If you don’t have a STEM background and are starting from scratch, however, you may want to consider starting with HTML and CSS. These are both useful for front-end developing and web design and may be even easier to pick up than Python.
Test your skills with a coding project. Learning and improving are often best achieved by doing, so challenging yourself with new (and fun!) coding projects is a great way to cement your skills and build on them. A few examples include creating a personal website, an app, or a game.
Find free resources for learning to code. There are a number of organizations and platforms that offer free coding lessons and tools. One popular choice is Scrimba, which offers courses led by carefully curated instructors. Some of these can help you learn Python for free.
Help Kids Learn to Code with BeamUp
High-quality education, healthcare, and other support systems are extremely important for helping young people prepare for a bright future. BeamUp offers programming to help under-invested youth succeed in every aspect of life. Our goal is to provide opportunities for youth and young adults of lower socioeconomic status to equip themselves with the tools needed to lift themselves out of poverty and violence.
We have partnered with Scrimba to provide youth who are interested in becoming developers or coders with the ability to learn coding on the Scrimba platform for free. Scrimba makes it simple for kids to learn and test their skill in the Chrome browser without the need for a formal classroom setting or expensive hardware or software. Learners who are motivated to pursue a career in web development can contact BeamUp to get started. To support accountability, monthly and quarterly goals will be established for each participant.
Completing our program with Scrimba gives learners access to BeamUp support for further education, career exploration, career counseling and mentor-ship, and apprenticeships or internships as well as job opportunities.
At the core of BeamUp is access to quality education about a healthy lifestyle, professional education, plant-based whole foods, making climate-friendly choices, and mindfulness. Help us support and teach kids by shopping for swag or donating today!