If you want your child to get the most out of his or her after-school activities, consider trying a once-a-week coding academy. The question is not, “Why?” It is “Why not?”
Think about it: Your child can spend an hour after school going to soccer practice or violin lessons or chess club. All these are good, enriching activities that may align with your child’s interests. Chances are, though, most kids will not grow up to be professional soccer players, musicians or chess grandmasters.
But if your child attends an after-school coding academy like Launch: Code after School, he or she may, indeed, develop confidence and skills in computer programming that could one day blossom into a rewarding career in an in-demand field. It doesn’t mean that your child shouldn’t participate in all these other activities; it just means that it’s smart to try to fit a coding program into your child’s weekly schedule if he or she shows interest. After all, most kids seem to enjoy exploring technology and spending time on computers, even if they’re only playing games or watching videos. A coding academy would help mold their screen time into something more valuable.
Besides being practical and enjoyable, the reasons to invest in after-school coding are numerous and well-documented:
- As the number of jobs in computer science continues to grow, coding is a skill that will become increasingly important for our future workforce.
As New America magazine succinctly puts it: Computer science is the future of the job market. According to a 2016 article they published, by 2024, there will be a projected 4.4 million jobs in computers and information technology—a 12 percent growth rate from 2014, and a rate outpacing all other occupations.
- Despite evidence of its value, most schools still do not teach coding as part of their formal curriculum.
org, a nonprofit dedicated to expanding computer access in schools, argues that computer science is marginalized in K-12 education. They report that while 90 percent of parents want their children to study computer science, only 40 percent of schools actually teach computer programming. That’s a significant gap—and one that parents can bridge through enrollment in an after-school coding program.
- When it comes to qualified computer science professionals and jobs in computer science, there is a growing supply and demand problem in the U.S.
Code.org states that, while there are currently 546,480 computer science positions open nationwide, just 49,291 computer science students entered the workforce last year. And the need for computer science graduates will only grow. Who will be able to fill those jobs?
For these reasons and many more, participation in an after-school coding program is a wise investment in your child’s future. Children as young as four can begin learning about code. Everything being equal, why not choose the fun after-school activity that could also help your child build skills in an area that will be critical to our nation’s economy?
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