Pros and Cons of Teaching Kids to Code

Published October 4, 2018
Learning Code

The world revolves around technology. Not only do kids have cell phones at a younger age than they used to, but the way people think and work are affected by technology. So, is it helpful for kids to learn the underlying language below their web page? Well, it depends on where you look.

Proponents of Teaching Kids Coding

Several parents and professionals think that teaching kids to code is a useful skill. Not only does learning to code help them with the technology they use on a daily basis, but it is helpful for other skills as well. Explore the pros of teaching children coding early.

Improves Problem-Solving and Critical Thinking

In order to code, kids need to think critically about what they are creating, according to Jennifer Williams. They can't just wing the code but instead have to understand the deeper level of what they are creating. They need to visualize how the code is being used to create specific functions on the screen. It also enhanced problem-solving skills because kids need to understand errors and fix them. This means that they might have to think outside of the box to figure out how to solve a problem in their code. They also need to analyze the code to find out what might be wrong with the code to create the error.

Enhances Sequential Thinking

Coding is all about planning and ordering your events to create functions. While it might not seem like it, this is very similar to reading comprehension. In coding, you need to shuffle and order large amounts of information to ensure a specific action. People do this in reading as well. You need to comprehend, understand and order the events of a story or text. Your brain also needs to catalog the material. Coding can actually help to enhance this skill because you are practicing sequential thinking techniques.

Increases Communication Skills

Coding is all about taking complex ideas and breaking them down into simplistic languages. When a child learns to code, they are taking those complex ideas and learning to talk in a simple language to a computer. This can help them to understand and break down complex ideas in life and school. They learn to simplify their big ideas and discuss them in a digestible way when communicating with other kids.

Students programming in class

Provides Job Opportunities

Computer research is a booming field. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs for computer and information research scientists are projected to grow by 19% from 2016 to 2026. This was much faster than average for other occupations. Teaching your child to code can be the beginning of the path to a lucrative career in computer technology.

Why Children Don't Need to Learn Coding

It is important to look at both sides of a subject. While some might think that coding is a necessity, there are others that feel coding is a scam. Examine the cons for teaching children coding.

An Unnecessary Skill

Technology changes quickly. While coding might be a valuable skill now, many techies believe that, like the manual transmission, the need to code will cease to exist. Given the state of artificial intelligence software, the creation of code that codes autonomously is already a reality. Therefore, learning how to code will be a useless skill in the future.

Kids Need to Be Kids

Rather than sitting hunched over a computer learning to code, kids need to learn basic human skills like playing catch with friends or building forts. They need to focus on interpersonal friendships and fine motor skills through play. Many believe that not only should kids not be learning to code in this junction of their educational career but computers should be taken out of the elementary schools completely.

Programming Need Is Declining

While the need for computer scientists is increasing, the need for coders and programmers is decreasing. In the coming years, the Department of Labor projects a 7% decrease for programming careers. This is mostly due to an increase in coding software that removes the necessity for coders.

To Code or Not to Code

Whether you teach your child to code is completely up to you. But it is important to look at the pros and cons before making an informed decision. While coding can help with problem-solving and computational thinking, these skills can be learned other ways like play. Keep your knowledge rolling through learning about computer engineering projects for high schoolers.

Pros and Cons of Teaching Kids to Code