Learning to code is about more than career readiness. It’s about helping students make sense of their digital world

code-kidsRecently, there has been a lot of discussion around the importance of coding in the K-12 classroom. Should it be compulsory for all students? An elective? Reserved for those students considering a computer science major in college?

The answer may come down to supply and demand. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, by 2020, there will be 1.4 million computing jobs and only 400,000 computer science students to fill those roles. This represents a gap of one million jobs that will go unfilled, and amounts to a $500 billion opportunity lost.

In 2015, when more and more schoolwork, from kindergarten up through college, is done in a digital environment, students need to know the fundamentals of how the system they are using functions. By incorporating coding and computer science into our schooling starting in elementary school, we can help close this gap and ensure we have enough individuals with the right knowledge and expertise to fill these jobs.

Next page: Coding inspires curiosity

[image courtesy wfryer/Flickr]