Perhaps the biggest reason why parents are pressuring their kids into learning coding is that they think it will lead to a career. Perhaps more mistakenly, they think that coding will be the only path to a good career. Sure, there will still be lawyers, judges, and nurses in the future, but there is this idea that bakers will be replaced by robot bakers, and craft persons will be replaced by 3D printers. As a result, it seems like coding is the only viable way to ensure a career in old age. This is obviously very presumptuous, but you can therefore see why websites that offer programming games for kids are suddenly becoming more popular.
Will the Only Jobs be Programming Jobs?
Let’s compare this to a similar scenario. There was a time, during the rise of the Windows operating system when offices were slowly moving over to computerization. Offices and businesses had used computers for a long time, but they were becoming a bigger part of business life and parents started to worry that if their kids couldn’t type, then they would struggle in later life.
Now, in this day and age, most kids can touch type, most adults have learned to touch type, and almost every kid can use the text functions on a phone. More importantly, learning to type is not what defines how well a career goes. What is more thought-provoking is that the parents teaching their kids to be more tech-savvy back in those days were sort of wasting their time. The way computers operate these days is so different that kids turned into adults and still had to re-learn all the tech stuff their parents were pushing on them as kids.
Will Programming and Coding Change?
As mentioned in the example above, kids grew into adults and still had to re-learn how the technology worked because things changed so much from the early Windows era to today’s smart-home/smart-business environment. The parents of the past were not wasting their time teaching their kids to be tech-savvy, but it didn’t help them out (or affect their career) in the way that those parents thought it would. Will the same thing happen for children and parents these days within the world of coding/programming?
The Same Will Happen Again
It is very likely that programming will be important in the future, but only in the same way that being able to type is important. Even these days, there are sweatshops of coders who are churning out code for games, apps, cloud software, in-office software, cryptosystems, big data systems, and security testing systems. It is already a very big industry, and the idea that non-coders will struggle to get a job in the future seems pretty unlikely.
Back in the old days, installing a program took time, effort, and tinkering (troubleshooting). Now, it is all done with the press of a button. The future is likely to see programming-heavy processes get easier, but if that is the case, should kids be learning how to program?
Learning a New Language
Just like how kids should be taught how to swim, kick/throw a ball, and how they should learn a new language, they should also learn how to code. Parents don’t teach their kids how to throw because they want it to become their career, nor do they teach them how to swim to raise them as lifeguards. Learning how to code adds another facet to your child’s future CV, but it also adds another element to their lives that will improve their lives over the long term. Just like teaching your kid how to drive, you should be teaching your kid how to code.