Should Coding Classes Be a Mandatory Part of the Curriculum?

Should Coding Classes Be a Mandatory Part of the Curriculum?

CodingAdvances in technology and the prevalence of computers today have started a debate about whether teaching computer science and coding in school is necessary. Some claim that coding classes should be mandatory just like math and English. Others believe that coding does not have the same importance or broad use as other basic academic courses. There are several common arguments both for and against making coding classes a mandatory part of the curriculum.

Increase Potential Job Opportunities

One of the main arguments for making coding classes mandatory is that they will increase potential job opportunities. A large number of future jobs are going to involve working with computers and network systems. Students who have learned computer literacy from the start will not have problems working with these systems in an efficient way. If coding is taught to every student, then computer skills will become less of a barrier to employment in the future.

Make Dealing With Technology Easier

Students in school today are growing up surrounded by technology. Using computers, the Internet and mobile devices is part of everyday life. Mandatory coding and computer literacy courses will make it easier for these students to deal with computers and technology as adults. Common computer problems at home can be diagnosed and repaired quickly with this knowledge. This can make living with computers far simpler.

Introduce Students to a New Career Field

The intention of many of the mandatory classes in schools today is to introduce students to various possible career paths. Coding courses will provide students with an introduction to the field of computer science. Students who might never have otherwise considering going into computer science could find it to be the perfect match. Students could go on to become a programmer, network administrator or software engineer because of simple coding classes given early on.

Improve Critical Thinking and Problem Solving Skills

Coding is like many other subjects in school because it can help to improve critical thinking and problem solving skills. Coding courses involve learning new ways to think. They can teach basic logical reasoning as well as computer literacy. Students who have a knowledge of coding will be better able to procedurally solve complex problems and come up with comprehensive solutions. It teaches unique mental skills that can be used in many parts of life.

Keep Students Globally Competitive

Students today will be competing globally for future jobs as technology starts to blur the boundaries between countries. Many other countries have already recognized that computer literacy is going to be an important part of many new jobs. They are already teaching students coding as part of basic school curriculums. Including coding as a mandatory class will make it easier for students to compete in this global marketplace against other graduates who already have computer knowledge.

Not All Students Have an Aptitude for Programming

One of the arguments against mandatory coding classes in school is that not all students have an aptitude for programming. Coding combines many elements from math and logic to an understanding of computer hardware. It is fully possible that these concepts could be too difficult a combination for certain students who have a different set of skills. This can potentially lead to difficult classes that students just barely pass without actually learning anything.

The Skill Could Be Unnecessary In Many Jobs

Another common argument against making coding classes mandatory is that those skills will be unnecessary in a range of jobs. Not all future jobs will involve interacting with a computer in a way that requires coding or computer science knowledge. Some positions will require nothing more than being able to click a few buttons in a specific order. This means students might be wasting time by learning coding.

Schools Might Have Difficulty Teaching Coding

A final argument against including coding as a mandatory class is that schools might have difficulty teaching the subject to students. Not all teachers have computer science knowledge especially in lower grade levels. The school itself might not have access to the resources necessary to teach hands-on coding classes. This could lead to classes about coding lead by instructors who have little to no understanding of programming, hardware or advanced computer hardware. Students might not benefit at all in these environments.