Kids and adults are piling into computer coding classes

By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer

kid coders
Kids in elementary school are familiarizing themselves with computer science.

As technology branches into more parts of human life, there’s increased demand for people who understand how to design websites, build apps, and have a basic understanding of computer coding – scripts that tell computers what to do.

There are a bunch of fresh college grads ready to take on these kinds of high-tech jobs, but now kids in elementary school are already getting a headstart on computer coding. Meanwhile, several companies are sending their employees back to school to get some basics under their belt, so they can keep up with the changing industry.

Thankfully, there are a ton of schools and programs that are well aware of the increased attention on technology, and a variety of options are available to kids, workers, and curious adults.

For the youngsters, Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Talented Youth offers coding classes online for kids in middle and elementary school, and it’s filling up fast! In 2009, the program only had about 63 students; this year, almost 800 kids have enrolled in the prestigious program. Other programs that meet with kids are experiencing the same swell in numbers, like the volunteer group CoderDojo Twin Cities, which had to turn away eager kids because their classes were already jam-packed. Mission Bit, another nonprofit organization, visits local students in San Francisco to teach them coding.

While kids hurry to get a jump on the tech world, adults with established careers outside of computer science are having to go back to school to stay competitive. Large companies like American Express,  Staples, and Pepsi are even sending their senior managers back to programming classes. The idea is to save the company from having to hire another manager with computer experience.

Since the US Department of Labor predicts information technology jobs will grow by 30% in the coming years, those with some education in computer programming will have a mega edge. So, what are you waiting for? Sign up for a local class or start doing some internet research!

Featured image courtesy of John Watson on Flickr. Image of coding courtesy of Romainhk on Wikimedia.