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In recent years, it has become increasingly important to include introductory coding skills as part of technology curriculum for K-12 students. Yet the importance of these lessons to modern student curriculum extends far beyond the coding space.

Why is Coding Important for Students?

Learning coding as a student is about far more than developing skills to build or manipulate code for computer programs or video games. The skills learned through coding curriculum can be applied to activities that span well beyond computers and digital use.

1. Problem-Solving Skills

One of the biggest strengths a student gains by learning coding is problem-solving using computational thinking. Computational thinking is a strategic problem-solving process that breaks down complex problems into smaller, more manageable pieces and then follows a set process to create an algorithmic solution that can be replicated by humans or computers.

Computational thinking provides problem-solving skills that can be used in a wide range of applications. 

2. Future-Ready Career Skills

While more and more careers depend on digital knowledge, the benefits of students learning coding continue to increase. Whether or not students choose to go directly into a coding or computer programming industry, their coding skills will provide a basis of knowledge that can help strengthen their career prospects.

For instance, a student may benefit from coding skills in a career in the finance industry or business management positions as they create and manipulate formulas to help calculate projections or risk analyses, in marketing to implement tracking and measurement of KPIs, or in public service positions that require process improvement and creative problem-solving.

3. Improves Creativity

Coding is essentially a problem-solving process that helps to analyze a situation or goal and then use problem-solving skills to determine and implement a solution. While the goal or challenge may be the same, the solution itself may look different depending on the strategies taken to achieve the desired result.

The ability to know and understand code, as well as having the computational thinking skills associated with coding, unleashes the power to solve complex problems in creative, effective ways. This empowers thinkers of all styles with improved powers of creativity as they face a wide range of opportunities or challenges.

4. Builds Persistence

Because of the intricacies present in coding, this skill helps to build fortitude and persistence in problem-solving. Coding is as much an art as it is a science, requiring an eye for detail as well as creativity and process. Often, solutions take testing and troubleshooting before they work effectively and in a repeatable way.

This process of trial and error is a powerful tool for students as they move forward in life, reinforcing that many problems require persistence to effectively solve.

5. Increases Confidence

Coding is also important for students because it helps to increase confidence. Because coding empowers students with applicable skills such as creativity, problem-solving and persistence, it also empowers them to more confidently face a variety of challenges and opportunities.

Because coding is building a wide range of skills that can be applied inside and outside the classroom, students have more building blocks to be able to take on a variety of challenges. Having the processes and mindsets to do so can help to boost confidence and willingness to take on these challenges.

6. Supports Digital Equity

Finally, teaching coding to students supports digital equity. Digital equity is defined by having equal skills to access, choose and effectively use digital technology to find, evaluate, create and communicate information regardless of gender, socioeconomic status, background or other factors. Being able to understand and manipulate code deepens a student’s ability to choose and use this digital technology. By teaching coding skills in schools, all students are empowered with future-ready digital literacy skills to succeed.

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