Learning to code
Learning to code has many benefits for people of all ages. Source: Shutterstock

Coding is a skill that is fast becoming more commonly taught in schools – not just to prepare kids for technical work in the digital age, but also because it helps them develop skills like creativity, critical thinking and problem-solving.

However, coding is not just beneficial for kids; a significant number of adults are also learning to code, especially in aging populations like Singapore.

According to LinkedIn, “Faced with an ageing population, Singapore is inviting more citizens to learn new digital skills. Singtel, the nation’s largest telco, plans to spend S$45 million or $32.7 million over three years to train staff of all ages in skills like 5G and data analytics, while the government has granted all Singaporeans above 25 a S$500 credit to offset the cost of approved courses — an entitlement more than 400,000 took up last year. As robots change and replace jobs, 120 million workers globally will need to undergo re-skilling.”

Coding is a sought-after skill among employers

Learning to code is a great way for older students and adults to upskill, whether or not they got the chance to learn coding at school.

College students who aren’t in STEM-related programmes but want to learn coding can try taking a free course online or checking if their university has an elective they can take.

The ability to code gives candidates an edge over competition when they enter the working world and prepares them for jobs in computing.

Code.org states that 58 percent of all new jobs are in computing, even though only 10 percent of STEM graduates studied computer science.

This means that coding is a vital skill that could land you a high-paying and secure job, even if you didn’t study computer science.

Since not many people know how to code, the demand for people who do is very high. According to Code Like a Girl, “Since not many people know how to code, the demand for people who know to code is very high. Companies in Australia are always on the lookout for people who can improve the quality of their website and help them out with any problem that might come up.

“There are more and more positions opening, and it can be considered a very stable job as there are many companies and startups in the country that need the assistance and don’t have the knowledge.”

Learning to code helps develop a growth mindset

The process of learning coding teaches people to think differently and develop a growth mindset, which is beneficial for people of all ages.

The growth mindset is becoming popular as it’s often touted as necessary for one to become successful in achieving both personal and professional goals.

A growth mindset is a way of thinking where one believes that their abilities can be further developed through dedication and hard work. In contrast, a fixed mindset is when one believes their abilities and talents are already fixed, but the truth is that they might just need more practice.

When one has successfully developed a growth mindset, they take on new challenges as they view learning as opportunities, also seeing failure as an opportunity for growth rather than a downfall. By focusing on their own personal progress, they are always growing and aiming higher.

Carol Dweck, the author of Mindset, said, “In the fixed mindset, if you fail; you’re a failure. In the growth mindset, when you fail; you’re learning.”

The coding and programming process teaches people how to adopt this growth mindset as it requires perserverance and grit to get the job done.

According to MindsetWorks, when learning to program, if you get stuck on a problem, one thing you learn is to keep on trying to solve it. Sometimes it can take hours to debug something that in the end can be fixed by changing half of a line of code.

“For some, it may be easy to look back on those hours of trial and error and consider it as a waste of time, but learning to program helps you recognize that those hours aren’t wasted.

“There is value in focusing on the process—you spent hours learning what did and did not work and now the next time you encounter the same issue, you can recall that experience and know you can fix it. Learning not to give up is a key component of having a growth mindset.”

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