Coding is For Everyone!

Connie Annetta

How does this align with my curriculum?

Students will learn the importance of computer programming skills across a variety of career areas and how these skills can make them more employable.

Summary

  • Students will learn that computer science literacies are desired skills across a great number of careers, including those that don’t require a Computer Science degree.
  • Students will research and describe career choices and trends in computer science, at the local, national, and international levels;
  • Students will describe the Essential Skills and work habits that are important for success in computer studies

Setting the Stage

Computer programming (coding) is often seen in stereotypical fashion. It may be thought of as something only done by people with special talents, done alone, or requiring advanced education. With the changing world of work, especially with the introduction of various types of technology, (e.g., AI tools and apps), some knowledge of computer programming is beneficial to all workers. Often, an ability to code opens doors for lateral movement and advancement within an organization. 

Materials & Preparation

What To Do

  • To introduce this topic and activate students’ prior knowledge, teachers could show the YouTube video The Hour of Code is Here. Teachers could engage students in small groups or a whole class discussion about the value of coding skills using questions such as:
    • Do you think that ALL students should learn to code? Why/why not?
    • Which jobs, that are not specifically software development jobs, do you think benefit from coding skills?

Alternatively, teachers could summarize the main points and share the data tables for each of the job categories addressed in the article. A key point (see page 8 of article) that should be made is that, while computer science skills are important across a range of jobs, this does not automatically mean you need a computer science degree to work in these areas (see the data tables). To best prepare themselves for the job market, students should seek opportunities to develop computer science skills through individual courses, online training, or real-world projects. Students should be made aware that many degree and certificate programs (e.g., engineering, marketing, business analysts) require or benefit from computer science backgrounds.

Did you know?

Canada’s demand for digitally-skilled talent is expected to reach 305, 000 by 2023 for a total employment of over 2 million in the digital economy (Source: ICTC-CTIC)

  • After reading, teachers should direct students to think again about the questions asked at the beginning of class. Did any answers change as a result of the article they read? Students are to document their thoughts:
    • Why do you think many jobs ask for coding skills?
    • Do you think that ALL students should learn to program? Why/why not?
    • Which jobs, that are not specifically software development jobs, do you think benefit from coding skills?
  • Teachers could direct students to browse jobs to determine for themselves the types of jobs that are requiring coding skills. Students may use the following job search sites:
    https://www.etalentcanada.ca/ https://on.jobbank.gc.ca/home
  • Teachers could direct students to explore salaries in ITC jobs by looking at the various charts in the article. Alternatively, students could use the Government of Canada’s Job Bank site to explore salaries of ITC jobs https://www.jobbank.gc.ca/trend-analysis
  • Teachers could then lead small group or a whole class discussion using the following questions as prompts:
    • Why do you think many jobs ask for coding skills?
    • Why do you think employers deem coding to be an important skill to have?
    • How can more coding skills among workers help the global and Canadian market?
    • How would you benefit from learning how to code and program?
    • What is causing the high demand for programming skills?

Sample Responses:

  • Why do you think many jobs ask for coding skills?
    • Code is integral to business solutions. Understanding code gives better insight into approaches for solving real world problems.
  • Why do you think employers deem coding to be an important skill to have?
    • Employers want programming skills as a practice for solving problems and thinking critically.
    • The ability to understand the algorithmic solutions companies offer allows workers to provide more creative and reliable input into their work
  • How can more coding skills among workers help the global and Canadian market?
    • The digital economy contributes greatly to Canada’s GDP. Tech talent is in high demand and contributes directly to Canada’s economic success.
  • How would you benefit from learning how to code and program?
    • I could have more opportunities for jobs and for jobs with good salaries.
  • What is causing the high demand for programming skills?
    • ICT skills are in high demand. The ICT job growth outpaces every other sector by a factor of 6 to 1. ICT jobs are at a record low.
  • To help consolidate students' learning and to obtain feedback on students’ thinking related to careers in ICT, teachers could have students complete the Coding is for Everyone Exit Slip.

More statistics and information on Canada’s digital economy, initiatives to promote coding, and educational programs, can be found on the Information and Technology Council of Canada (ICTC) website.


Let’s Talk Science appreciates the work and contributions of Connie Annetta from the Toronto Catholic District School Board in the development of this lesson.

Details

Assessment

  • Teachers should offer insights and feedback to classroom discussions.
  • Teachers could review exit slips and provide individualized feedback. 

Assessment

  • Teachers should offer insights and feedback to classroom discussions.
  • Teachers could review exit slips and provide individualized feedback. 

Downloads

  • Coding is for Everyone Exit Slip Reproducible [Google doc] [PDF]

Downloads

  • Coding is for Everyone Exit Slip Reproducible [Google doc] [PDF]