eBusiness Institute

Matt and Liz Raad discuss should kids learn to code

Should Kids Learn To Code?

Liz and I tend to share different views over whether kids should be learning to code. If you’ve seen us talk live, you may have already noticed!

We’re finding that it’s becoming more common in today’s digital age the need to learn code. But the question is, should our kids be taught coding?

Today we discuss both sides to the topic. The reasons why it is good for kids to learn code. But we also take a look at the other side of the coin – can you still make a lot of money online (or be employable) without the skills of coding?

Liz:                   Today we have a good argument to have which is – should kids learn to code? And this is something we often talk about.

Matt:               For the affirmative is Matt on the left.

Liz:                   Yes, and for the negative (or the practical side) is Liz.

Matt:               I am being practical! Show me the money, and I’ll explain why.

Liz:                   So, we’ve got young kids. There are so many courses now, and there is a huge push that they should learn to code ON TOP of everything else that they’re doing. They should learn to code, and well – Why would you teach a child here in Australia to code?

Matt:               Because it rocks!

Liz:                   I understand there is a logic to it. It’s good to understand the foundations of how things work. But, in the most part, what we’ve got is all these incredible tools. You can pay someone $10 an hour (maybe more) for some things (like coding).

Matt:               It can be a lot more than that, for coding.

Liz:                   But still, you can pay people a lot less to be able to code. What we DO need is the people who can talk between the coders and the real people. And the practical people who can do the front-end as well as the back-end.

Matt:               I think what Liz is trying to say is that, not all of us are made for coding – case in point, is ourselves! We’re not technical at all in terms of coding. We’ve got a bit of knowledge there and we understand what’s going on. It’s useful to know, but most people aren’t coders because it’s not everyone’s cup of tea.

What I will say on the flip side though, is in Silicon Valley and in a lot of big companies now in America, the good coders are pretty much guaranteed a very highly-paid six-figure job. And there are courses in America where coders are spending $30,000 to $40,000 doing private training courses (not degrees) in coding. So spending about $40,000 to $50,000 and then walking out of that course, and then walking straight into a six-figure income – IF they’re good at coding.

Liz:                   Yes, if they’re good at coding.

I guess my argument is though – doctors earn a lot of money. So, should we teach all our children to be doctors?

Matt:               Okay, that’s true, fair enough. I didn’t think of it that way. But if you are lucky enough and your kids like coding. Or you like coding yourself. It doesn’t matter what age you are, there is a shortage of really good coders out there in Silicon Valley and here in Australia. So, maybe that is an area that you would want to encourage them to go into?

Liz:                   But I don’t think it’s worth you having to pressure your kids into doing another thing and being able to code if they don’t like it. I wouldn’t be forcing them. We still make a lot of money online without coding!

Matt:               That’s very true. And I am definitely well-known for swearing at computers over technical issues. But it is one of my regrets I do wish that I learned when I was younger.

Liz:                   That you had learned Maple? (a computer coding language)

Matt:               Yeah actually that’s true. I really dislike Maple! That’s a programming language that you had to learn.

Liz:                   Probably a long time ago. Which everyone just copied their assignments Because we all didn’t like it!

Matt:               But it is handy to have a knowledge of coding these days.

Liz:                   I guess. But, let us know, what do you think? Should all kids learn to code? Or should they not? Let us know, tell us below.

Matt:               The ultimate knowledge is to have a basic, generalist idea in that area and then learn how to make money online through sales and marketing.

Liz:                   Yes! There we go – that’s what all kids should learn how to do, sales and marketing.

Matt:               So here’s my thing – the number one money-making skill anyone can ever learn in life (and I’m biased) is definitely sales. But to turbo-charge that – sales in a digital economy or online.

Coding is great if that’s what you want to do. Coding is handy to learn so that you know it, and you’re comfortable with computers, and building and playing around with websites etc. That’s a really valuable skill to have going forward into the future. But the ultimate skill is sales and marketing.

Liz:                   No! You just need to learn how to use the platforms. You don’t need to code. You just click and drag.

Matt:               Yeah, click and drag, fair enough. But, at least in schools they’re getting kids to do something digital.

Liz:                   That is true.

Matt:               I think learning to code is a very useful skill compared to some of the other topics that are taught in schools.

Liz:                   So, interesting to know. Let us know what you think. Also, what is the definition of coding, too? I know a lot of coding workshops are really just learning how to write something to make something happen. It’s just making that link between the two. But, it is fascinating.

Matt:               Let us know what you’re going to do with your kids, what are you going to recommend to your kids to do, learn how to code?

Liz:                   Get them into sales.

Matt:               Sales and marketing, and marketing online.

This is a pretty hot topic. We would love to hear from you what your thoughts are on learning to code. Is it necessary for kids to learn? Do you think YOU should learn coding? Perhaps are you already experiencing changes in the workplace that enforces the need to learn some kind of digital related skills, or at least know the lingo?

Write your comments below.