How Coding is Changing the Job Market
Every week, it seems like there are dozens of stories coming out about innovations in the tech industry and the importance of coding across the entire job market, including design, research, academia, law, and more. These interesting pieces of news and research show how coding is changing the world – and how it’s quickly becoming a necessary skill for kids.
Are we preparing our kids for the right jobs?
We hear a lot about jobs being lost to automation – and indeed, evidence suggests that many blue-collar jobs will disappear as robots replace entire segments of the workforce. (Bill Gates has even suggested taxing robot labor to slow the spread of automation.) But remember that we still need people to program those robots! What of the many jobs that will be created by automation? A new analysis shows that we can expect 15 million new jobs in the U.S. over the next decade as a result of automation, mostly “in software, engineering, design, maintenance, support, training, or another specific job area.” The question then becomes: Are we preparing our kids for the right jobs? Read more.
Coding isn’t just for engineers
According to Wired Magazine, even biologists now need coding skills to be competitive in their field. This is because biologists are seeing the value of big data, which allows them to analyze massive data sets with tens of thousands of data points. To perform these analyses, biologists are must write custom programs specifically tailored to their experiments. In this article, biology PhD students talk about how frustrating it is to enter a program and realize how ill-prepared they are to deal with the coding requirements of research. Read more.
Why are law students taking CS classes?
When the Georgetown University Law Center offered computer programming last year, they were shocked to find that the class filled up almost immediately, then the waitlist quickly grew to 130. Even now, with five programming classes being offered, the waitlist is still full. According to Paul Ohm, the law professor who teaches the course, the reason is that law students know that coding skills will benefit them: “They aren’t going to become programmers, but they realize these are skills that will make them better lawyers.” Read more.
Using coding to “crack the code” on depression
As any psychiatrist will tell you, treating depression is really hard. Depression manifests very differently in different people, and those people may respond to different treatments. Many psychiatrists complain that they rely on guesswork to figure out what treatment will work for any individual patient. But now, research psychiatrists are starting to apply new methodologies to this problem, hoping to crack the code of diagnosing and treating depression. They’re using brain scans and machine learning to better understand “subtypes” of depression. If they can use this technique to more precisely diagnose the type of depression a patient has, they may be able to tailor a treatment regimen that is significantly more likely to work, bringing relief to the millions of adults in the U.S. alone who struggle with depression each year. This is an important reminder that coding and machine learning are powerful tools that can have an incredible impact on real people. Read more.
No matter what field your child ends up in, it’s likely that coding skills will prove useful somewhere along the way. It’s increasingly clear that coding skills will allow them to craft upcoming innovations in healthcare, law, technology, and more.