Computer science is one of those subjects that’s regarded as extremely difficult. Computers are confusing, and code is in a difficult foreign language. It’s not something that’s usually taught in high school, and most teens get to college knowing algebra and having read The Great Gatsby, but without knowing the first thing about computer science.
However, it’s an important subject for teenagers to learn. As computers increasingly become part of everyday life–big computers like laptops, and small computers like your iPhone–it’s critical that teenagers know the ins and outs of how they work. In other words, if they’re going to use Instagram, they might as well know how it works. Here are just a few reasons why you should learn about computer science as a teenager.
- Teenagers Live in a Computer-Dominated World
As mentioned, the world is governed by computers. It’s governed by smartphones and by computer surveillance. Airports are computer operated. Cash registers are computer operated. Therefore, teaching children about computer science will prepare them to live in the future that’s being created every day, as computers will only become increasingly dominant as teens grow older. Plus, if you’re a parent, it’s always nice when your teen can explain how to use Facebook.
- Computer Science Helps Teens Understand Privacy
Internet privacy is quite controversial these days. What does Twitter have a right to know about you? Should clothing brands be able to advertise to you based on past purchases? Because the idea of data privacy is discussed frequently, it’s important for teens to understand how it works. Teens knowing about things such as API security, coding, and programming will help them understand how and why they are targeted with certain ads or opportunities and will help them make smarter online decisions.
- Computers Open Career Opportunities
A big thing on teenagers’ minds is what they’re going to be when they grow up, and computer science could help guide them in this decision. Learning computer coding opens teenagers to a very diverse and profitable job market. Because computers dominate nearly every job, having a computer knowledge never hurts, and will give you a leg-up when applying against other qualified applicants.
- Computer Science Encourages Critical Thinking
At its core, computer science is really about critical thinking and working to solve problems. Learning about computers leads you to think of problems from a perspective–in a language–you’ve never thought about them before. It allows you to practice generating new ideas and finding new ways to approach issues in order to fix bugs or adjust code. Plus, these critical thinking and problem solving skills that you develop in learning computer science will carry into other school subjects or other aspects of life.
- Computer Science is a Practice in Focus
Nowadays, teenagers are always trying to focus on more than one thing at once. Whether they’re trying to watch The Office while doing their homework or texting their crush while working out, teens pride themselves in their ability to multitask. This however, leads to short attention spans and lack of ability to focus. But you cannot watch TV or bake cookies while coding or programming. Computer science will allow kids to practice focus and discipline while doing something exciting and rewarding.
- Computer Science Builds Confidence
Every teen needs a self-esteem boost, and this is a fact. Computer science has a unique way of boosting self esteem; there is nothing like the feeling of solving a difficult problem or finding a cool new code. This confidence will last beyond the computer, and carry into other facets of life.
Computer science might seem difficult, but as a teen, it’s worth learning. The earlier you learn it the better you’ll understand it, and it’ll open the doors to countless opportunities and catalyze expert problem solving skills. And in 2020, understanding computers gives you a much better understanding of the world around you.
What types of activities and courses have you used as electives? Leave a comment and we may include yours in a future column!