6 reasons to get kids involved in tech
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Remember being in the backseat of your family car and mom or dad or someone much more adult than you pointed out their office? As a kid, you were in awe of the tall buildings, shiny glass and busy streets where they spent the majority of the day. And sometimes you came over after hours when all the desks were empty and wondered what it looked like when the place was filled with grown-ups.
Thanks to the Take Our Daughters And Sons To Work Foundation, kids have spent a day in April exploring professional settings for the past 23 years. Take Our Daughters And Sons To Work Day allows kids to see the workplaces of the adults in their lives and get a better understanding of the skills, relationships and responsibilities involved in a job and career.
For many kids, this day will lay the foundation for learning about business, entrepreneurship and technology. Recent studies reveal what kids are learning in K-12 programs are not preparing them for careers in STEM. Giving kids the opportunity to experience the field of technology before they enter college matters. Here’s why:
1. Tech is one of the fastest growing industries
Skilled tech employees are in demand; half a million jobs are currently unfilled and that number is estimated to grow. Technical roles like developers, IT architects and system administrators are consistently listed among the world’s highest-paying jobs, and there is room for advancement as companies continue to hire in these fields.
2. Learning is at its peak during childhood
3. Kids can gain an advantage in the classroom
Learning basic coding skills or turning data into visuals are not only helpful in professional environments. The problem solving skills developed while learning subjects like programming are necessary to succeed in any academic subject. Diving deeper into subjects and skills outside the classroom can give kids an advantage in school, leading to a greater chance of career success.
4. And learn outside of the classroom, too
Despite the ever growing presence of technology in everyday life, schools are struggling to implement curriculum that sets kids up for success in today’s tech industry. Code.org reports that only 1 in 4 U.S. schools teach programming and only 30 states allow students to count computer science toward graduation. Resources like Minecraft’s Education Edition, the Hour of Code initiative, and Pluralsight’s free courses for kids expose kids to technical topics in fun ways.
5. Help identify skills and talents early on
Finding your niche and having time to build upon it is crucial for a fulfilling career. While kids in elementary and middle school aren’t focused on choosing their college major or profession, they can still explore different subjects that interest them while getting ahead of the stereotypes that often plague STEM fields.
6. Develop and value digital citizenship
Today’s youth are growing up in a very different environment than 10, or even five, years ago. They’re affectionately known as digital natives, which means they easily pick up on digital trends and embrace the non-stop stream of sharing enabled by today’s networks. When kids better understand the origins and implications of technology, they’ll gain a greater sense of responsibility and respect for what’s possible in today’s world.
Whether you work in the tech industry or not, showcasing your office or work environment to the kids in your life can help a young mind imagine themselves making an impact through study and skills. When you participate in Take Our Daughters And Sons To Work Day, you’re joining companies, universities and the White House in opening the doors to the professional world to our kids.